What is your Legacy? Each day as we wake up and go about our daily routines, we have an opportunity to leave our footprint on the world. Our legacy is a reflection of how our deeds and actions are remembered by those whose lives we’ve affected either directly or indirectly. The beauty of life is that we get to decide, by the actions we take, what our legacy will be. Here are a few principles that I have learned help create a legacy that I can be proud of:
- Persevere- Remember your current situation isn’t your destination. Never give up. Although you may be going through a rough patch either at work, home, or in a relationship, don’t allow this to define you. Stay true to your values and handle adversity with integrity. Doing so will keep your values consistent with your actions thus enhancing your legacy in the long run.
- Selfless Service/Help Someone- Contribute and give of yourself without expectation of being recognized or someone returning the favor. Whenever I have given of myself either as a mentor, friend or anonymous contributor, the reward for me comes from within. People who aren’t always looking for recognition or payback usually stand apart as extraordinary.
- Do More Than Expected- Always do your best and then some. One of the definitions of integrity, is what you do when no one is looking. It is easier to give 100% when things are going well, but what about during adversity? Do you work just as hard to make sure you are giving greatest effort and leaving a legacy of hard work and committment?
- Make Your Words Count- Be a person that steers clear of negative talk. This includes negative self talk as well as talking ill of others. Stay clear of gossip and when you say something mean it! Leave a legacy that you are a person who is true to their word.
- Laugh and Smile- The ability to laugh and make others feel good about your presence is a gift. Don’t take yourself so seriously, be able to laugh at yourself and your shortcomings. Maya Angelo once said “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people never forget how you made them feel!”. Couldn’t have said it any better.
- Take A Risk- Going through life always playing it safe will keep you in mediocrity. Take a risk in life, on a relationship, on your dream career. The benefits of following your passion will allow you to leave behind something you believed in.
- Give Others Credit– Say thank you to a job well done and include others in successes. This takes time, effort and trust to build and develop relationships. Great leaders can enroll others and celebrate successes with others as well. It takes a special leader to enjoy successes without having to take all the credit. Your work will speak for itself and the when others feel part of the success, your legacy grows exponentially.
Shannon L. Alder once stated “Carve Your Names On Hearts, Not Tombstones. A Legacy Is Etched Into The Minds Of Others, And The Stories They Tell About You.” So, how do you define your Legacy? What are the habits you live by that will build your legacy?