Dare to live without limits Week of 8/5/19

Bryan Golden

Some thoughts on leaving a legacy that matters

How do you want to be remembered? What impact would you like to have on others? The consequences of your words, deeds, and actions are everlasting. Their impact lasts far beyond your time. What you leave behind is up to you.
Often one’s legacy is considered to be the size of their financial estate. Anyone, regardless of their economic means, can leave behind truly priceless gifts. This is accomplished by having a positive impact on others. Material assets can be spent and depleted. Your reputation, however, is an enduring legacy.
How you touch the lives of others has a lasting impact. A kind word, gesture, or action can have a lasting positive effect on another person. Random acts of kindness are a good start, but engaging in regular acts of kindness is even better.
Your children embody your legacy. Not only are they part of you, you have the opportunity to instill in them a solid foundation of ethics, morals, and honesty that can be carried forward for generations. Taking the time to set good examples for your children builds the basis of a long-term legacy.
Beyond your children, the manner in which you live your life around others impacts the reputation you leave behind. Being trustworthy, moral, and ethical in everything you do is an essential component of an impressive reputation.
Conversely, ethical shortcuts, or lapses in good judgment are a stain on your reputation which is difficult to erase. Always thinking before you act is a sound practice. If you are ever in doubt about what decision to make, imagine how your actions would look reported on the front page of major newspapers. If that scenario wouldn’t make you happy, then don’t engage in the behavior.
Having solid principles, which you are willing to stand up and fight for, contributes to your reputation. People with high, uncompromising ethical standards make a significant impact on others. They embody impeccable character and a rock-solid backbone.
Speaking up in defense of others, who are not being treated appropriately, leaves a legacy of people who you have helped. Your actions set an example which will often inspire others to copy your behavior.
Being a mentor to other people is another great pursuit which also leaves an admirable legacy. This is accomplished by helping others to achieve their goals, or solve problems. Sharing insights you have gained through the attainment of your goals is an invaluable gift which will save someone a lot of time and effort. The person you mentor will then be in a position to continue your legacy by mentoring someone themselves.
When you are a mentor, both of you will benefit substantially. The person you are mentoring learns a lot from your experience. You gain from giving because you can get everything you want in life by helping enough other people get what they want.
Some simple habits help ensure that what you leave behind is positive. Treat everyone you encounter with courtesy, respect, and dignity. Kind words and actions have a far-reaching positive ripple effect. Those who you impact can then impact others. This drastically multiplies the reach of your actions.
You can be proud of what you leave behind. How you are thought of is based on your actions. Pay attention to what you say and what you do. Avoid any behavior you will not be proud of. It takes a lifetime to build a great reputation and seconds to destroy it.
If you don’t already know, decide today what you want to leave behind. This understanding will guide you down the appropriate path. You, along with everyone you encounter, will benefit.

NOW AVAILABLE: "Dare to Live Without Limits," the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at bryan@columnist.com or write him c/o this paper.  2019 Bryan Golden


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