Living your legacy vs Leaving your legacy

The difference between “living” and “leaving” a legacy has been heavy on my heart and deep in my mind for the past few months as there are just so many big things going on in the world like the impact of CV19 which prompted me to create this piece and think about life in a different way.

Regarding our Legacy, I’ve blogged a few times on the advice from my wife Barb of 33 years to not get wrapped up in what you are going to leave, but to live each day with kindness, care and compassion and everything will work out. It’s all about being mindful and living fully in the moment.

That being said, it’s still heavy on my mind and exacerbated a bit because the side effects from the Proton Beam radiation just keep on surfacing as latent problems come later in life. It’s one of the challenges that I’m experiencing in the middle of healing and remission.

I’ve been journaling on this for a few months and came across the following 7 things from journal notes that I have converged together and would like to share with you to think about the ratio of Living over Leaving.

  1. Is it as simple as Emerson says it is?

Ralph Waldo Emerson on a successful life is as follows:

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate the beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch,  or just a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

  1. How will you measure your life?

Is it the point of view from Harvard thought leader, Clayton Christensen on how to measure your life?

“While many of us might default to measuring our lives by summary statistics, such as number of people presided over, number of awards, dollars accumulated in a bank, and so on, the only metrics that will truly matter to my life are the individuals whom I have been able to help, one by one, to become better people.”

  1. Is it truly as simple as the powerful quote from Maya Angelou?

“People will not care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

  1. Could it be the words of wisdom from a part of the prayer from St. Francis of Assisi?

“For it is in giving that we receive”

  1. Or can it be related to the following quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes on finding your true calling before it’s too late?

“Many people die with their music still in them. Why is this so? Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before you know it, time runs out.”

  1. Or if it’s really all about living in the moment- is it then related to living a life with the 5 keys to happiness from Laurie Santos at Yale where if you do these they will help your well being.
  • Practice deep breathing
  • Do acts of kindness
  • Focus on what you can control
  • Exercise, eat smart & get enough sleep
  • Actively practice gratitude
  1. Or is it really all about living in the moment and learning from the advice from George Ravelling with his terrific start the morning routine?

“I wake up every morning and only have 2 decisions to make. Am I going to be happy or am I going to be very happy today?”

So, what do you think it’s all about?  Worrying about tomorrow or living passionately in the current moment with kindness, care & compassion?

It reminds me of the final quote attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt:

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift, that is why they call it the present.”

Something to reflect upon as we make our mark in the world.

Reflectively yours

Bob C