We live in a world we think will always be here, but the truth is one day it'll all be gone. We were all born into this world, naked, cold and many of us crying. And we will leave this world similarly: naked, cold and people weeping over the loss of our physical presence.
Thinking about death is depressing.
However we are all seconds, moments, months and if we're lucky, years from that day when it will be time to say goodbye.
Too often we allow today's troubles and yesterdays scars to keep us from living our purpose and leaving our legacy. We put off our dreams for another day. We grow into adults and forget to bring curiosity and our imagination with us.
We let fear rule our minds.
We begin to forget that its the space between that matters. It's the people we choose to put in our circle to learn from and laugh with that define this "space." It's the work we do that shapes who we become. Yes, we all take life for granted. We think we are invincible and irreplaceable.
This weekend I asked a few friends on Facebook to describe me in 3 words or less.
I received a lot of data points. I did this simple exercise to understand what others "see" in me. A few of these words reappeared the most: connected, driven, interesting, and intentional. I asked myself, am I these things? You betcha! My legacy is to get people curious, connect them to each other and to ideas so that they make great things happen. My personal tagline is connect, share, grow, and improve. How am I doing this? My work and the people I choose to put in my life are linked back to the legacy I want to leave.
My friend Shantera's legacy is to be a giver of love, good vibes and strength.
I met Shantera several years ago through a professional organization. She then honored me by having me speak at the Annual Women's Empowerment Conference she hosts. This conference brings women together to empower them to the next level in their lives. In June she's launching PowHer Play, an intimate circle of people who will meet to do one thing: connect. I say connect because this isn't your typical networking-hand-out-a-card festival. It's about small, meaningful conversations that we don't have today. Shantera is living and leaving a legacy of giving love, good vibes and strength.
My Twitter buddy, Elizabeth South's legacy is to have touched lives for the better through her music.
I wrote about Elizabeth just after the Oscars. We "met" on the #Oscars channel when I tweeted about Frozen's #LetItGo. (I know, the internet is truly an amazing place to connect, now isn't it?) Elizabeth is a successful songwriter and teacher living in North Carolina. She's not just oozing with talent but she's a beautiful woman with an amazing voice. Her two great musical accomplishments so far have been singing a duet with Vince Gill and just last week winning 1st place cover of Let it Go with Ryan Seacrest. Way to go Elizabeth!
The greatest thing about leaving a legacy is you have the chance to begin working on it today.
Yep, in this moment, you can decide what it will be. And, your legacy can change and evolve. It just takes the courage to stand for something, own your past and then embrace the opportunity to leave your mark in this world. Do you want to solve a problem? Do you have someone in your life you want to influence? It's time to stop thinking and start doing. We're only given one life...