I am a “learner” by nature. Regardless of where I am, I believe that there is some nugget of wisdom that I am meant to pick up and parlay into future use. Of course, I then feel an obligation to share that morsel with others, hence my chosen line of work.
Life is amazing because we can truly do and be anything that we want to. Many get preconceived notions that they “should” do this or that, but ultimately, they are given a choice. A choice to conform to the status quo, or to blaze a trail not yet traversed. I believe that the path less traveled is the more meaningful path. Yes, there will be challenges, but what a better way to enjoy the journey of life. Taking risks. Doing things few others have done. Being independent. Creating success in any terms you deem relevant.
My father sent me a text because one of his clients passed away. I called him and talked about what the client meant to him over the years. This client was remarkable and unique in many ways. Throughout his professional life, the client blazed new trails, encountered challenges, took risks, and found success. He served in the Coast Guard, owned multiple businesses, and brought prosperity to the community he called home.
But he didn’t stop there.
He was an Eagle Scout. He donated money to charitable organizations. He established endowment funds. He served on and unfathomable number of boards (I stopped counting at 20) helping to shape the future of those organizations. He dressed up as a clown in a local parade year after year. I could go on and on, but I don’t have to, you get the point. With purpose, you can achieve anything you put your mind to.
As a coach, it is my job to get my clients to think about their legacies. How are they going to leave the world a better place? An exercise that I have conducted myself and asked clients to consider is to envision themselves towards the end of their lives. I ask them to envision what others would say about them. What are the words they are using? How many people are visiting the funeral home? What language is used in the obituary? Who, in the community, is talking about your life and the impact you had on them? Although some of you may see this as morbid, I see it as very pragmatic.
Besides being a learner, I love process. I love to begin with the end in mind. To me, this exercise helps to shape what your goals are. It helps to lay a road map to a life lived not only on purpose, but with purpose.
“You are not the momentary whim of a careless creator experimenting in the laboratory of life…you were made with a purpose.” –Og Mandino
As you continue on your journey through life, set fear aside. Establish clearly defined goals and work towards them, doggedly, each and every day. Think about your legacy. Give unexpectedly, and repeatedly. Ask for and visualize what you want.
I know the funeral for my father’s client is going to be emotional. I also know that local businesses should close their doors because the funeral home will be standing room only with people paying their respects.
I bet you years ago, the client envisioned it exactly that way.
Thank you T.G. for forging a trail and leaving little nuggets for all of us to learn from.