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Leaving Your Legacy: It’s Not About You

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What do you want your legacy to be?  Even if you don’t read the rest of this post, think about that question and go do that.  Go live your legacy right now.  But, what does that even mean?  Well, read on to find out…
Everyone wants to leave a legacy, including me.  We all want to matter, we all want for our lives to mean something.  I don’t want to get to the end of my life and think, “what did I do with the opportunities I was given?  Did I waste it?”  I have had to come to terms recently with how selfish I am on a daily basis.  We are all given the opportunity to help others in need.  We can choose to put our head down and keep moving forward without addressing these “distractions” or we can get over ourselves, our ego, our Twitter and Facebook feeds, and we can help someone who needs it.  Rarely do I do something that I don’t get a return on investment for.  It’s a great business mentality, but not really the greatest code for social living.
I’ve been forced to ask myself what I want my legacy to be?  Do I want to be known as an amazing father?  Do I want people to say, “man he was a hell of a photographer.”  Do I want to be known as loyal, honest, dependable?  Yes, to all these things.  But, a legacy is not people doting over all the amazing things you did in your life.  A legacy is simply what people remember about you, and even what they currently think about you.  Do you know that we can all be living our legacy right now?  We don’t have to wait.  I want my legacy to be one of helping others.  Selfishness breeds selfishness and doing a kind deed for someone else is contagious and causes people to want to pay that kindness forward. I will admit I am terrible at this.  I often times know the kindness I can do for someone, but I don’t do it.  I will even sometimes say out loud, “You could totally help this person.”  And then I don’t.  What is up with that?  Is it vain ambition, laziness, a lack of compassion?  Perhaps it is all of those things, yet my desire remains.  The drive is there for me to want to help people, not so everyone will think I am an amazing person, but because it matters.  It makes the person being helped feel special and important, but it also makes me feel good for going outside myself and doing something for someone in need.  My encouragement for everyone is to help someone today, and every day.  Even if it is something small.  On trash day, my neighbor always brings our empty trash can back up to our house.  It is so small of a thing, but it makes me want to do the same for him or for someone else.  I guess it is part of that whole “pay it forward” mentality.  Start with small things like this, and then when something bigger comes along, something that is a real cost to you, you just may be able to accept it, and to help the other person out.  So what do you want your legacy to be?  GO DO IT!!

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