In the Art of Non-Conformity, Chris Guillebeau said the best time to start thinking about your legacy was yesterday. I totally agree. No matter how old you are or your position in life, your legacy is being created. Good or bad. I’m sure you’re with me when I say it deserves some attention.
Create. Michelangelo. George Washington. Henry Ford. Great men are creators. It’s in our blood. It can be as grand as a country or as simple as a family, but you need to leave behind something that wasn’t there before.
Inspire. If you want to make a difference in this world, you need to inspire the people around you and empower them to make their own lives better. Be an example for those you know and find a platform to reach the ones you don’t.
Ruffle. A reader recently called me a “f–king moron”. I’ve never been so flattered. You aren’t going to be remembered by keeping the status quo. Creating change will always ruffle some feathers. Enjoy it. By the way, that reader still follows me.
Diversify. Don’t pull an Elliot Spitzer by being so focused on one ambition that you let other parts of your life slip. You might be scoring big points with your boss by logging 12 hour days but when was the last time you made it to poker night with the buddies? Diversify your interests and pursue them all with equal passion.
Care. Maybe you want to find a cure for ovarian cancer. Maybe you want kids in Africa to have clean drinking water. Spend some time and think about what you can do to help. Now think bigger. Way bigger. If you don’t have lofty goals you’ll never make the impact that this world needs. I promise, once you get started it’s not as hard as you think.
Fail. You’re going to fail. It’s part of life. But what defines you is how you comeback from it. Keep your head up and find another path in the same direction. America loves a comeback. People are rooting for you.
Progress. As much as you fail, you’ll have success. But don’t be satisfied by past results. Be happy with your experience, cherish your memories, and move on to the next challenge. You should die wanting to do the next thing, not something you already did.
A man shouldn’t lie on his deathbed, hoping the world will remember him. He should know it will. Keep your legacy in mind and go make this world a better place.