The old building was dark and musty. Organ music played softly as the few people in the audience slowly got up and walked by the casket to say their last respects. As the organ stopped, the funeral director asked if anyone would like to say something in remembrance. The room was silent for a minute, and then a somewhat disheveled man stood up and said, “He told good jokes at the bar.”
The room went silent, and after a few minutes of a well-worn generic funeral presentation, everyone was led out of the room.
As I thought about the funeral, I felt really sad. Here was a man who had lived over 70 years, and the only words, his only legacy, was that he told good jokes at the bar.
A few years later, I attended another funeral. This time the room was packed. People were lined up outside to get in. The event was somber but uplifting. The speakers were numerous, saying how much the person had done for them and how he had changed their lives. There were pictures and mementos all over the place. Children and friends lined the halls. His legacy was alive.
It was such a stark contrast to the other funeral.
One was a harsh empty life, and the other one full of joy and celebration.
One was for an uncle, the other for my dad.
When you think about your life, what will you leave behind?
It’s a sobering question, but an important one.
If you think about it today, it can help you plan the rest of your life.
A Legacy may include
- Children and grandkids
- Money and Possessions
- Ideas and Ideals
Michael Hyatt in his popular Life Plan asks you to picture yourself at your own funeral and ask the question…
How do I want to be remembered?
He suggests that you write this out for different people close to you including your
It’s also a good idea to take an inventory and ask yourself…
What will I leave behind?
This list might include…
- Spouse, Children, and Grandchildren
- Ideas and ideals
- Faith and Values
- Money and Possessions
- Books, Pictures, and Videos
Depending on how things are setup, ask yourself…
Will I outlive my life?
- Will my business carry on?
- Will my faith and ideals carry on to future generations?
- Will my money and possessions be used to help others?
- Will my books, pictures, videos, and blog enrich audiences to come?
The bottom line…
You were created for a purpose… Time is short
Write down things that matter to you… and others
Ask yourself: What are you thankful for?
Take time to record your life journey.
Be an example to your children.
Take some time and explore your Core Values:
- What do you believe in?
- What really matters to you?
- What values help govern how you live your life?
- What values do you want to pass on to your children?
How well does your current life reflect your core values?
When we think of our legacy it’s often helpful to think of others that have influenced us.
For me, two people come to mind.
The first is my dad. He was my greatest mentor. He always had a positive attitude, a smile on his face, and a love of exercise. He brightened a room when he walked in. I’ll never forget the important things he taught me.
The second is an author named Og Mandino. For years while I was in sales, I read his motivational books. They helped lift me up when the going got tough. They got me through the dreary days. Even though Og died some years ago, his words live on. His story of a human ragpicker in the Greatest Miracle, has stuck with me for years.
When you are planning out your life, your legacy is a good place to start.
As author Stephen Covey says; Start with the end in mind.
To help you get started, I’m putting together a workbook, to help you plan out your future.
It will be built around the acronym of L.I.G.H.T
L = Legacy
I = Impact
G = Goals
H = Habits
T = Time
This book will have numerous worksheets and guides to take you from Z to A. To help you find out what you truly want, what you truly believe, and help you create goals, habits and daily plans to help you get there.
I hope to have the workbook available soon, followed later in the year with a complete book.
(Any suggestions for a book title would be greatly appreciated)
In the meantime, please take a minute and leave a comment by answering the following question.
Question: What legacy do you want to leave?