This is the third in our three-part series, discussing your success, your significance, and your legacy. After learning how to individually define your success, then transitioning to a higher level of significance, this week we explore the ultimate goal of leaving a legacy.
First, a challenging question. Are you leaving a legacy? The answer to the question is, yes, you are. Whether you create your legacy intentionally or whether you allow it to occur by happenstance, indeed you cannot escape the legacy you will leave. So the next, and more important question is; are you proud of the legacy you’re leaving? Therein lies our opportunity ro create a meaningful heritage that will have immediate as well as long-lasting impact.
Last week, we discussed the visions of what helps determine your definition of success. We determined that each definition is as different as each person. At the end of the post, I promised to come back this week to discuss the significance in light of success. I will conclude this three-part post next week identifying the importance of leaving a legacy.
Success, while something we all shoot, for is often fleeting and circumstantial. I am sure like me that you have achieved milestones in your personal or professional life that you were proud of. The problem is that we soon discover that what made us feel successful yesterday makes us feel like we must strive for more the next. Significance is different.
Significance takes our focus off of ourselves and shifts the importance of serving, helping, and blessing other people. When we achieve success, we are happy. When we achieve significance we experience true joy. Why? Because we have set aside our needs to focus on the needs of other people.
As I outlined in my book, Mustard Seed Faith, any success achieved by ourselves is hardly worth celebrating if we have no one else to share the joy with. When you begin to focus on helping other people achieve their goals, dreams, and yes, visions for success, then you are able to truly enjoy building a life of significance. And the more people you help, the more significance you grow in your life.
This is a timeless message but it’s time for right now is unquestionably and arguably more important than ever. I don’t have answers to many of the problems and divisiveness gripping our world today. I only know that what I can do is to do my small part in building into the lives of others. Chances are very likely that no one will ever know I have done it.
My hope, and frankly my prayer though is that enough other people begin to adopt the same mindset, we can and will begin to change our world one person at a time, one conversation at a time, and one random act of kindness at a time.
So practically speaking, what does building a life of significance entail. Oftentimes, when I read something like this I quickly form in my mind a superhuman effort that will be required to overcome the seemingly insurmountable obstacles that will undoubtedly stand in my way.
The truth is, you just have to start. Maybe it will be a little uncomfortable, perhaps even a little scary, however, I suggest you start small, build momentum and see how high you can climb as your confidence builds. It might start with a note, a text, a voice mail, or just simply a random encounter where you allow yourself to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
I’d love to hear how you start, where you grow into, and how far ahead you move. If you start today and then do it every day, you will over time experience a certain type of joy that I can assure you will be unlike any other success you have ever had. Significance.
I also invite you to review my coaching page on my website here. I have only a couple of spots left in my Personal Development Coaching Practice. Each week I offer two free strategy sessions on a first-come, first-served basis to people interested in exploring how to become a person who pursues their goals and dreams. These highly valuable hour-long sessions prove again and again to be invaluable to those who participate. You can book these directly on my coaching page – I look forward to serving you.
I believe that all of us are born with an innate desire to be successful. I have never met anyone who said, “I want to be an average parent,” or “I want to just get by in my job.” Perhaps those people exist in the world, but not in the circles I run in. Which, in and of itself may help clear a path to the beginning of success – if you want to be successful, hang around with other people seeking the same thing.
Whether it is sharing ideas, celebrating wins, or seeking accountability, if you surround yourself with the right kind of people, you are well on your way to finding success. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s step back and ask a very important question: “What is your definition of success?”
Hopefully, you noticed, I took last week off. Not just from my weekly blog article but from just about everything else I do during each week. I did a lot of things I don’t like to do, have never done, and can’t wait to do again!
I’ll detail some of the highlights in the contents below, but before I do, let me challenge you with a few questions. How routine has your routine become? What things have you never tried because you said you don’t have time but what you really meant was they scare you a little bit? Finally, who can you take time to experience life in a more meaningful and significant way?
Our current society is rife with criticism. We blame, cajole, and criticize everyone whose opinions we disagree with. It has become the platform for not only social media but virtually every media outlet everywhere today. The more venom we can spread, the more likes, views, subscriptions, and subscribers we attract.
I must admit, I watch with a tinge of amusement the positively charged posts on social media and the endless criticism that normally follows. I believe it has almost become a sport in our country to try to see how much shock value can be generated by a headline or sound bite. What a shame, and what a waste of valuable time.
In this week’s post, I want to challenge you. The first challenge is to not read the next few sentences and delete or move on from this post because you need to hear what I have to say. Pun intended.
I want to encourage you this week to work on something that you have been told 1,000 times. And while most of you will agree it’s a good idea, many of you will brush off the concept the same way you do when someone asks how you are and you instinctively reply, “fine,” even if you aren’t.
So instead of tuning me out, lean in and listen to what I have to say. There is not only growth for you on the other side, but you will also find an improvement in your relationships with other people. Especially those whom you seem to struggle with the most.
As I alluded to in last week’s post, I have recently been spending a fair amount of time learning the intricacies of the Enneagram. While I still have a great deal to learn, for me one of the most interesting discoveries I have made about myself is where my mind is generally focused.
For those of you not familiar with this centuries-old description of personality types, there are nine different types divided into three triads. For each of the three types in each triad, the people in each are generally focused either on the past, the present, or the future. Where do you fall?
In the past several weeks, with encouragement from my wife, I have begun familiarizing myself with the Enneagram. I have heard many people discuss it in the past, yet never explored it for myself until, like many things I learn, I was encouraged to do so by my mate.
I am still a veritable novice in understanding and grasping all of the intricacies of it, and in fact, am still trying to determine if I know for sure what my Enneagram number is. What is has opened for me, and I want to encourage you with this week, is the desire to take a deeper dive than I ever have into self-discovery.
I am encountering more and more people who are carrying with them a deep-rooted dream. That’s good news. The bad news is that they have been carrying this dream with them for many, many years, if not most of their lives.
The question is why would someone carry something so important and valuable to them for so long without acting upon it? The simple answer is one of two things, neither of which are good. Fear or excuses. Fear that they could never become the person of their dreams or excuses why everything has to be “just right” in order for their dreams to become a reality.
As we approach the end of summer, a time in which families traditionally start planning for back to school, we find ourselves still immersed in the complexities and uncertainties of the global pandemic and changing world. We are all facing challenges, most of which we have no control over and a few over which we do.
Your mindset, attitude, disposition, and mood are all things well within your control and worth contemplating as we all face an uncertain short-term future. If you are a person who is always seeking challenges and growth I cannot think of a more worthy challenge than to focus on your mind and how you use it.