Last year, someone very close to me passed away following a long fight with cancer. After the funeral, I started to think about what I would like to be remembered for. Would it be that I loved and served God? Would it be that I was a good wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend? Maybe, it would be that I was a good cook and hospitable. I might be remembered for the charity work I am doing with Empower 4 Life, that I hope will eventually change the lives of hundreds.
Yes, I would like to be remembered for all these things, but I also would like to be remembered for giving the gift of life to hundreds of at-risk, malnourished children all over the world through my social entrepreneurial project. You see, the fact that 1 child dies every 6 seconds from malnutrition and related causes, doesn’t just sadden me, it moves me to action. It is not just a statistic to me, it is a life lost! The aim of the company I am partnering with, is to link millions of consumers with millions of malnourished children. My personal aim is to link hundreds, if not thousands, of malnourished children by finding like-minded people who will passionately champion the cause with me.
When we do this for these children that have no voice, the Bible says, that it is though we are doing it for God. It is a way to love and serve Him. Matthew 25:35 “for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.” and 40 “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.”
Legacy is about what impact you have on generations to come, not in the amount of money you leave but in the type of life you lived. It isn’t about wishful thinking, it’s about a journey of determined doing that leads us to a life of significance rather than just success. Success can be short term but significance is the long-term value we place on our life to make a difference. Everyone’s legacy will be different and unique.
In his productivity classic ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’, Stephen Covey dedicates one of these habits to: “Thinking with the end in mind”. The way that we think with the end in mind, is to think about what our legacy will be.
By asking ourselves how we want to be remembered, we plant the seeds for living a life of purpose and significance. Purpose provides us with meaning, fulfillment and a whole lot of happiness! I like the way Maximus in the Gladiator puts it “What we do in life echoes through eternity.” Do you want your life and the difference you made, to echo not just in the present but also in the future and through to eternity?
I’m going to ask you a question now. I don’t want it to be something you read though and forget about straight away. Please write it down and really think about it.
What do you want your legacy to be?
Now think about the steps or actions you are going to take to make it happen!