Spending life climbing the success ladder, and after you reach the top you find that it’s leaning against the wrong building is one of the most tragic events in one’s life!
We speak often of success and the definition of success varies from one person to another, but…what about Legacy? What’s the difference?
Oxford dictionary defines them as follows:
• Success: The accomplishment of aim or purpose.
• Legacy: Something left or handed down by a predecessor.
The first, success, is a/ and for Personal gain.The second is What we leave behind for our kids, family and community. In that light, are you building a Legacy? if so, What’s your legacy?
Do we have to be successful or well accomplished to build a legacy?
The answer is No and Yes! two Canadian examples shine a bright light for us….
1 Terry Fox: Knowing that there is no cure, instead of awaiting his own fate at home, with one leg having been amputated, he embarked on a cross-Canada run to raise awareness, encourage other cancer sufferers and inspire millions the world over to organize their own Terry Fox Run. Terry was a basketball player in high school, but never made it to the olympics or ran a large Fortune 500 company.
2 Clara Hughes: a two-time Olympian. Sharing the tragedy of suffering from and beating Mental Illness in her past, found a willing partner in George Cope, President & CEO BCE, who also experienced the agony of Mental Illness through the suffering of a family member. Together, and along with others, launched the Bell Let’s Talk campaign raising awareness of mental illness and depression for all Canadians who suffer in silence to know that they’re not alone and that there suicide prevention options. This year's campaign raised $6.1 million for research for a cure.
So, Legacy is a choice! We can succumb to challenges and tragic life events or be inspired by them and turn them into our personal legacy! Just as we plan our careers and business success, we have to plan our legacy…or Not!
Legacy may involve a voluntary “career/ business lane change” with all the trimmings that come with it. Right sized? downsized? What a golden opportunity to start your legacy.
It’s not a convenient decision or lifestyle…it usually involves extending ourselves outside our comfort zone, but…in business speak...the ROI, the Payoff can be huge. The fact is if enough people follow the two examples above, the world would be a much better place.
Legacy can also be the right values we embed in and quality time we spend with our children. It can be the volunteer hours spent at community organizations or, if you’re a go big or go home kind of person, it can be built leveraging our professional positions supporting a cause to affect a broader community or even rally the country behind it!
You’ve made a decision to succeed….Will you make a decision to leave a Legacy?
This blog was inspired by the song Legacy by Nicole Nordeman.