You don’t leave a legacy, you live it. When the last word of the story of your life is written it will be about who you were, how you loved and how you lived. You create your story every day…not on the last day of your life.
A common introduction to the concept of leaving a legacy is when we hear about millionaires who leave their fortunes to a good cause. In most cases, these financial legacies were not generated overnight but over a lifetime. The stories of the old retiree living the simple life who leaves behind a large estate no one knew existed to a worthy cause understands the principle of building a legacy bit by bit, dollar by dollar, over time. So many simple, single acts adding up to an outcome with significant impact.
It is the actions you are taking and the who you are being in your life and the lives of those you touch that writes your legacy for you. You are the author of your story. You choose the role you play in your own life and the lives of others. One of the pitfalls is thinking that we have an unlimited amount of time available to build our legacy. We’re busy surviving today with a dream of some day making a difference in a way that means something to us.
My work in the film business was hard to leave behind. It allowed me to survive. I knew my job extremely well which made it comfortable other than the typical challenges of production. But I didn’t feel I was making the kind of difference in the world that I could with my coaching. It is an honest living but selling cars and toilet paper was not the legacy I saw for myself. And my move into full time coaching did not happen overnight. It was a series of significant but smaller steps over a two year period that began with starting my memoir and developing what became a full time coaching business that later transformed into the greatest opportunity of my life running my own wellbeing division at The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching.
What small steps can you take today or this week that contribute to the legacy you are now building, whether or not you’ve been conscious of it. What is the sum total of your daily actions result in and are those results in alignment with your core values and your mission? You can begin by asking yourself, what is one thing you truly care about? How can you translate that into an action that SAYS you care today.
Don’t wait any longer. Start taking simple steps this week. When you look back a year from now, if you keep this up, you will be surprised at how far you’ve come and how great an impact you’ve had. This is the beginning of writing the story of your life in a way you can live into your own legacy.