Leaving Your Legacy
Over the past few weeks, there has been blanket coverage over the tragic death of Michael Jackson. There have been vigils, memorial shows and gatherings across the globe, where fans have united in their grief to mourn the loss of the "King of Pop".
Jackson was known and applauded around the world for his music, but his private life often came to the fore which in recent years, led him to become a virtual recluse before his much anticipated comeback tours.
There have been countless interviews with friends, relations, industry experts and media executives, all giving their opinion and thoughts on his demise and what he would be remembered for.
Although thereare different viewpoints, Jackson's legacy will largely be that of his music which made him such a phenomenon. Bare music store shelves and record download figures following his death substantiate that he was one of the greatest performers of our time. The legacy of his music will love through his fans - both those within the entertainment industry and those who loved his music.
It often takes the death of someone - either high profile like Jackson, or someone closer to us, to make us acknowledge the fragility of life. It is common to take stock of what we have and what we have yet to achieve and often renews the importance of living every moment of our lives to the full.
These thoughts can also lead us to think about our own legacy - what are we likely to be remembered for? What do we want to be remembered for? If there are differences in your answers to these questions, it's time to get working on your legacy. When coaching clients, it is common practice to first identify a client's goal and then work back from the goal to identify the tasks that needed to be completed in order to achieve it. Working on your legacy works in exactly the same way.
For example, imagine you wanted to be remembered as someone who was kind, generous and willing to help anyone in need.Think about what you would need to do in order to be remembered that way. Write down what you think you would be doing in order to be remembered as someone kind and generous and, from there, you can work back towards this moment and list one small thing you can do today, right now that brings you closer to your legacy.
So your plan could be something like this - you willcarry out at least one random act of kindness starting today and continue each day. You could follow this up by making a regular donation to a charity close to your heart or investigate the volunteering opportunities available and take on a rewarding and fulfilling role helping others.
Working on your legacy isn't morbid, it's quite the reverse. It can help you to clarify the person you want to be and what you want to do with your life. Your legacy is a celebration of your life - the person you are, the things that you do and what impact you have on those around you. Using the example above, would it be a bad thing if someone was so motivated by your voluntary work that they did the same too? Of course not. Enriching your own life and achieving your goals is not only empowering for you, it inspires and encourages others to make changes in their lives too.
So do a stock-take of your life today. If there are things you aren't doing in your life right now, or there are things you want to change - START NOW! You have a life to live and a legacy to leave!