Your Legacy

2013

Another year has passed and we are one year older, one year wiser, and have one more year to be thankful for. Thankful you say? “This has been a bad year, this went wrong and that went wrong. Things didn’t turn out the way I had imagined. Yes I am one year older but no farther ahead than when the year started. In fact I am no farther ahead than I was 5 years ago” We’ve heard people say this or we’ve made some of these comments ourselves.

It’s a New Year and that means it’s time to begin a new beginning. I had a mentor tell me years ago, “You can’t work hard enough to overcome a negative thought process” so let’s start with changing the way we think.

Let me give you some thoughts to help guide you towards your incredible future.

First…. Be thankful you are here to read this.

Second…Let’s change our input. What we tell ourselves. Maybe we need to change who we associate with. Pick up some good books, CD’s, DVD’s that challenge your thinking to improve. Attend a seminar or find a good church. Find a mentor who will be willing to coach you and to whom you will stay accountable to.

Third…Define what the rest of your life will look like……Your Legacy

Benjamin Franklin had 3 phases of his life. He was first an Entrepreneur, then an Inventor, and finally a Statesman. I could give countless examples of people who started late in their life, who started over, who failed at first and then succeeded beyond their wildest (and their in-laws) expectations.

Don’t let another year slip by. Begin your legacy today. I want to share the importance of starting on this journey today by sharing an article from a friend of mine Kristen Seidl.

I spent some time talking with a woman who was 82 years old the other day. She was in an assisted living facility where, because of some health issues, she couldn’t take care of herself on her own anymore. Her husband had already passed away and she only had one son who never married and moved away about 13 years ago. I could tell there was an emptiness inside her as her only son calls about once a month and has only visited once since she first moved in over a year ago. I began to ask some questions about her life and some of the memories she had from when she was younger. But the responses I got were completely not what I expected. I knew this was a divine appointment.

Looking back on her life, she shared some regrets. Her first regret was not having more children. In her generation, it was not uncommon for families to be 5-10 children deep. She had mentioned that in her earlier days, prior to being married, she experienced sexual abuse which scared her to the point that she never wanted to get married or have children. She said that if it wasn’t for the stigma and pressure for women to be married back then, she might have been alone her entire life. She carried that fear with her and was never able to resolve it even after having a child. She said her second regret was not having a better relationship with her son. She knew that he was her priority but because she couldn’t erase the memories from her past, she just ‘did what she had to do’ to raise her son but that was it. As he grew up, he became more and more distant to the point where he moved out at 16 years old. Her son is now in his early 50′s and he too never got married or had children. Her last regret was that she feels like she wasted most of her life by living in the past. She told me that as a child, she wanted to be an actress and travel all over the world. She loved being in the spotlight and making people happy and said she was a very lovable young lady. After the abuse, she couldn’t imagine being in the spotlight. She gave up on all her dreams and isolated herself from the world for years. After she married, she said her relationship with her husband was cold and distant and she said if it wasn’t for her commitment to God at the alter, she would have never stayed with him. “We were basically roommates” She said.

Today, looking back she wishes she would have pursued her dream of acting. She wishes she had a better relationship with her husband and son and she wishes she could go back in time and start over and live a more purposeful life. Now she lives with the pain of regret. Upon learning all this, I feared asking her about legacy because I didn’t want to hurt or offend her, but ended up asking anyways since she seemed to be very comfortable around me. I proceeded with, “Now I know I am young but I think about this all the time. I think about my actions today as a reflection of my legacy later. I don’t know how long I will be here so I want to make sure my actions count now. Have you thought about your legacy and what type of legacy you would like to leave behind?” I may be a bit naive but again her response surprised me. She told me that practically her entire life she didn’t even think about the end of her life.  She focused so much on things in the moment that the future rarely entered her subconscious. She knew that if she thought about the future, it would guilt her into changing and pursuing something bigger. She felt safe in her mediocre lifestyle and was afraid of letting go of her past. She was trapped in her own thoughts and found peace there. But now looking back she says she thinks about legacy all the time. Although now she feels it’s too late. I tried to encourage her and offer some suggestions so that she could find peace with her regrets and still leave a positive legacy. I also asked if I could share her story with others to give hope to those struggling with an addiction, abuse, trauma, divorce, neglect or any other crisis so they could hopefully overcome those struggles and still be able to live a life of significance and not look back on their life with regrets. She was so delighted by that and I could just feel the weight of regret being lifted off her shoulders. I told her I would help her leave a legacy that will impact so many lives through her story. I will also continue to visit her and help her relive the positive memories from her past and share comments from people who have been impacted by her story.

Leave a comment and share what steps YOU will take starting this New Year on building your legacy.

Are You Living Up To Your Leadership Potential?

Have you ever wanted to do something significant with your life? Make a difference in a person’s life or make a difference with your own. Maybe you are a big dreamer and have dreamed of doing something amazing with your life. Perhaps even so bold as saying you want to play a part to change the world for good. If that is you then why haven’t you?

Maybe you have tried and fell short or are falling short right now. Do you question your leadership ability? Have you asked yourself or asked GOD “am I even the right person with all my weaknesses and  flaws”? Trust me, I know the feeling. I like anyone else who has attempted to do more than I thought possible and who has wanted to do something important with my life have questioned myself and GOD, if I am really that right person.

I’d like to share some thoughts from a book I’m reading, Exponential, by Dave and Jon Ferguson – who are challenging my questioning of myself and bring some amazing points that are helping me in my leadership growth and may help you in yours.

The Ferguson’s discuss the concept of what they call “Empowering Conversations” in discussing conversations where a coach asks a leader to take the next step in his/her leadership journey.

I would like to look at the conversations we have with ourselves in this regard. We’ve all been there, asking ourselves to commit to a higher level of leadership commitment. When the moment comes how many of us want to “think big” (not in caps intentionally), but shrink back and think to ourselves “I am not capable.”

Here is what the Ferguson’s say; when we settle for a lower level of commitment, we place the development of the leader in jeopardy in a number of ways.

–          We minimize our potential – We think we are doing ourselves a favor by at least getting us to make a small doable commitment, rather than fulfilling GOD’s dream for us to reach our greatest potential.

–          We minimize the vision – When we lower the bar on leadership we make the mission of helping people seem insignificant, hardly worthwhile. Consequently we are less likely to attract high capacity leaders.

–          We minimize GOD – Who says GOD can’t change the world through you?

So you’ve failed….. So you’ve doubted…..So others have dismissed your chance of success….

Welcome to the World of Leadership

Take a Risk – Be a Leader – Change Yourself

How’s it Going?

Well it is January 15th, half way into the first month of the New Year.

How’s it going so far…..you know on your New Year’s resolutions?

Any better than last year?

Or the last 5 years?

Do you regret not doing what you said you were going to do?

How about living a LIFE of No Regrets?

How many people say year after year they are going to improve their marriage ……. Or relationships with their children…. Or their finances?

Why don’t we? Because it is tough to go it alone.

Let’s Change that RIGHT NOW!

Why not get plugged into a community of people, a TEAM if you will, to Have Fun, Make Money and/or Make a Difference?

Let’s live a LIFE of NO REGRETS!