Developing your Legacy

How do we know?

Everyday, thousands, possibly millions of people go to work stressed out, not enjoying their work, unhappy in their lives.  They are confused.  They don’t have a good grasp of who they are and what they should be doing in their lives.

There are signs all around you if you are in a place that you don’t like.  If you can’t figure out why you’re unhappy, take a step back and think about the entirity of your life.  To get you thinking, here is a story about one of my friends from college.

My friend, we’ll call him Bob, received news that his girlfriend was pregnant when he was 18 years old.  Girlfriend was 17, and abortion was not an option.  When my friend learned about this, he quit life for awhile.  He stopped going to school, he started eating everything in sight putting on 50 lbs in 6 months.  He started smoking.  He was depressed.  He was suffering from anxiety and depression.

After the baby was born, he started to get life together again for about a year.  He was working hard, and going to class part time.  Then his old habits returned.  He started suffering anxiety and more depression. 

Before all was said and done, he had dropped out of school 3 times, and been put on medication for depression at least twice.

The Fix

I recently saw my friend, now with a beautiful 6 year old daughter.  He is working full time and supporting himself and his daughter.  He was a different person.  He had lost a lot of the weight he had initially put on, he was happy and seemed accepting of everything that had happened. 

I asked him what he had done to get over the anxiety and depression.  His answer was simple.  He just started doing what he knew he should have been doing all along.  Spending more time with his daughter and providing for her.  When he was trying to go to school living 90 miles away from daughter, that hurt him.  He knew he wasn’t doing the things that he should have been doing at that time.

There is an EASY way to find out if we are on the correct path in our lives.  Write out a Legacy Statement.  This is what people would say about your legacy here on Earth when you’re life is over.  It’s eye opening.  What are those desires that you have deep inside of you that you can’t see yourself NOT doing in your lifetime?  I recently did this exercise and it was an extremely powerful exercise.

Here is my Legacy Statement:

Someone who was loving, caring, and thought about others before himself.  Someone who inspired others to find more success in their lives and business than they ever thought possible.  Someone who loved the outdoors and felt more connected with the world when he was playing outside.  Someone who helped others develop a plan for future success.  You couldn’t tell when this man was working or when he was just having fun, it made no difference.  He lived for his family, friends, outdoors, seeing others success, and heath.

When we look at our lives from this perspective, it becomes a lot more clear about what we should be doing.  Are you on the right path?  I’m putting my Legacy into action, working each day to get closer to a fulfilling life.

Remember…

that our career is just one part of our lives to make us happy.  A lot of times we think 90% of our lives revolve around our careers.  This isn’t true.  Make sure you are making strides in your personal, physical, spiritual, relationships, family, and socially.  These are all things that become a part of a successful life.

Dan – 5/26/11

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About danholterhaus

I explore creative strategies to help others achieve success
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