If You Died Today, What Would Your Legacy Be?

I’m not going to waste your time by telling you that giving back is good. I don’t think you need to be told that you should go donate your money to an association, because if you don’t believe in why you are doing it, it is worthless.

Les Brown once said, “everything a man does for himself he takes to his grave with him, but everything he does for others he leaves behind.”

I have heard many quotes from many inspirational speakers, but this one tends to hit the heart a little harder than most. Probably because it is simple and elegant, you know the message and feel the emotion that goes with it.

You are going to die—that is out of your control, you don’t get a say in that. What you get to have full control of, is what you leave behind.

Everything you do is your choice.

When you press snooze three times on Monday, that’s on you.

When you leave work early Friday, rather than grinding out the extra hours, that’s on you.

Every single day, you are given choices, and every single one you make is building towards the legacy you will be leaving behind.

An extremely close friend of mine committed suicide, and while yes, we struggled to understand why he did it, there was one thing everyone could talk about: he was one of the most genuine and caring guys to live.

Now that is a legacy to be proud of. A legacy of which no one can think of the bad things you may have ever said or done, because there was so much good you did while here. This is the kind of legacy we should be aiming for when we are making those choices.

Researcher and author of Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection,  John Cacioppo wrote, “The more extensive the reciprocal altruism born of social connection, the greater the advance toward health, wealth, and happiness.”

Simply put: the more you give of yourself, the healthier, wealthier, and happier you will live.

When you give back, you aren’t just doing it for you, you are actually making a difference in the world, and that is why you should be doing it. Like I said before, if you don’t believe in why you are giving, it is worthless. If you posting on Twitter or Instagram every time you do something nice, you are defeating the point of doing it.

When you stop worrying about the ROI and start focusing on the legacy you are leaving, your life will end with the best ROI you could ask for.

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