Your Six-word Legacy

Monday, May 30 2016
BabyShoesThe legendary Ernest Hemmingway famously claimed that he could write a novel in six words. His six famous words create a potent image, but what do they have to do with legacy?

A legacy is something you leave behind, the harvest of what you planted. Legacy is not always money or other material possessions; it also concerns what you did or how you made people feel. It is about living your passion and what you will leave the world.

Hemmingway wrote a powerful story in six words and I challenge you to write your legacy in six words as well. It can be done. I am passionate about coaching so my legacy statement is:  “Direct, caring coach, increasing other’s success.”

When you finish writing your six words determine if they are about your professional life or something totally different? Not every legacy will be about your work; however, I challenge you to define what your business or work-related legacy will be.

Are you living in a way that contributes to the legacy you want to leave? Does it align with what you actually do at work? Are you in the right career? If you are having difficulty writing your work-related legacy statement consider whether you are truly happy in what you are doing.

Understanding your legacy can give you direction and help you create the environment conducive to your growth. Imagine having a field that is ready for planting, but you lack direction and plant whatever seeds come to hand. Although you wanted a crop of green beans, at the end of the summer you have produced a field of cabbages. How would you feel? This is what it can feel like when you don’t focus on the importance of your legacy.

If you are early in your career and not planning to work a long time for your current organization you may believe it is too soon to think about your legacy. Your legacy accompanies you throughout your career. It is never too soon to start.

Observe those around you who have clear legacies. How do they add to the community at work? Once you have created your six-word legacy statement share it with your coach, and your team. Help them to support you in achieving your desired outcome. Fulfilling your legacy will help you to feel satisfied and content and makes the world a better place.

Legacies live on…make sure yours is positive.