Legacy

I found this article that mentioned a person’s legacy–the thing that others remember about you for generations to come, long after you’ve passed on.  My first thought was, “Who could think of their legacy at a time like this?” and I felt myopic immediately afterward.

Your legacy is being built every single day, just by being the person you are, and the things you do and say.  Think about how many people in history are remembered by simply saying words:  Four score and seven years ago.  I cannot tell a lie.  I have a dream.  Ask not what your country can do for you.  One small step for man.  Tear down this wall.  (Also, to my chagrin,) Yes we can.

And the people who did heroic things, whose story will be told and retold every July 4, every June 6 (D-Day), every December 7 (Pearl Harbor), and every September 11.

I have to admit, I have nothing to do with any of those quotes or dates, BUT.  Do you know what date I will be associated with?  January 30, 2027.  That is my birthday, the day I turn 45, and it’s the day by which I will (hopefully) be worth $10 million.  With some luck and a willingness to learn, I’ll be the first person in my family to have amassed the kind of wealth we all dream of.  And I’m hoping it’ll be the day I can say I’ve achieved the biggest, hairiest, most audacious goal I’ve ever set for myself.  I’m working toward that goal for myself, but I’m sure my wife and our kids will tell our (and their) kids the epic, blood-sweat-and-tears-filled tale of how their Dad fought off The Man, and eventually became Him (well, not that Him, of course, but you get me).

Actually I’m lying; I don’t expect that at all, because if the words of other successful people are correct, my achievement will have had nothing to do with anything but an ability to make smart, calculated risks, and have a plan to execute.  But the point is, the legacy I’m hoping to leave with my family (above having been a compassionate, energetic, outgoing man of integrity and character) is one of giving and generosity; to get there, I have to achieve this goal.  (Actually I know I don’t have to achieve it to be generous, but it’s a fantastic impetus for me.)

Huh.  I guess I was keeping my legacy in mind all along.

Tell me what your legacy is going to be.  Are you controlling it, or letting it be whatever it is?

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  1. November 25th, 2012

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