So for one of my classes, I had to complete a writing prompt. The idea was really simple: consider how you want your life to be and how you want to be remembered, then write your own legacy. What I loved about this exercise was that it helps give you perspective on how you should live your life. What legacy do you want to leave behind? And what can you do right now to create that legacy?
Let me share my own legacy:
He was a great man.
Perhaps, not great in the sense that he always knew what the right decision was. But great in that he always had the courage to follow his heart and his intuition when making a decision. And great in that he accepted the responsibility to make decisions for himself, even the difficult ones, and did not cower in fear of persecution.
Perhaps, he was not great in that he had an immense wealth. But great in that he had a true passion for his work. He had purpose and direction and his work created a better life for his family, his friends, and society. He did not waste one minute of his life doing work that did not bring him joy and fulfillment and that did not make him a better human being. And he labored with the idea that his work was not a means to an end but a process to be appreciated and enjoyed.
Perhaps, he was not great in that he belonged with the majority. But he was great in that he was an individual who accepted and loved himself for who he was and not for who he wanted to be. He had the guts to stay true to himself even when the rest of the world conformed.
He was great in that he lived each day as though it were his last. He believed that the life that he had been given was a gift to be cherished. He knew that nothing in life is certain and guaranteed but the present moment, and so he lived his life according to this knowledge.
He was great in that he had the courage to fail. He knew that in order to succeed in life you must be willing to fail. If you are not willing to fail, then you will never try.
He was great in that he had the courage to care. He did not allow himself to be oppressed by the indifference of society. Rather, he was brave enough to care and make emotional investments even if he was sometimes disappointed or hurt.
Finally, he was great in that he lived. No matter how dark the day or hopeless the circumstance or heavy the burden, he never gave up on this life. He always found a purpose and a reason. He always had hope.
What do you want your legacy to be? I would love to hear it!