Why are we here? What is our purpose? How do I know if my life was a success? How do I know if I mattered?
These are questions that ebb and flow through our minds like a piece of seaweed in the surf. Sometimes one may be more important than the other. Sometimes all of them may be neglected for what is happening in the moment. Eventually, in order to live the most fulfilling life possible you must seek an answer to each of them. Knowing the answers to these questions can set your life on a path which will run deeper through the lives of those around you.
This is one of those, “there are no wrong answers” situations. The only wrong answer is not having one in the first place. If you are unable to come up with answers to these questions go find a dark, quiet space, open up the book that is your life and self reflect. Be honest with yourself about who you are, what you find important, and how you want the world to remember you.
For me, I am here to live a life of positive influence. My purpose is to profoundly affect those who are closest to me and to have an effect which lasts generations by being remembered in everlasting love.
Success in my life will not be determined during my time here on Earth. It will be determined by the lives of my children and their children. It will be determined by the positive influence I will leave behind me; through the principled and empathetic men and women who one day saw me as a father, a grandfather, or friend.
When I think of what matters to me it could be summed up in one word. Legacy. I don’t need to be a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, or the baddest tactical operator who ever lived, or the richest guy at the country club. I just want the people I love the most to remember me as the kind of guy who would come give a helping hand when asked, or as the guy who always did what was right, even when it wasn’t the easy thing to do. And as the guy who certainly wasn’t perfect but lived as a good Christian with my values firmly squared up with the good book.
For me the best way to ensure my Legacy is what I want it to be, I must live by a few very simple rules;
1) Live life in the service of others;
2) Be incredibly self aware;
3) Stay true to my principles; and
4) Invest the most into people who live by rules 1-3.
My father is not uber successful in the eyes of the world. He’s a failed entrepreneur who had to work his ass off on weekends and holidays to make ends meet for his family. He’s never won any awards, he’s not a great athlete, he’s not wealthy, and he doesn’t hold any position of influence. BUT….he’s the greatest man I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing and he exemplifies all I have come to value.
THAT is what I want my Legacy to be. What will yours be?