Waking Up: Creating a Legacy

Every morning I have the good fortunate of waking up and seeing the sun rise in New York City. One morning I woke up and looked out the window. I started thinking about my career, life and what it’s all for. Have you ever had a moment that woke you up?

Moments in life that woke me up include crashing my car on the freeway in an ice storm, a series of life changing events and drawing close to my loved ones in tough times.

I recently watched a YouTube video with Oprah Winfrey about her career. As a part of the conversation she spoke about advice from the legendary poet Maya Angelou. She said that Ms. Angelou told leaving a legacy is about the lives you touch more than what you do. As I mature in life, I’ve made one observation at funerals – there is little mention of careers and bank accounts. There’s no huddle in the corner with discussions about how much real estate that person owned.

The huddle in the corner is typically about the advice that person gave, how they helped someone in rough times and how many people they made laugh. You typically hear the children or spouse talk about how much they loved.

There are the moments in life that wake you up and change you. It might be losing all that you own, a loved one or sickness and disease.

Though the days may seem long, in the timeline of the world, our time is for a season. What kind of legacy do you want to leave?

For me the legacy I leave is tied to my family and those I love. Helping people succeed in the world, making someone smile or even giving someone enough encouragement to make it through another day means more to me than any job, promotion, business or paycheck.

You may be thinking, “How can I leave a legacy? I don’t have anything to offer”

The people that I remember most are the people who touched my life in word, deed or kindness. Try doing something to wake someone up. Say a kind word to a stronger, be there for a friend and push yourself to the limits of giving. Open up your heart and life to other people.

Offer a hug, say a prayer, donate something. Be happy in a room of sadness, visit the sick, care for someone.

If your goal is to make money, do it and give some away. ┬áDon’t worry about the days you miss it and feel bad, focus on the days you make it and do something positive. Some days you will feel bad, sad or like everyone else is three steps ahead. You’re not going to wake up everyday and feel worthy of everything you have or want.

Everyday you wake up, you have an amazing opportunity to change yourself and the world around you. Say good morning to that neighbor you don’t know. They might have just lost a loved one and can’t get out of bed. Your good morning could change someone’s day.

Sharing that coupon at the grocery store may have helped a family struggling to pay a mortgage. Returning that wallet you found on the ground could have saved someone’s job or marriage.

The little things you do everyday create you legacy. The road may be tough, some days may be dark, but don’t forget to wake up and create a legacy. The world is waiting on you to make a difference.