What is Your Legacy?
How does this Affect Your Life?
lega•cy (leg?? s?)
noun pl. legacies -•cies
1. money or property left to someone by a will; bequest
2. anything handed down from, or as from, an ancestor
3. a student applying or admitted to a college or university who is a relative of an alumnus
A consideration (for me) born in 2010…
Though I must admit, I have never really considered what my relationship is to this word or concept, I did begin a small survey on this subject. For reasons I can not explain, the consideration of the concept of my own legacy started while I was sitting in auditorium listening to a concert performance. So on the drive home, I started a conversation with my wife and my sister regarding what “Legacy” really might mean to me. It dawned on me that this might actually be an important consideration for how I might behave as I live my life. What you may not know about me, and a perhaps an important piece of information about me, is I will be turning 60 on my next birthday. This may have something to do with my thought process.
So what does the concept of “Legacy” mean beyond the dictionary definition. We discussed a possible broader description of the concept than leaving money or property as a legacy. We discussed what it means beyond handing “something” down to the next generations. We tried to settle on the concept that “a Legacy” might include a “Karmic” or “Psychic” legacy of intended or unintended “good deeds” that are either acknowledged or unacknowledged. By your own definition, of leaving a positive footprint on the world you walk upon in your life. Doing something good for the world. For example, my sister suggested that she tried to do at least 3 “good deeds” per day, like letting another driver into traffic instead of cutting them off or making them wait. I believe that these good deeds do build an increased level of “good karmic energy” but do not quite meet my concept of leaving a legacy.
For me, a “Legacy” might include a planned or unplanned connection with another person or organization which causes a change in movement into a more positive direction (my definition of positive.) For example, the afternoon I spent with a friend that convinced him, or more accurately, influenced him to become a physician rather than to follow his other choice of becoming a lawyer. And, he did train to become a physician.
Or perhaps, a legacy which includes raising children who by action are instilled with the “nature” to do good in the world. I can not claim full responsibility for early training that lead my sons to be altruistic people who consider “giving back” a part of daily activities, where being of service is a way of life. I have no control over how my sons conduct their daily business and many who know our family would say that their mother has instilled in them a higher set of values to be of service than I have, so I can not really, honestly, claim my sons’ good work as my legacy.
My work has been part of my legacy. I have attempted to provide good service to people and organizations and this good service includes experiences in good health and well being for people to model. But, on the occasion that someone who I have coached or trained approaches me and offers an comment of appreciation for some part of an interaction with me or my work that may have had a positive effect upon their life, I can not fully feel that I can accept responsibility or blame for this movement. It was their choice to use the information or experience to make positive change in their life. They had to follow through and to do the work to make the change.
So I wondered whether the concept of legacy somehow meant that this concept required a grander action like getting a wing of a hospital endowed and then named after me or my family. Most people can not qualify to leave a legacy at this level. So my confusion continues. How should I live my life, and do my work, with concept of leaving a positive legacy of my time walking, in this current body, on the Earthly plane of existence?… (Notice the Eastern concept of Karma and re-incarnation in my thought process.) I would like to maintain my vigilance and offer a life of service and good intentions in my work. I would like to be known as a good friend, a good husband, a good father, and possibly a good: teacher, trainer, coach, clinician….. Perhaps most importantly, I would like to be known for being a person who listened well enough to be able to share a moment in time with another person (or persons) where all participants felt the positive impact of this connection. Yes, I would like to be known for respecting my partners in communication enough to create a bond that allows for deeper examination and adjustments that lead to positive movement.
But what does “Legacy” mean for you? By considering your legacy, will this influence the way you choose to live and work? Will you set goals, and follow through, that include reaching out to your partners in life’s experiences and create bonds where trust and support will create positive change?
I am not sure I fully understand why I have not taken the time to consider the concept of Legacy until I reached the milestone of a 60th birthday but I know that I am never too old or too young to start the process of self-examination of my life’s purpose and how to move toward a life of greater service.
Are YOU looking for your “Legacy?” As part of my “legacy,” I offer information and coaching on stress management and improving productivity through my website at www.dstress.com. I hope that this provides you with some useful information.