Saturday, November 6, 2010
How to Create a Legacy
What do you want to be remembered for? How do you stand the tests of time for people to remember you years after your accomplishments? What do you want your children or future children to inherent from you? As younger people, we do not seem too preoccupied with these notions. We believe we have plenty of time to make our marks on the world. Though you may not be able to achieve everything you want today, these are questions you should be answering or at least setting out a template to answer. Everyone talks about creating a legacy and these are some things that will surely get you closer to being noted in the history books.
1) Focus on The Timeless Not the Trendy: Everybody wants to be part of the IN crowd but the problem with the IN crowd is that different people are funneled in and out of it. You may be popular one day forgotten the next. We can all name countless rappers, singers, athletes, businessmen that were on top of the world and a year years later, their names only come up around the water cooler during reminiscing of yesteryear. There is nothing more depressing or disheartening than having it all and then being reduced to obscurity. To avoid this heartbreak, make whatever you decide to do have a timeless classic feel. Some things never get old or go out of season. And you should have that type of appeal. Instead of falling to every get rick quick scheme and job antics, always think if this decision could sustain you down the line. People sometimes ask me why I go through so much school and I always answer the question the same way. That little piece of paper is permanent. No one can take it away from me but they can take employment and popularity. Education is final. Every decision you make should fuel your future while building up your present. Why put work into something that will not last?
2) Stand For Something: We all know the common saying:Those Who Stand For Nothing, Fall For Anything spoken by Alexander Hamilton, Malcolm X and countless other figures. Its popular because it is true. You should always have a set of values that are uniquely you. These values will define you as a person and give you staying power.I'm not here to tell you what these morals and values should be, nobody should. But once you set them, do not deviate from them. When you deviate from your own values you degrade yourself as a person. You're basically saying "I told myself I was this person but I lied to myself. I don't know who I am" And no one respects that.
3)Stay Consistent: This concept goes with the one above. But it goes beyond being true to the person you want to be. You have to also be consistent in your business and personal lives. Think about the people in your life....Consistent people are not always the most popular but they are ALWAYS the most necessary. When you have a problem, you call the consistent person. When you need to trust someone, you call the consistent person. You RESPECT the consistent person. Flaky people never get far because eventually people stop putting their trust in that person's hands. And sadly, once you are labeled as flaky, it is almost impossible to lose that stigma.
4) Demand Success Now let me start by saying this....success means different things to different people. I am not talking about money, I am talking about the achievement of well thought out goals. The ultimate goal is happiness and contentment with life so set up goals that let you reach those. Then when you do obtain them, you have reached what is called success. Now having said that, DEMAND success from your life. Life isn't always going to be roses. There are going to be plenty of times you fall short or completely bomb a desired goal. There will be times when things out of your control avert your plans or make the road more difficult. But stay on the same road. In life, you get what you demand. If you point your car west in New York, you will get to California. I can't tell you when, I can't tell you what you will encounter on the way, but eventually you will make it. Success if like that too. Have clear cut goals, drive, tenacity, and demand that life give you want you want. That drive sets in motion your legacy.
5) Be a Humanitarian. Spread Love and Resources: This one to me is really important. God gives you what you give to others. If you have made it, you are duty bound to give it back to other people. The world needs help and the world needs love and if you are in possession of those, you are an asset. There is nothing worse than seeing individuals with money talent and wisdom waste it away when people of the world are in so desperate need of only a tiny piece of what you have. Its like you are sitting there will a full ham and cheese sandwich and there is a kid starving next to you. With just a piece of a sandwich (you can still eat well!), you have changed the outcome of that kid's life. And if that wasn't enough, giving back feels good!
At the end of the day you want people to come to your funeral because they genuinely miss your impact on the world. The people that are remembered favorably all had these things in common and you are just as deserving to be in the memories of the people as they are. Live Life, Love Life, Love Others, and Pass it On.
Hope This Helps,