I’m going to talk to you about how to identify your legacy. Helping people to really identify the impact they want to have, whether it’s in their business, or whether it’s in their life, it’s something that I talk a lot about in my leadership, coaching. We’ll talk more about that later.
First of all, I want to ask you a question, what is the one thing that’s so valuable, not even money can buy it? Of course, I’m talking about time. The reason I’m talking about time, is because what we do with our time, is, of course, the thing that creates our reality. And our reality, is the thing that leaves our legacy.
We have to think about our time, whether it’s today, or whether it’s this month, or this year, what we’re choosing to do with our time is actually creating the reality that leaves the legacy behind us.
Often people talk to me about legacy and say, ‘Oh, it’s that thing in the future. It’s that thing that gets left?’ And of course, yes, it is. Legacy is what we leave. But I want us to think about it a little bit in terms of how do we identify a legacy more in the present time. Think of it like a footprint, we will all leave a legacy wherever we are, in whatever context, because it’s what we leave behind us, based on the emotional, the physical, the social impact that we have on others. A really important part of identifying our legacies is it’s not just about what we do, it’s about who we are, and how we’re being.
A lot of people leave a subconscious, unknown, unintentional legacy. Take, for example, a job that you’ve been in in the past, and you leave that job, and then people talk about you, maybe at you’re leaving party, and you hear people saying things you think, ‘Okay, so that’s the legacy I’ve left’. That’s what I mean by an unconscious, unintentional legacy. What I’m really wanting for people, particularly through my leadership coaching, and particularly for you here today is to get conscious about it and get intentional about it.
The connection with time is very real because how you use your time is how you are creating your legacy. So when I ask people about their legacy, and it’s the legacy they want to leave, I encourage them to think about it in any defined amount of time.
You can think about your legacy within the business that you’re running, within the job that you’ve currently got. You can also think about it in your entire life, or even beyond your life. A lot of people really care about leaving something behind, beyond this life that they have and that really opens something up. Because when you really start to think about what that means for you, what you’re actually describing is your purpose. It’s your why. So ‘why am I here, and what is my purpose?’, either in this life, or in this job, or in this business. And when you can get really clear on that, then that allows you to use your time intentionally each and every day.
When we’re starting to think about your what it is that you want to do, what I encourage you to do is think about it in three ways. There’s the legacy that we leave, that’s number one, then we have the legacy that we’re living, that’s number two, and then we have legacy that we’re leveraging. So before I explain that in detail, let’s just think of an example. If I were to say that I was going to die tomorrow, somebody had told me and I knew I was dying tomorrow, it would surely focus my attention on how I used my time in that last day. The things that were really critically important to me to make sure that I left that impact that I wanted to on those people that I cared about and in the world. But what about if that time that I was told I had before I was about to die was a month, I’ve got a little bit longer to really consider what could I do to have that lasting impact? And if you are thinking like that, you’re thinking, ‘okay, so if I had a day or if I had a month, what would I do with that time? What’s the most important things to me within that time?’ it starts to give you some clarity in identifying your legacy. So what about if it was a year? So someone’s told me that I’ve got a year to live? What am I going to do with that year?
It’s quite powerful to think about it in that way and start to list out really if that were the case what would be my top priorities? What are the most important things to me that I make sure I make happen with that time that I’ve got? Now, we all hope, of course, I’m not going to die tomorrow, or next month or next year. That’s not a reality. But if we still ask ourselves the same questions about what’s important to us, and if you were to do that as an exercise, and then list it out, then ask yourself in the last year, how have I been living that reality? Whatever you’ve written down, that really meant something to you in that question, how have you been living that? How much of it is a reality for you? And if your answer to that is yes, then fantastic, because you’re identifying your legacy, and you’re actually living it. If there are some things that you’re thinking, ‘hang on, no, in the last year, because I didn’t have that timeframe. I don’t know if I have’, then now’s the time to leverage it. What can you do in your life right now to start to leverage those things that matter? Those things that consciously and intentionally, you want to leave as your footprint for particular individuals, or particular communities, within the world. It doesn’t matter what it is, but it’s what matters to you and therefore, it’s your footprint, emotionally, physically, and socially. So you can start to think about if I haven’t lived it, and if I’m not living it, how do I leverage it? What small differences could I make? I’ll give you an example. I really, really care about people having an opportunity to learn. Lifelong learning is a huge passion of mine and I believe that the minute that we stop learning, it’s kind of over. So for me, I want people to have access to learning, and I want them to be able to enjoy and embrace learning within their lives. I was becoming increasingly aware of communities around the world, that didn’t have an opportunity to have that access. So for me, within my business, I make sure that I just drop that sort of penny in the ocean and just help out a little bit in the way that I can, through the UN Sustainable goals. And through my donations, I can specifically help people who otherwise wouldn’t have had that access to learning. Now, they’ll never meet me, they never know that I’ve done that but I believe because it’s something in my purpose. It’s something in my why I really care about it but I know that on this planet, through my lifetime, I’m having that desired impact. It’s conscious, and it’s intentional. It’s an example where I wasn’t doing enough in my own heart and in my mind, and therefore I wanted to leverage something that would help more people in a wider stretch across the world.
Have a think about it, what are you doing? What are you doing now to live your legacy? What are the most important things to you? And if you’re not doing them, how could you leverage them, so that they become more of your reality today. It’s a wonderful thing, it helps so much with so many things, we feel so much more aligned with or so much more authentic. And if you are reading to this, as somebody who runs a business or leads a team, the more that you know what it is that you want to create in your reality and the more that you’re living true to that, the more that you give other people the opportunity and the permission to do the same. Through that you’re giving yourself that added impact in the world because you’re helping other people too. My question to you is, think about that hard hitting question that I asked, if I’ve got a month, a year to live on this planet what do I want to make happen in that time? And then reverse that to your last month and your last year and ask yourself, have you made those things happen?
Go back to the scenario of imagining you’re in that room, looking at all your friends and family talking about you. What do you want them to say? What do you want them to say about who you were, the impact you had, what you did, and the difference you made to them and to the world? And that’s how you identify your legacy. Then you’ve got today, so bringing it back to that point about time, we don’t get to go and retrieve time back. I know I’ve asked you to look back over the last year, that’s not to beat yourself up, that’s just to give you an insight. I don’t want you to feel like ‘Oh, I haven’t been doing enough’. Today is the time when you can start to create the reality that you want to create that means that you live the legacy that you want to leave.
My final question to you to really bring this home is what do you want to create in this world? And who do you want to be? And then from today, go make that happen.
I hope you enjoyed today’s video, subscribe, give me a like, always drop me comments. And as always, I am delighted when I get to hear from people. So if you’ve got any questions or you want to talk some more to me about this, then please just drop me a line.