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Image by Bill Davenport

 

Some days, when you’re not entirely sure what you’re doing with your life, think about asking yourself the following question:

What would I like to be known for when my time runs out in life? What legacy do I want to leave behind?

Or let’s put it another way.

At your inevitable funeral one day, is THIS what you want people to say about you?

“Barry was a great guy. He was an excellent emailer and he excelled at random web surfing. When he wasn’t doing these things, he put together some mad TPS reports. He really kept this bureaucracy functioning smoothly.”

Or would you rather they say something like this?

“Barry had some phenomenal output during his life. Not only did he entertain people and make them laugh, but he was very generous with his time – helping a huge number of people achieve their own dreams, and understand themselves, and the world, much better. Barry was an excellent writer, entertainer, and positive influence to all of those around him. He made his time count, and his output will be cherished and appreciated by many generations to come.”

Of course, if your name isn’t Barry, you might be at the wrong funeral…

But I digress.

The point of this

I’m not suggesting that the above approach should be taken as an ego trip. Nor am I suggesting that what people think of you is important.

All I am suggesting is that we all consider carefully just what sort of legacy we want to leave behind.

I’m not suggesting it needs to be a cure for cancer or some other groundbreaking achievement. But I feel it needs to be SOMETHING. It needs to be something that goes beyond just selfishness.

It also needs to be something that goes beyond “money”.

Being financially rich IS NOT a legacy.

Just passing on money to the next generation isn’t necessarily a legacy either.

Remember, it’s only money at the end of the day. And, when you really think about it, the concept of money is a pretty absurd one.

On the other hand, leaving a legacy of thoughts, ideas and feelings – that’s something that has the power to change lives. And that’s something we should all aspire to do.