“The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.”
—Kalu Ndukwe Kalu, former NFL Defensive End
Image from Unsplash by Evan Kirby
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to speak at an Optimist Club meeting here in southeast Michigan. Part of their meeting was given to announcements about a half-dozen public service and fundraising projects with which the group is involved.
It was inspiring to see how engaged, enthusiastic, and full of life the club members were as they put others first. They are clearly building a legacy through their passionate, contributory efforts.
Who in either your personal or professional worlds could benefit most from what you have to give? How will you both feel when you do?
Feel free to let me know what happens if you choose to take on this exercise.
“A life is what we live, a legacy is what we leave, and leadership is the bridge.”
-Jay Goff, Coach, Speaker, Trainer
“The Mighty Mac” Image from Flickr by C. Hanchey
When I Googled the word “Leadership,” 750 million hits came up. Clearly, a lot of folks around the world—including Jay Goff—see great value in this important skill.
When we simplify this widely studied and examined quality, we can agree that it must include speaking about and engendering a desired future in others. The great news today’s quote suggests is that we can all use this bridge to leave a legacy and a lasting difference as we live each day.
Where and in what ways can you develop and expand your own leadership abilities to create a more extraordinary life, and leave the personal and professional legacy you desire?
Big things get a lot of attention in our world. Society makes a point to recognize and celebrate things that stand out, such as:
The highest mountains
The tallest trees
The biggest buildings
The largest ships
The biggest athletes
The richest people
The largest homes
Meanwhile, when prompted to look closely at what brings them personal satisfaction and a life of meaning and purpose, many people list the often-overlooked “little things” that bring them smiles and fill their hearts.
If you, too, see the “little things” as big things in your life, consider generating a list of 20, 50, or even 100 “little things” that mean a lot to you.
-Mahatma Gandhi, leader of Indian independence movement in British-ruled India
Mahatma Gandhi was always helping and concerned about others. His aims in life included truth, non-violence, spirituality, honesty, discipline, and loyalty. His name, Mahatma, means “a great soul.” He was chosen as “Man of the Millennium” by the BBC.
Once, while Gandhi’s train was pulling out of a station, a European reporter ran to his compartment window. “Do you have a message I can take back to my people?” he asked. It was Gandhi’s day of silence, a vital respite from his demanding speaking schedule, so he didn’t reply. Instead, he scrawled these words on a scrap of paper and passed it to the reporter: “my life is my message.”
If your life were your message, what would the people around you say about you? Given, hopefully, many successful and meaningful years ahead, what new or different messages would your legacy include?
Please consider reviewing the links below to examine Gandhi’s extraordinary message in greater detail.
“It’s not about an opening weekend. It’s about a career, building a set of films you’re proud of.”
– George Clooney, actor
If you were to win an award for lifetime achievement, what would the highlight reel contain before they introduced you?
In today’s society, we seem enthralled with one hit wonders in many areas of life. We watch the hottest YouTube clips or we listen to the catchiest songs of the day. We focus on subjects that grab the headlines on the nightly news or even in our RSS feeds.
Clooney is suggesting we consider our enduring legacy as the effort and accomplishment over time that demonstrates staying power and some permanence.
What else do you want or need to accomplish in the year ahead to be worthy of your own lifetime achievement award?