“Legacy thinking means dedicating ourselves to making a difference, not just working to achieve fame and fortune. It also means appreciating that others will inherit what we leave behind.”[i]
Your legacy is your contribution to your family, friends and community that will echo into the future when your time is done. Thinking about a legacy is challenging with life’s distractions and issues at the forefront. However, it is absolutely worth taking pause to reflect and act on, because it can change your life.
Realize your legacy
Are you leaving a leadership legacy? What are you doing right now that will have a lasting impact? What will you leave behind? Wealth, inventions, written works, knowledge, a business. What are you engaged in now to benefit the next generation? Are you making a difference or are you living for yourself? Will people remember your accomplishments or who you were as a human being?
It is crucial to begin visioning, designing and living your legacy sooner than later. So, pause and take the time to look at what you want to leave behind. The act of looking into your future affects your life today. Asking and answering these questions allows you to look into the future, then work your way backwards to the present and take stock of your current actions. Do your current behaviors lead to the desired future? Does your current life leave the legacy you want?
Fear not, if you review and see that you aren’t living towards your legacy, make a small change every day, every week and every month. Consistent changes will begin to align your legacy and the present.
Live your legacy now
A leadership legacy is more than just talking about it or wishing it. You must live your legacy. People who talk about what they want to be remembered for, but then don’t act relegate themselves and their legacy to obscurity. Ideas and thoughts are wonderful but really do not amount to much unless you take action.
Now is the time to make the changes necessary so your present life results in your desired future. Remember, it is never too late to begin considering and acting from the perspective of what you will leave behind.
image courtesy: ginnerobot
[i] James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner’s, A Leader’s Legacy (San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2006), p.5.