As you all know, every quarter I meet with my forum Business Mastermind Group. This is part of the reason I am in Boston. During these meetings we discuss life, family, business, and community. In a nutshell, we discuss what we are thinking, what is top of mind for us.
One of the topics of conversation this time was legacy and what kind will we leave behind. Someone at the meeting read this quote from George Bernard Shaw:
This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.
I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.
I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no “brief candle” for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.
As we got talking about the topic, I realized a hard truth… my life is finite. A hard truth because even today, like in my teens and twenties, I believe I am invincible. I have a long way to go. The reality is we have a limited time. We all know this, but it is still hard to reconcile with.
Our current life expectancy is around 80 years, by the time we get to that age it will most likely be higher, let’s say 90. I don’t mean to be depressing by discussing mortality, but I’d like to bring to the front what we already know.
Now that it is out there, let’s see what an average life looks like. Look at the chart below; each of the boxes represents one week. I saw this and realized I am in the second half of my life—still in my prime and still invincible, but it won’t always be that way. The good thing is that I have half my life left to make a mark, make my legacy.
Knowing that life is finite, what will your legacy be? Will you start to do things differently? Will you start treating people differently? How do you now view your life?
The quote above talks about recognizing yourself as a “force of nature.” I see all of you as forces of nature to be reckoned with. Some of you may not believe that you are, but I see it.
How do you see yourself? What impact will you have? What legacy will you leave behind?
“Live, love, laugh, leave a legacy.” —Stephen R. Covey
Have a great weekend.
P.S.: There is a Part 2 to this… Stay tuned.
Image retrieved from http://waitbutwhy.com/2014/05/life-weeks.html.
About Friday Food for Thought (FFfT)
I frequently attend conferences and retreats on entrepreneurship and leadership and while I am away, the J2 team picks up the slack, allowing me to learn to be better at what I do. I wanted to share what I was learning with my team, so I created the weekly FFfT emails in November of 2015 and have been writing them ever since.
Before long, the J2 staff began sharing the FFfT emails with their friends and family and now other leaders have asked to be included, which led to the creation of this newsletter. I hope you enjoy!