Leaving a Legacy was the theme of a recent meeting I facilitated. When the participants were asked about their legacy, it was interesting that most had difficulty finding answers other than their monetary estate.
Some people leave what could be called a large legacy in both money and their impact on the world. They impact millions of lives through their lifetime of work and their money. For most of us, our legacy may be smaller but I propose it’s no less impactful to the world.
When I asked the participants to talk about individual patients they had helped, they all remembered at least one patient whose life was changed by the work, the care, the wisdom that was given. However, every person at the meeting had to stop and think a while to find that memory. When, in fact, they likely had many of these patient experiences every day.
A few months ago I heard from a CEO whom I had coached several years ago when he was a lower level executive. He told me about his recent promotion to CEO. He said he credited part of his success to hearing my voice in his head every day helping him be more intentional and aware of his impact on others.
Last year, another man told me that my recommendation that he attend a men’s retreat over a dozen years ago, had not only greatly impacted his life but the lives of another 28 men that followed his recommendation. Wow, who could know the impact on the world of one 15 minute conversation between two men over a cup of coffee? That’s the ripple effect of one thoughtful, intentional moment of caring conversation.
Maybe your legacy is nothing more than the moments of kindness you’ve shown to another that gets passed on and on. Maybe it’s the thought or the one idea you imparted to another. Maybe it’s the way you are with other people on a daily, moment by moment basis that is your legacy to the world – the ripple of kindness, respect, love and service you show for the people in your lives.
If this ripple is your legacy, then it is important that you pay attention to your thoughts in the moment because the next person you meet, the next person you say something to, the next time you listen deeply to another is putting a framework around your legacy.
It’s also important to remember and celebrate when you do a good deed, provide good service and make a difference in the daily lives of the people you interact with. This acknowledgment of these moments feeds your desire to repeat it. It’s not just patting yourself on the back, it’s creating the energy and the warmth of recognition to do it again and again.
Staying lights-on, keeping yourself intentional in word and deed, remaining conscious and aware of your impact on others, having kindness and gratitude as watchwords for your daily living, and recognizing you make a difference is the best way for the pebble you drop to become the huge ripple of your legacy.
Keep your powerful ripples going!
If you are enjoying the messages of this blog, pass it on; let others know; create a ripple of positive thought.