Word-Of-the-Week #741: Legacy

October 18, 2018 by · Comments Off on Word-Of-the-Week #741: Legacy 

Legacy what you leave people with. 

How do you want to be remembered? Is it simply a memory or a profound impression? Are your achievements extraordinary and lasting?

This week I want to honor Katie Elsbree who was my dear friend and a mentor over the past 20 + years. She passed away from pancreatic cancer and this is the word that came up for me. She was extraordinary and her memory will last forever. As one of the founders and President of Fostering Opportunities Scholarships she has left a legacy that all of us on the board will have to live up to. And we are totally inspired by that!

I found this by Bruna Martinuzzi, What Type of Legacy Do You Want to Leave?” and sharing here first of six ways you can have an impact after you’re gone.

A legacy isn’t only about leaving what you earned but also what you learned.

“If I am not for myself, who is for me? And when I am for myself, what am I?” is the well-known aphorism from Hillel, a famous Jewish rabbi. Throughout history, we have been conditioned to look out for ourselves, or no one else will. But if we’re consumed with pursuing only our selfish interests, what are we? And more important, what legacy will we leave?

There’s a lot of criticism today about people’s lack of civic responsibility, but stories of altruism and generosity also abound. For example, there are countless people who abandon a comfortable lifestyle to help those during major disasters. And more and more, we see people who want to make a difference, who are looking to leave a positive imprint on the world and a legacy of goodness.

But a legacy isn’t only about leaving what you earned but also what you learned, and we all have an opportunity to make a difference. It doesn’t call for wealth, fame or even taking giant steps—you don’t have to be a Gandhi or a Martin Luther King to leave a positive mark right now, one that will linger long after you’re gone.

So where can you start?

  • Identify What Matters to You

What’s important to you? What are your values? How do you want your life to touch others? What would make you proud? If you had to do one thing to improve your world, what would your contribution be? How can you increase the well-being of those who depend on you? How can you leave your mark on whatever you do?

The answer to these introspective questions will help you develop a meaningful philosophy of life that goes beyond just creating financial wealth. Your words become the building blocks of your legacy. Knowing what’s important, what drives you and how you want to be remembered creates tremendous clarity in how you should live your life.

As Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner remind us in “A Leader’s Legacy,” by asking ourselves how we want to be remembered, we plant the seeds for living our lives as if we matter.” Considering your legacy gives you a compass to help you move with purpose and determination even in the most uncertain times. Creating a legacy statement will help you commit to what you wrote down and live your life in line with your higher values.”

This week’s focus is all about your legacy. How would you want to be remembered? Do you want to leave this world knowing that you made a difference? Are you looking to leave a positive imprint and a legacy of goodness?

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