We all begin life at GO, and all roads lead to a final rendezvous; the difference is what we do en route. Paths chosen, actions taken, and a host of decisions made lead ultimately to a unique legacy.
It’s non-negotiable: You will leave a legacy. The question is not whether you’ll leave a legacy but what legacy you will leave.
Your legacy comprises both ends and means. Is winning really winning when you are ashamed of how victory came? The means by which you move through your life provide the working platform that supports your goals. Style, courtesy, honesty, respect-these are the qualities that make for an inspiring legacy. The way you live your life has an effect on how you are remembered. How can the ends of your efforts be respected if the means make you want to blush in embarrassment?
Thinking of your legacy is like starting anything new. You are either gung-ho or baffled. To break through the legacy blocks, close your eyes and envision the outcome of a successful life- our successful life. What do you see? What do you hear? Who are you with? How do you feel?
This picture may start a bit fuzzy, but stick with it. Contemplation brings clarity, and when the picture is in focus, study what you see-your legacy.
As you age, the clock and calendar force you to make a move. Time does not permit dallying with options. Your goals must be clear, responsibilities fulfilled, intentions and actions honorable. You must decide: If not this way, there is no other way. Otherwise, kiss the legacy you envision goodbye.
You can dodge the questions for quite some time. Why am I here? What will I leave behind? But, eventually, we all reach our own philosophical puberty and realize that these questions call for-in fact, demand-answers. To arrive at the point that you think seriously about your legacy, you must first reach a level of reality and commitment that represents an eternity to follow.
Retire into yourself and think. The wonderful part of considering your legacy is the clarity it brings to daily decisions. Each decision moves you closer to or further from your legacy. Your legacy offers advice on how to live in the present in order to be remembered well when you are gone.
Make this life of yours into a work of art. Your legacy is a self-portrait, the signature of your life’s presence. It will be summed up in a few words-let those words be good and true. Remember, they will talk about you when you are gone.
We only live once, but once is enough if we do it right. Live your life with class, dignity, and style so that an exclamation, rather than a question mark, signifies it!
So what legacy awaits you? When you take your final bow, who will you be? How will you enter eternity? Will you be just a footnote in history? Every day the plot thickens, the cement hardens, the mystery deepens. Live to answer and honor these questions, because when it comes to your legacy, everything counts!
By Gary Ryan Blair