I believe that eternity is in our hearts, and because of that I think that we should strive to build, influence, and create with an eternal perspective. Living life with an eternal perspective causes us to think about leaving a legacy. It’s no secret I’m a big dreamer, and I think a dream should be connected to other people and therefore our legacy should be more than our accomplishments. I know the dreams I carry are related to my family and to the future generations of my family. Our lives are not just for us to enjoy, but they serve a bigger purpose that include other people. There is not much that we do in life that is not interdependent.
Consider Martin Luther King, Jr. He obviously had a big dream that was birthed in his heart, but it was directly related to other people. His dream included him, but was more about people than him. His dream was so big that it outlived him and still affects us today. Dr. King left a legacy. Benjamin Franklin said; “if you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” The size of a persons dream or purpose is determined if it outlives you.
How can we begin to live with legacy in mind?
1. Don’t just leave behind money but leave behind principles. I’ve never once thought about a monetary inheritance, but when I think about where I’ve come from and who I came from I remember the principles, the memories, and the stories. Are you instilling principles that last beyond your life?
2. Don’t just work but contribute. Leaving a legacy is giving back to people who need it most. How are you giving to your family? How are you giving to your community? How are you giving to those less fortunate?
3. Consider your choices. If our lives are interdependent then the choices we make not only affect us but those that we love. Stephen Covey says; “The world we live in is the legacy of those who have gone before us. The choices we make in it create a legacy for those who will follow.” The good and bad decisions we make have an exponential affect.
Our lives are very special in that even when we die we have eternal affects. What trail will you leave behind? What will your legacy be? [tweet this] I can look back over my life and see that my life has been changed and benefited from teachers, coaches, my parents, and mentors. They have made a mark on my life. What will your mark be?
You can start today by positively influencing someone else. You can start by encouraging someone. You can start by doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. If you want leave a legacy start by thinking about what you can leave behind.
“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” – Shannon L. Alder