What Legacy Will You Leave?
“The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it” ~ William James
How have you spent your life, not your money is the legacy you will leave.
As a professional speaker, I constantly meet people in my audiences who tell me that they have achieved virtually all of their goals in life but are still unhappy. It doesn’t seem to make any sense.
Perhaps you aren’t as happy as you’d like to be. My theory is that we have all been brainwashed into believing that the American dream means having the nicest cars, houses, clothes and other toys.
But I believe that the things we seek out don’t make us happy. After the initial joy of purchasing these items wears off, we still feel unfulfilled.
My father once told me: “The more possessions you have, the less freedom you have.”
At the time, I was 15 or 16, so of course I didn’t believe him. Twenty years later, however, I have come to see and believe the truth in what he said.
Why is it that so many people today are so unhappy in a time of prosperity never experienced by any other generation? I believe it’s because we have been programmed to work for the wrong reasons.
When is the right time to stop pursuing money and start pursuing freedom, joy, happiness and fulfillment? You are the only one who can answer this question.
Why do so many people fail to find happiness even though they pursued wealth their whole lives? They may have missed out on love, fulfillment and peace of mind.
Greed and Materialism
I think many people never find fulfillment because they are pursuing the wrong things. They are pursuing money instead of happiness.
Ask your self this question: How much money is enough? Let me explain further.
According to much of our popular entertainment and advertising, people find happiness and fulfillment only when they live in enormous houses, drive sports cars, wear expensive clothes and dine in chic restaurants.
It’s my belief that we are programmed to believe this from the moment we first watch television. Yes, it takes money to live. However, I believe that money is not more important than:
- Animals (Pets)
- Peace of Mind
Oftentimes we get our priorities mixed up and our families, friendships, children and health all suffer as a result. Consider this proverb:
“Money is a good servant but a bad master.”
Life is not a race to see who can acquire the most toys and the most wealth. This kind of race is not really winnable. There will always be someone with more time, more toys and more wealth than what you and I have.
More important, the race to wealth is beside the point – if your wealth comes at the cost of your well-being and you find yourself unhappy, you haven’t really won much of anything.
I believe that instead of pursuing your dream home, dream car and other dream possessions, you should pursue your dream life.
“The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise man grows it under his feet.” ~ James Oppenheim
When we look to ourselves for happiness while pursuing our passions, we will find happiness and leave a legacy for others to benefit from or be inspired by as a result.
As you become happier, I believe that you will become unstoppable and live a life like you have never envisioned.
Your Gift to the World
We are all faced with the challenge to find a cause, a mission, a belief or something that we could do day and night to make the world a better place.
Your challenge is to build a legacy, to live by theologian John Wesley’s credo:
- Do all the good you can
- By all the means you can
- In all the ways you can
- In all the places you can
- At all times you can
- To all people you can
- As long as ever you can
This is an excerpt taken from my book “Creating Your Own Destiny”.
If you are an event or meeting planner, this is one of the many topics I can speak on, or I will be happy to customize the topic to relate to the needs and interests of the audience I will be speaking to.