Do you remember where you were when John F. Kennedy died? I was in a social studies class as a senior. I would bet that the majority of readers know exactly where they were and what they were doing even though it happened in 1964; how about last week when Michael Jackson passed, a tragic event for sure. Michael was a great talent and nobody can take that away from him regardless of the fact that he did some strange things in his life.
Death and tragedy like
the events of 9/11 have a way of putting permanent marks on our memories if not
our souls. We never forget. I’ll always remember the day I found out my dad
passed away even though I was only nine years old and hadn’t seen him since I
was five, and what I was doing when my mother passed. Death and tragedy just
seem to mark our memories with permanent ink. Their legacy often lives on long
after their passing.
Everyone, regardless of
our status in life, leave some sort of legacy behind. Michael Jackson’s legacy
has yet to be completely defined, but certainly part of it is going to be about
his talent and how he touched millions, and part will probably encapsulate some
of his weirdness.
I prefer to remember
him for his great talents. So, what do you want your legacy to say about you?
I’ve posed that question to countless CEOs and Presidents - “What exactly do you
want your legacy to be?”
I have been
impressed with how many have really put some thought into that question.
However, I have been equally disappointed in how many CEOs, presidents and
owners have really never given it much thought. Speaking from my personal
experience and my own deep seeded feelings regarding what I would like to be known
for, recognized for and thought of as I go down that retirement pathway and
even that final walk in my life, I began keeping a journal.
I believe our legacy is
not only defined by what we accomplish in life but more importantly it is
defined by how we live our life and by how much we give back in the way we
treat our fellow human beings. Maybe the fact that some famous people have recently
left us can inspire you to start thinking seriously about what your legacy is
going to be. It sure has made me stop and revisit my goals, motivations and
objectives in life.
I believe this journal
I have been keeping will not only chronicle my own personal story; my
successes, my defeats, my challenges, my GOALS and DREAMS, my own ideas and
thoughts, but I believe this journal will help me maintain focus and
priority on my personal legacy. It will become something my family can review
now and into the future. I am hoping it can become one of the more priceless
collections for the family as the years roll on.
doesn’t matter if you are 30 years old or if you’re older than 60. Creating
your own journal can do wonders for your effectiveness as a leader. It will
help you put things in perspective. It will allow you to create focus, purpose
and clarity of vision.
matter how old you are; learning of Michael’s death, Farrah’s death and even
the death of famous pitch man Billy Mays, paints a clear picture of how little
control we have over life and death. People die every day and the older you get
the more you realize how short life is.
squander the opportunity to work on your personal legacy. Start doing something
now that is proactive. You don’t have to keep a journal as I suggest; but do
something before it’s too late. Life is short.
bucket list. A list of things you absolutely want to accomplish before you leave
this world. It is now a perfect time to begin thinking about and
documenting what you want your legacy to be. It will help you put things in
perspective; it will add serenity to your family life that will help you
maintain balance. It could help you define who you are.
leave this world with an incomplete list. Don’t leave this world with
unfulfilled dreams. Don’t leave this world without a legacy that your family
and friends can be proud of. The pursuit of your legacy is the chase of your
lifetime. It is never too late to become what you want to become. Start doing
it now. Time may be running out.