I was once told that we find our way and start our careers in our 20s; we work out tails off and raise our families in our 30-40s; and, we coast through our 50s to retire in our 60s. I think that there is an element of truth to this but as I get older and closer to my eventual retirement, I have started thinking much more about legacy.
What is a legacy? To me, it is what you build and leave behind and what people remember you for. It is an imprint of our life and our career, which inevitably touched many people.
Now I am in my early 50’s. I feel that I have had a great career, worked with many amazing people, have achieved a level of success, and yet, I am thinking more about that legacy now than ever before.
I always recommend that people write their own eulogy. Why? Starting with the end in mind, it allows us to chart out what we want to accomplish in our life. It also gives us time to achieve that vision. Another “like” exercise is to determine that legacy that I mentioned. It is similar in that both identify what you would like to accomplish and how you want to be remembered.
I cannot stress how important these little exercises can be. It can truly define us and give our lives the meaning that they deserve.
I know that I want to be remembered as a person who helped other people. I want to be known for the good that I did, the jobs that I provided, and the people who I helped to learn, grow and prosper. I would say that there is no greater success, at least in my mind, than helping others achieve the skills and confidence to be successful. It is rare that someone goes out of their way to be this mentor, guide, or bellman who can change someone else’s life. I know that I want to be remembered as this person.
What do you want to be remembered for? What do you want to accomplish? What will be your legacy?
There is no better time than now to think about this and give your life the meaning that it deserves. If you do this, you will feel a great sense of accomplishment when it is time to retire and when your time comes to leave this planet.