This statement has to be qualified in writing due to a 3 letter world (ego) that prevents the majority of humanity learning it from real world example(s).
Whether you find yourself in a relationship (team), partnership (job) or internship (trial), the best thing you can do to and for yourself (after giving it your all), is leaving that ship better than you found it. We’ve chronicled this at nausea, and will continue to as we pick up new swimupstream readers.
Part of the challenge is that people may not understand how to leave on top and then how to leave a legacy. Allow us to provide some insight.
How to leave on top.
1. take time (10 min) to write every positive encounter, lesson, experience you have had as a result of this choice in your life.
2. re-read that list each time your mind goes onto “the next thing” or into a negative state.
3. share that introspection with your ship mates (old and new) in order they can learn from your experiences.
4. whether you are 1 day, 1 month or 10 years into a ship and decide to leave, try harder than you previously have in terms of effort to make an impact.
5. say thank you to the captains and mates of your ship. Thank you’s come in verbal and non verbal gestures.
How to leave a legacy
1. find the ship that best suits your skillset. If you find yourself sailing on a ship to pass the time, you will quickly become seasick, hence making your problems – others problems. Its difficult to leave a legacy if you board a ship you are not passionate about.
2. if you find yourself on a ship sailing in a diverging direction, speak to the captain and appropriate mates right away. Perhaps you get dropped off at port for a day, or change roles within that ship or make arrangements to board a new ship (using how to leave on top as your transfer).
3. *don’t mistake your needs / wants / indecisions as the fault of the captain or mates. Too often, instead of implementing 1& 2 above or 1-5 of the aforementioned, we turn inwards and bore through to the bottom of our ship, sinking ourselves, the ship and everyone on board.
4. want to leave your ship in better condition than you boarded it. This includes helping your captain to become a better captain and your mates to become better mates. Systems, suggestions, something you brought… and left that will be remembered for the remainder of time.
5. speak well about the ship and your mates. Chances are if you have spend more than 1 year on it & with them, there was something valuable, interesting and rewarding about the experience. Who could benefit from a similar experience?
Yes, the bulk of leaving on top and leaving a legacy has a lot to do with thinking about others and not ourselves.
…..which is exactly why there are fewer real world examples for us to draw from.