What's Your Legacy

By: Ken Keis


"I wanna live 'til I die -- no more, no less."
Eddie Izzard, Comedian and Actor

Whatís Your Legacy?

Legacy: Something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past; a gift by will, especially of money or other personal property

Whatís your legacy going to be?

Far too many individuals wonít leave much of a mark. Why? They engage life half-heartedly -- primary wrapped up in themselves. Then they wonder why their lives are unfulfilling and miserable.

I have quoted the following research before, but it bears restating.

A group of individuals over the age of 70 were asked what they might do differently if they had the chance to live their lives over again. Their responses led to three straightforward yet profound insights.

1. They would take more risks.
What if you had taken that new position, moved earlier, bought that property 10 years ago, and so on? Using calculated risks, we must shift our strategies to emulate the mode of a winner.
2. They would take more time for themselves.
In our frantic, urgency-addicted society, taking time to reflect, be mellow, or just be still is rare -- even frowned upon. Our lives should not be based on angst and worry. We need to feel grounded, centered, and confident. I am the first to admit I am still learning that process. When we are racing on the treadmill of life and enjoying the adrenalin high, relaxation takes time. Do yourself a favor -- take the time.
3. They would commit to something that lasts beyond their lifetime.
Itís clear that as we get on in life, we reflect more on our contribution -- what we have given, rather than what we got or took. Maturity and wisdom come into play.

With regard to your legacy, is there something you have, are, or plan to do that will last beyond your lifetime? It could be something as simple and powerful as being a great parent.

You donít have to be famous to leave a legacy.

You donít have to make a public show to be important.

As I write this article, one of the most loved sports professionals living in our area has passed away of a heart attack. President of a national sports organization, at 69 he showed more passion for life than many individuals one third his age. The comments of those who knew him were similar -- he was an amazing person of fine character. He built championship teams in Canada and the US and everyone who knew him liked him.

The premise that being rude, mean, or cut-throat is a requirement for building a successful organization is completely negated by the way this man lived his life. His legacy is one of professionalism, respect, and caring. For him, status was never important. His legacy is that every person has value.

You cannot leave a positive legacy unless you are truly living and working on purpose. Your work should never be just a job; it should reflect the essence of who you are . . . your gifts, your talents, your most passionate interests.

Your life should reflect your contribution to causes you believe in. Rarely should you participate through forced obligation.

If you are in any type of leadership -- from parenting and teaching to supervision and executive leadership, you can encourage others to play from their strengths and enhance their legacy.

Regardless of whether you want to or not, you will be leaving a legacy in this life! Itís the price of admission.

So I ask you again -- whatís your legacy going to be?

- Are you leaving it up to chance or are you being intentional in the way you are living your life?
- What would others say at this very moment about your legacy?

Do you want to change that?

Donít wait! Start now!

ACTION STEPS

Whatís Your Legacy?

1. If you passed away today, what would your legacy be?
2. Does your current legacy reflect the way you want to be remembered or is it is less than what you desire?
3. What do you need to change so your legacy reflects your vision? Are you being intentional in your actions?
4. No matter who you are, you will leave a legacy -- good, bad, or indifferent. Itís the price of admission to this life. If you donít care about your legacy, what does that attitude say about your values?
5. Have you met people who donít care about anyone but themselves? How do they make you feel? How interested are you in helping those self-centered individuals?
6. Whom can you challenge to help them pay more attention to their legacy? How can you contribute to their growth?
7. Are there people in your circle who are draining you and putting you off-track from establishing your legacy? Maybe itís time to limit your exposure to toxic influences.
8. Rarely can a person leave a long-term legacy unless he or she is living and working on purpose.
9. Every single person reading this ezine has the opportunity to leave a positive legacy and make a difference. You can be a legacy-builder for yourself and others!

Until next time, keep Living On Purpose!

Ken Keis

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Ken Keis, MBA, CPC, is an internationally known author, speaker, and consultant. He is President and CEO of CRG Consulting Resource Group International, Inc., Many professionals herald CRG as the Number One global resource center for Personal and Professional Development.

For information on CRG Resources, please visit crgleader.com

For information on Kenís Training and Speaking Programs, please visit kenkeis.com

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