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I have been thinking quite a bit about legacy lately. Maybe it's because I turned 50 yesterday. Maybe it's because I am speaking on the topic in a few weeks. Maybe it's because legacy goes hand-in-hand with intentional living - and that is what I am passionate about.
I know my days on this earth are numbered - somewhere between today and certainly 50 years from now. The Social Security Administration estimates that an average 50 year old male will live until they are just over 82 years old. If we say that is the case, I have 32 years left. 32 years ago, I was a senior in high school. The time between then and now has absolutely flown by. I am guessing the next 32 will go by even faster.
Regardless of your age, the remainder of your life will fly by. I am not being a downer or morbid, I am just stating the truth. Time goes fast and our days are numbered. The Bible acknowledges this as well (Psa. 39:4-13).
What are you doing with your days? What legacy are you planning on leaving? Will the legacy you leave be YOUR legacy or someone else's (are you living YOUR life or someone else's)?
Meriam-Webster defines legacy as "something that is received from someone who has died, something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past." Oftentimes these are physical things - money, property, assets, etc...
Those are easy. To do that, just write it in your will.
The harder part is being intentional on what you leave behind relationally. To do that, I need to continually ask myself some questions:
To leave a legacy, one must live that legacy each and every day. That doesn't mean we don't mess up once in awhile - we all mess up. But, when we do mess up, acknowledge that mistake, seek to repair the damages and do differently next time.
I read an article in Sports Illustrated recently amount Muhammad Ali. The author asked Ali how he wanted to be remembered as an boxer. He said as the "as the best heavyweight boxer of all time". The author followed up by asking how Ali wanted to be remembered as a person. He replied, "as a good person who tried to be kind to everyone".
What do you want your legacy to be - as a spouse, parent, child, friend, worker, community member, ...?
Are you living this out each and every day?
A LifePlan would help you clarify what is important to you and will help you set goals to leave the legacy you wish to leave. I have time available between now and the end of the year so you can get 2016 kicked off the way you want to live - making a positive contribution and living with intentionality! Get in touch with me and get on my calendar!
Check out my blog and subscribe at www.mattsoderstrum.com!