There’s a lot of talk about legacy these days.
As I ease deep into my middle years, it’s on my mind quite often.
What am I building? What will I leave behind? How will that matter and to whom?
Increasingly, though, I’m wondering if that’s the wrong approach. The questions, they’re just so big. So unwieldly. So possesed with the power to paralyze, rather than catalyze.
I’m more inclined to look at the question of legacy from a position of present day action. And trust that if I get that right, I’ll one day be able to look back and, as Steve Jobs famously shared in his Stanford commencement speech, see how the dots connect backward.
What if, instead of obsessing over the need to define what I’ll leave behind, I focused on creating the best possible present day dots and trusted they’d someday weave together to form a worthy story over time?
What if the secret to deliciously-resonant present-day dots was to guide my choices and actions by this simple question:
Will this opportunity allow me to absorb myself in activities and relationships that fill me up, while surrounding myself with people I cannot get enough of and serving people I feel deeply connected to?
What if each dot to be connected later in life was simply the outgrowth of my ability to answer yes to that question as often and as loudly and as truthfully as humanly possible?
Put another way…
What if your legacy wasn’t about what you leave behind, but what you do today? And the next day. And the next day.
And, what if you started.
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