Friday, May 18, 2007

Legacy

Last Friday my friend, Jerry McIntosh, lost his life while playing in a charity basketball game, leaving behind a wife and two kids as well as the hundreds of kids he directly impacts every year. Jerry was “that guy” who we are consistently talking about in this blog. He was dedicated to helping underserved kids gain a step forward in life while fulfilling his legacy on this world. Before you continue to read this post, I urge you to go back and read Willie’s post from this week because he was spot on in defining our purpose in this world. Jerry left behind an amazing legacy in the community where he worked and lived, which is something you also can do and should do.

Mission + Vision + Purpose = Legacy

The first thing we all need to do is to establish a personal mission in our lives. Think business where everyone has a mission statement and make one for you personally. Simply ask yourself these questions: What is your mission in life? What makes you get up in the morning and continue along your journey? Why are you here? Once you have answers to these questions write them down and carry it with you as a constant reminder of who you are.

Secondly, use your mission to create a vision of where you are headed and why. This vision will define what to act upon as well as what to avoid and will allow you to focus on what you believe is essential in your life. Your vision is your pathway to being and accomplishing exactly what you have described as your mission. Vision will allow you to have a clear path towards your end goal and clear all of the clutter that interferes with our daily movement.

Thirdly, attach your mission and vision to a purpose. This purpose needs to be something you are passionate about, something that allows you to pursue your journey despite any obstacles that you might face. When you can put a purpose to why you are on this earth you can see clearly the path that needs to be taken in order to achieve your desires. All too often we get caught up in the “rat race”, like Willie mentioned, and lose our place in this world. We become a puppet to an external force and accumulate “garbage years” where we are less fulfilled and satisfied with our lives.

Once you are able to take steps one through three, you are then in the process of creating your legacy and benefiting those around you for doing nothing else other than being passionate about your life. We all have an ending point in this world and it is our personal responsibility to positively affect as many lives as we possibly can before that time comes. Instead of wasting our time in unfulfilled careers where we sacrifice our own personal happiness because of things we have to do, we really need to regain control of our lives and focus on how we can succeed doing the things we want to do.

Yesterday at Jerry’s funeral the speakers said the things we commonly hear at funerals. One thing stood out to me when listening to these speakers. They said that there “would never be another Jerry McIntosh”, which I truly hope is not true. There needs to be a million more Jerry McIntosh’s in this world and I sincerely hope that you will become one of them.

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