It was the early 90’s, I was an avid health nut working in my first post-college job as a programmer for a DuPont subsidiary and teaching an American Heart Association smoking cessation class for co-workers. As an assignment class members selected their own consequences for smoking. Bill decided if he smoked he had to willing hand over his two tickets to Neil Diamond. I thought it was a rather hash consequence, but he was insistent. Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Neil Diamond in concert.
What I found most interesting about the concert was that virtually every age group was well represented. Neil wrote “Sweet Caroline” in 1969 long before many of those who joyfully sing along were born. The song never hit #1 on the Billboard charts, but who really cares? It’s a beautiful song that brings people together and puts smiles on their faces.
Design Your Legacy
How do you want to be remembered? For all the different roles we have, we can choose our legacy. I find that many of my clients have general ideas for the legacy they want, yet haven’t thoughtfully considered the legacy they want to leave in their various roles as spouse, parent, adult child, CEO, salesperson, or community member. Here are five simple steps you can take to define your legacy:
- Book a 30-minute silent meeting with yourself where you will not be interrupted.
- In your meeting, write for 30 minutes. Write about the impact you want to have on your family, friends, business, community. Write fast. Dream big. No editing.
- At the end of 30 minutes, step away from your paper. Give your ideas some time to wander about your subconscious while you workout, hike, or walk the dog.
- Share your ideas with a family member, mentor, coach, or trusted advisor. Ask them to simply listen first, and then ask clarifying questions.
- Finally, decide on one step you can take to move your legacy forward
Living Your Legacy
Today, Neil Diamond turns 77 and just yesterday retired from touring due to his recent Parkinson's diagnosis. I have no doubt that his legacy as a beloved singer-songwriter will endure for ages. Neil is living his legacy every day. Are you?
If you want a dose of happy, watch and sing along with here. I’m sure those around you will join you.