Average Reading Time: 3.8 minutes
Leave a legacy!
This is the last article in the series “30 days to live”. Over the past two weeks we’ve explored the different areas of your life that you might want to focus on if you only had 30 days to live. In Part 1 and Part 2, I asked that you take a look at your life and see what you would change if you only had known your “death date”. Looking at life from this perspective, we emphasized on the urgency of taking actions now as opposed to later.
As we conclude the series and knowing how limited our life on earth really is, my last questions to you:
What would you want people to say about you at your funeral?
You may find it a strange question. But imagine that you are standing in the back of the room at your funeral listening everyone coming on stage to say a few words about you. What would
the people closest to you say about you?
Take some time to think about it… Would you be pleased with what you hear?
If you are not pleased or you are fantasizing about what they should say, then once again, you need to make intentional changes your life.
I know you might feel a little awkward thinking about your death. But what this allows you to do is to focus your life – your efforts – on what really matters. Decide now what you want your life to be about. Write your own eulogy while you’re still alive because if you want to create a legacy you need to first live it.
Sometimes life comes at us really hard and we feel as if we don’t have a choice but to do what we are currently doing now. I’m here to tell you that you do have a choice. Your daily life may be filled with activities that do not bring you any closer to the legacy you want to create. So, I encourage you to simplify your life and only focus on the things that matter most.
How do you find the thing that matter most? How do you know what to focus on and what not to focus on? Consider the following questions from John Maxwell “3 R’s to Decision-Making”.
- What is required of you?
Think of family or the positions that you hold. What is it that only you can do and cannot delegate?
- What gives you the greatest return?
Think of the effectiveness of what you’re doing. You may be very busy but you’re not accomplishing much. Focus on resources (efforts, money and time) on actions that give you the greatest return on your investment.
- What gives you the greatest reward?
Even if what you’re doing is effective, is it personally satisfying? If not, you’re probably not spending your time wisely.
What to do / Things to consider
1. Live with Integrity
David Jeremiah said, “Integrity is keeping my commitment even if the circumstances when I made the commitment have changed”. There are already way too many people promising things that they never follow through on. Be a difference maker in your world. Tell the truth and do what you say you would do because real success is gaining the respect of the people who knows you best.
2. Give with generosity
Many of you will see this and money will be the first thing in your mind. While we’re encouraging you to give money to causes or people who are important to you, you can also be generous with your time and knowledge. Do you have time that you can perhaps volunteer to help a charity organization? Perhaps you are an expert on a specific topic and can share your knowledge with people who need it – sometimes desperately. Be known as a generous person and know that when you focus on helping others, your problems have a way of magically disappearing.
3. Serve with intensity
Make up your mind that you’ll spend the rest of your life making a difference in the lives of others. Benjamin Franklin said, “A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle”. Don’t be a small bundle; be the difference maker and live a life of significance. And yes, you may have to give up something to be able to serve. But think about it this way: don’t you remember the people who made a difference in your life the most? Be that someone for somebody else. Serve with purpose. Don’t just go through life working a 9-to-5 job. There are many opportunities in your community that will allow you to serve. Find one and commit to it.
4. Succeed with Humility
Have you ever seen people who are considered successful by some accounts but when it comes to humility it’s as if that didn’t exist for them? If you’ve been watching the news recently, you have seen many of them. Once they believe that they have arrived, humility is out of the door and they become arrogant and insincere. However, if you are paying close attention, you will also notice that those people don’t usually hold onto their positions for long. Consequently, they become a subject of public shame. As a humble person you’ll be respected but as an arrogant you will lose that respect and destroy your legacy.
How do you want the world to remember you? Have you taken some time to think about it? If not, go ahead and start now. Take actions, however small they may seem initially, and progressively bring to life what you would want your family and friends to say about you at your funeral. Create now the legacy you want to leave because one day people will summarize your life in a single sentence. My word of advice: pick it now