Once again I am overcome with the thought that time is passing by like a blink of an eye! With this in mind I started thinking about why we all do what we do and how we do it. Take a moment and imagine a thousand years from now. There is an archeologist at a dig site which is your current day work site. What will they find there that will be significant? Will there be any clues there as to what you did? How about just a year from now? Is there anything you are doing that will be considered even significant a year from now? Two? Will anyone else even think you have done anything is significant?
Most of what we do every day doesn’t have much impact on the future unless we are able to reshape someone else’s thinking, attitude and abilities. Consider the opportunities you have to positively affect and influence another person to be more innovative, conscientious or thoughtful. Most of us won’t make the history books, but there is a chance that we could teach or influence someone who will. So, I ask you, what is holding you back? Is it the same old answers: Not enough time. Too many priorities.
My hope is and remains that when my time here is done, that someone will be able to stand and say, that I positively influenced their life for the better. And that they were better for having known me. Hopefully, to go one better, that person won’t be a relative, but someone beyond my gene pool. Every day I look for opportunities to share the experiences in my life, the good the bad and the ugly, so that those around me might benefit from not having to make the same mistakes or might learn new ways of working more effectively. This is one thing that will continue long after I am gone.
As I stated when I started this article, I am overcome by how quickly time is passing. Most of the time I still feel the absence of time, until I reflect upon how much of it is past and how quickly it went by. So, I decided to stop and take just a moment to remind myself of the opportunities I have (we all have) to share your knowledge with those individuals who need it most, the ones that are following in your footsteps. It is your “job” to provide them with the advantage of learning and innovating beyond what you have to this point and to encourage them to continue to strive to be the best, no matter where this takes them. Then, a thousand years from now, that archeologist may not find anything particularly significant about your work site, but they still may be talking about the innovations that were sparked by the opportunities you created.
Here are a few thoughts on how you might share your legacy and create a significant impact on the future:
- Find your purpose. Whether you consider yourself a marketing guru, a “student of the law”, a charismatic leader or an influential entrepreneur, define your purpose to yourself. You should then outline your mission and remind yourself of this daily. This is truly the first step in achieving any goal.
- Evaluate what you are doing today. Sit down and think about what you are doing today that is having an impact on your purpose or achieving goals of your firm.
- Stay focused. Everything that you do in your personal and professional life should have an impact on creating your legacy. Therefore, identify your strengths & weaknesses and then understand how these affect where you want to go and your ultimate purpose.
- Work with your team. The only way your legacy will live on is if you impact the lives of those around you and those you respect. Those are the people who will share the stories of your success and your strategies. You should also seek their advice. A single conversation can impact the lives of thousands.