Here at Nordhausen University in Germany giving a course on Self-leadership, success in life and work and the legacy you want to leave. The participants just love the ideal of living a life of true success that will go on long after they have debated this earth. In particular they love the following old Greek proverb that says:
A society grows when old men plant trees whose shade they will never see.
This is the power of legacy. When people seriously undertake to identify what true success means to them in their work and life, it becomes important to them that it is a reflection of the person they are, and the life they want to lead. They become reverent, and start to think in larger terms than just today and tomorrow.
Whether they’re running a household, a company or a country, those that want to achieve great success also want to leave a legacy. They recognise that although this type of success begins with them, it does not end with them. Such success not only contributes to their own personal growth, but also helps to create a better world for others, even after they have gone.
They understand and accept that the greatest things they have done and the legacy they will be proudest to leave is what they did to help others. Nobody will care about how much money they made, what car they drove, or what prizes they won. They understand that it will not be possible to take anything of monetary value with them when they die. They won’t wait until they are on their deathbed to realise that what really mattered most was the true relationships they had, and the actions they took to improve the lot of others.
Like most people they know they have the choice to embrace a journey that is meaningful to them, integrating their personal and professional life, in ways that can make a lasting difference.
Take sometime to ask yourself the following question: what unique gifts do you have to share, and how can you use this uniqueness to achieve the success that you want, and to leave a legacy long after you have departed from this world?
Yes, these are big ideas, and maybe the legacy for most people is to have lived a life of true success doing what they loved to do, just giving themselves completely to that which they want to pursue, regardless of the personal cost or consequences. I don’t mean the big fanfare-type success that is so often presented on television or written about in the newspapers, but success on your own level – success that is meaningful to you, and which touches those you come into contact with, whether they are aware of it or not.
For more, please check out my book: The Six Traits of Self-Leadership.