In this blog series, Building A Legacy With Passion and Purpose, we have laid out a roadmap to find your passion, fuel your purpose, and build your legacy.
In the first blog, Success Starts With Passion: How to Build a Business Doing What You Love, I taught you how to integrate passion into not only your career but every aspect of your life.
In the second blog, How to Channel Your Passions Into a Purpose: 6 Questions to Find Your Why, I challenged you to channel your passions into a purpose to dig deeper and execute concrete actions.
I want to end the 3rd blog of this series, How to Turn Your Passion into Purpose and Build a Lasting Legacy, by defining the word legacy. Legacy is the piece of the triangle that you do not define. Legacy is about how you impact others. Legacy is what you leave behind in the hearts of people you have touched.
One of the things that saddened me last year during the pandemic was watching legacy businesses — ones with a deep history in the community — struggle to survive. It made me think about my legacy. Now, I can’t tell you my legacy because I believe it’s not for me to determine. And, that’s the point: legacy is not self-defined.
“Legacy is your personal stamp.”
Again, your legacy is not defined by you: it’s about the impression that you made. And, this can be one interaction or something you do consistently over time. We don’t remember events; we remember how we “feel” about events. You might not truly know how you make someone feel, but your actions can influence someone’s perception.
I feel people get caught up between the words “legacy” and “legendary.” It’s easy to talk about things people have done that make them a legend. But is that their legacy? Not necessarily.
Let’s take inventors as an example. Thomas Edison is a legend for a list of inventions: he created the first incandescent light bulb, and he made the first motion picture (to name just two). The Wright Brothers are legendary for being the first to have a flying airplane. Mike Schmidt is legendary for being possibly the greatest 3rd baseman (Go Phillies!).
So are those accomplishments their legacy? Well, Mike Schmidt has left *me* a legacy because of how his career makes me feel. I’m emotionally connected to what he did. I am passionate about baseball – the Phillies are my home team — so there is meaning to me.
The rest? No. I don’t have an emotional connection with an airplane, for example. I respect all it does, but it doesn’t resonate with me emotionally whatsoever. Unless my dad was a pilot, for example, why would it?
“Having an emotional connection is what separates legacy from legendary. A legacy is something given and received like a gift.”
And, as we know, the best gifts are given selflessly.
For months now, I have woven into my blogs the importance of “serving,” the “give,” and the 80/20 rule (what you give/when you ask). I have stressed the importance of being the best version of yourself to create the most impact. This is what legacy looks like to me.
Now, do I want to be known for the businesses I have created? Of course, I do! Why wouldn’t I? I have worked tremendously hard for 20 years growing my companies. Would I like to be considered a great businessman and be on par with other successful leaders for what they created? Again, absolutely! But that isn’t enough for me.
If you were to ask me what I wanted my legacy to be? It’s to inspire others to be more confident and live authentically. This is what I want my legacy to be.
“Now, that’s just my definition of legacy. What is yours?”
With this 3-part blog series, I have given you a road map to head towards a more multi-dimensional, fulfilled existence. It will be up to you what you do with it. But, I have to ask, why wouldn’t you want to find passion, purpose, and true meaning in your life? Why wouldn’t you want to serve others? Why wouldn’t you want a rich, meaningful legacy to leave behind? We only walk the planet once. Let’s do it. And, let’s do it right.
Now go forth and conquer.