Those who know me intimately will quickly confirm that I hate death and I hate talking about it. Sure, I know, it’s the only certain thing in life but my feelings would not sway. Naively, I believe that we should enjoy a full life; the three scores and ten that the bible speaks of (and then some) but this is not always the case. In my quiet moments, I often ask myself; What legacy are you creating? It’s an important question and one that should shape the way we live our lives.
Every time someone passes on I wonder if he/she was consciously going through life thinking about their legacy. I really do wonder if they were ever intentional and purposeful in answering the question; What Legacy Are You Creating? I am admitting to everyone reading this blog post that while these thoughts consistently lingered the untimely passing of a prominent voice in the Caribbean entertainment industry prompted my writing. In case you are not familiar with the Caribbean diaspora and Soca music, I am referring to Dexter “Blaxx” Stewart.
I began actively cataloging my thoughts soon after his passing. Oftentimes, there is a certain level of deceitfulness that lingers around death especially when it’s that of a prominent figure/celebrity. Too often we see disingenuous tributes that force us to roll our eyes. It appears to be quite the opposite with his passing. What stood out the most was the collection of positive stories that surrounded the deceased. It became clear through all the stories about his passion, activism, mentorship and music that at some point in his life he answered the question; What Legacy Are You Creating? The reactions to his passing and his farewell celebrations, for me, are indicative of the legacy he created.
What is Legacy?
We talk about legacy quite often but do you actually understand what it means? Simply put, a legacy cements your life’s work. You might quite possibly not see your legacy come to fruition as it usually gets to work after death for many. It is something that benefits generations to come and is truly something that is greater than you. Now that you have a clear understanding of what it means, the question still remains. What Legacy Are You Creating?
Be mindful…creating a legacy does not happen overnight.
How To Create Your Legacy?
The points that I am about to share are not the holy grail of legacy creation but they are some clever suggestions. After you have clearly grasped the meaning of legacy these are some other points I recommend you consider.
Understanding Your True Purpose
There are some important topics that you would need to cover while on the journey to understanding your true purpose; your beliefs, statement/s that you are trying to make, and how do you want to impact others? What do you stand for?
For perspective, think about this. If you knew with certainty that you only had three more years to live, how would you spend those years, and why?
What’s Your Mission Statement?
Mine is on a whiteboard that is mounted on my bedroom wall. Do you have one? This will hands-down help you live the life and legacy you are working on achieving. I promise you, it does not have to be lengthy. Start with one clear and concise sentence. It’s about clarifying your intentions.
Time is Limited
You do not have all the time in the world so use it wisely. Use what little time we have on this earth wisely and create your legacy.
Live Your Legacy
This one is self-explanatory I would hope. You have to be actively living the legacy you want to be known for. Be a representation of the legacy you are hoping to create. Exude kindness so you will be known for your kindness. If you want to be recognized for your acts of service then serve.
The sacrifices are imperative. Quite frankly, little to no one will know when you are making however they will not be able to deny the results. When working on your legacy your thought process changes and it is important to be clear that you are willing to give up to affect and influence those around you.
As I close off my thoughts it would be remiss of me not to say that I strongly believe that your legacy should not be about perfection but authenticity. We should also be mindful that daily we are creating our legacies through actions and deeds. It is purely up to us to decide the answer to the question, What Legacy Are You Creating.
Picture yourself at your funeral, what would be said about you?
Live your best life with the thought of the legacy you are creating with every action