What Will Be Your Legacy?
Updated: Dec 30, 2019
New Year, New You. What is your focus now that there is a change in a calendar year?
Goals can be useful. Resolutions can work (even though statistics say that most people give them up in a short amount of time.)
What about making some intentions? To me, intention is like an arrow pointed at the target. All you have to do is aim and let the arrow fly. Intentions can take you far. Unless of course you lose your target. Keeping focus is key. Finding your "why" is another.
More valuable than even intentions to get you to where you need to go, is to focus on the legacy you want to leave behind.
Martin Luther King Jr. left behind a legacy of civil rights and non-violent protests. Even after his death, we are reminded of the value of how to bounce back after numerous setbacks and make a stand for the values you hold near and dear.
Usually a legacy involves overcoming a challenge, a boundary or an outmoded belief system and forging new ground in order to open a trail for those that come after.
Legacy makers are usually the pathfinders, wayshowers and rebels with a cause. They take the risks necessary to leave behind something greater.
if you have a passion and a purpose to make your mark in life, yet somehow lose energy around your resolutions, perhaps you can look further than just the goals you have for yourself. To keep you motivated when times get tough, look instead to what you want to leave behind.
In Dave Lavinsky's book, Start At The End, he writes,
"I have found that in all the goals and intentions and resolutions that people make, there is a need to go forward. Yet, in doing so many can get bogged down with the details of how to get there. By risking going to the big picture and asking yourself where is it you are trying to end up, you can then shift your attention to the completion of the goal, which changes your focus dramatically."
You may resist at first risking going to the "big picture" because it can be scary, intimidating even, to visit what may presently seem to be out of your reach. This can apply to any subject matter, from relationship ideals to financial. It is the human habit to play it safe. But, if we are talking about "The New Human Leader" which I am, it means stretching yourself beyond the 'safe' zone and into the realm of possibilities.
Back to the subject at hand...
What will be your legacy?
To find that out, start at the end. I mean the real end. The end of this life. Whoah. That is a stretch, I know. Just suppose you were on your deathbed. You are aware that you only have a short time left on earth. In the final moments you review what you are leaving behind. The goods. The accomplishments. The legacy that will be left in your name. What is the byproduct of your life on earth?
In visiting this imaginative scenario, what comes to mind? If you feel good about what you leave behind, you know that you are on track now in your life. If you feel anxious about what legacy you leave, it may be time to set your house in order.
My father is near the end of his life and we have sobering conversations about what he wants said at his memorial. He doesn't want self aggrandizement. He wants instead for us to share the lessons we have learned or the qualities we have developed because of his influence. I have to say, that was cause for pause. To hear this proud but humble man say, he doesn't want it all about him. He wants to know what is our takeaway? What is the legacy that we feel he is leaving behind? These questions are reasons enough to reflect on his parenting legacy.
John Maxwell stresses the value of focusing on leadership legacy. For him, it is to create better leaders. John shares, "Achievement comes to people who are able to do great things for themselves. Success comes when they lead followers to do great things for them. But a legacy is created only when leaders put their people into a position to do great things without them. The legacy of successful leaders lives on through the people they touch along the way. The only things you can change permanently are the hearts of the people you lead."
My goals are similar to help create stellar stewards those that want to do good on the planet through their own transformation and through the lives they influence. If I died tomorrow, I know I have done much towards that end.
What will be your legacy? Whether it is creating a lasting love, or a transformational healing, or an educational institution or amassing a fortune, starting at the end and then centering your goals of today to meet the legacy of tomorrow should help you get clear on this new year's intentions.
Our future, the future of the next generations are depending on what you do now and what you will leave behind. Think on these things to motivate and keep you inspired, next time you need a boost of energy for following through on your goals, resolutions and intentions.
© All Rights Reserved. Holly Shantara - Divining the Divine®️ On The Go Guidance & LifeStar Coaching®️ For The New Human