Building a Legacy: Selfless or Self-seeking?

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We are all going to die. Yes folks, sorry to be so morbid at the beginning ,but the truth has a way of empowering us all. You, me, and everyone we know is going to die one day.
The greatest gift of life is death. Why you ask? Well, death gives life meaning and carries with it the conscious realization that our days on this planet are numbered, and as such, we should spend it living our best life possible. Far too many of us live the life that others had in mind for us. Or, even worse, we spend it trying to uphold what society says we should and shouldn’t do. Well, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
The real value in understanding death should force each of us to consider what we want our legacy to be, when we return to the dust of the earth. I find it amazing that people spend so much time living in the now, and not thinking about the future. Sure we should enjoy the little blessings that we are allowed to receive each day, but shouldn’t we as well think about our overall contribution on this big, blue ball called earth? What are we doing each and every day that gives meaning to our existence on this planet? It’s something that occupies my thoughts constantly.
I have always been of the belief that anything that is not adding value is taking away. Seeking to add value, and to be remembered for doing so is what building a legacy is all about.
Building a legacy cannot be about self, though. It has to be about doing something for the greater good of humanity. This doesn’t not mean that you have to win the Nobel Peace Prize. What it does mean, is that whatever activity you commit yourself to, you should do it without seeking personal acclaim. The gratification is in the effort of giving, rather than in the abundance of receiving. Some people don’t set out to create a legacy. They inherently do so through their actions.
Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandela have cemented their places in history because of their selfless pursuit of creating a greater good for humanity. If one is willing to die for what he believes in, he is almost certain to live on forever.
Legacy building also has everything to do with achieving our highest potential. Shouldn’t we all aspire to be the best? Since we know we only get one shot at this thing called life, why would anyone want to just be average?
“Good enough” has always been the enemy of greatness. Think about this for a second. All the people we admire or even look to as specimens of amazing human achievement have never settled for anything less than the best. That’s the reason we admire them!
In business, examples abound incessantly. Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Mark Zuckerberg, just to name a few, have all aspired to be the absolute dominant forces in their respective industries. Locally, Eric Williams, Brian Lara, Arthur Lok Jack, and Machel Montano are among those who have built great legacies. They have risen to spectacular heights because no one was harder on them than they were on themselves. Even if a few legacy builders have a bit of an infamous reputation, if you judge their accomplishments based on pure talent and hard work, no one can deny their legacy.
Being great requires us to be our biggest critic, and to always believe that our best is yet to come. Most importantly, building a legacy requires unwavering passion and dedication. We are only failures in life when we give up. No one who ever built a legacy did it by “punking out” (a harsher way of saying quitting).
The journey of life comes with many peaks and valleys, and the valleys can be deeper than we ever anticipate. However, if we can look up, we can get up. Passionate and dedicated people always find a way to make things happen. They never sit around feeling sorry for themselves, for they know that pain, as is life, is always temporary. What is eternal is the legacy they build through their efforts and dedication.
I find it interesting in life when I hear people talk about ownership. Let me make a statement: none of us own anything on this planet. We are only stewards of the things in our possession while we are here for we can take NOTHING with us when we die. The only thing that we are responsible for in death, is what people choose to remember about our life, as we have crafted what they believe about us through our actions while alive. That my friend is what legacy building is all about. Fear nothing; die a hero.

We are all going to die. Yes folks, sorry to be so morbid at the beginning ,but the truth has a way of empowering us all. You, me, and everyone we know is going to die one day.

The greatest gift of life is death. Why you ask? Well, death gives life meaning and carries with it the conscious realization that our days on this planet are numbered, and as such, we should spend it living our best life possible. Far too many of us live the life that others had in mind for us. Or, even worse, we spend it trying to uphold what society says we should and shouldn’t do. Well, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

What are we doing each and every day that gives meaning to our existence on this planet?

The real value in understanding death should force each of us to consider what we want our legacy to be, when we return to the dust of the earth. I find it amazing that people spend so much time living in the now, and not thinking about the future. Sure we should enjoy the little blessings that we are allowed to receive each day, but shouldn’t we as well think about our overall contribution on this big, blue ball called earth? What are we doing each and every day that gives meaning to our existence on this planet? It’s something that occupies my thoughts constantly.

I have always been of the belief that anything that is not adding value is taking away. Seeking to add value, and to be remembered for doing so is what building a legacy is all about.

Some people don’t set out to create a legacy. They inherently do so through their actions. 

Building a legacy cannot be about self, though. It has to be about doing something for the greater good of humanity. This doesn’t not mean that you have to win the Nobel Peace Prize. What it does mean, is that whatever activity you commit yourself to, you should do it without seeking personal acclaim. The gratification is in the effort of giving, rather than in the abundance of receiving. Some people don’t set out to create a legacy. They inherently do so through their actions.

Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandela have cemented their places in history because of their selfless pursuit of creating a greater good for humanity. If one is willing to die for what he believes in, he is almost certain to live on forever.

Legacy building also has everything to do with achieving our highest potential. Shouldn’t we all aspire to be the best? Since we know we only get one shot at this thing called life, why would anyone want to just be average?

“Good enough” has always been the enemy of greatness. Think about this for a second. All the people we admire or even look to as specimens of amazing human achievement have never settled for anything less than the best. That’s the reason we admire them!

In business, examples abound incessantly. Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Mark Zuckerberg, just to name a few, have all aspired to be the absolute dominant forces in their respective industries. Locally, Eric Williams, Brian Lara, Arthur Lok Jack, and Machel Montano are among those who have built great legacies. They have risen to spectacular heights because no one was harder on them than they were on themselves. Even if a few legacy builders have a bit of an infamous reputation, if you judge their accomplishments based on pure talent and hard work, no one can deny their legacy.

Being great requires us to be our biggest critic, and to always believe that our best is yet to come. Most importantly, building a legacy requires unwavering passion and dedication. We are only failures in life when we give up. No one who ever built a legacy did it by “punking out” (a harsher way of saying quitting).

The journey of life comes with many peaks and valleys, and the valleys can be deeper than we ever anticipate. However, if we can look up, we can get up. Passionate and dedicated people always find a way to make things happen. They never sit around feeling sorry for themselves, for they know that pain, as is life, is always temporary. What is eternal is the legacy they build through their efforts and dedication.

I find it interesting in life when I hear people talk about ownership. Let me make a statement: none of us own anything on this planet. We are only stewards of the things in our possession while we are here for we can take NOTHING with us when we die. The only thing that we are responsible for in death, is what people choose to remember about our life, as we have crafted what they believe about us through our actions while alive. That my friend is what legacy building is all about. Fear nothing; die a hero.

 

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Andre Worrell is the Managing Director of Cash Handling Supplies Limited, which he started at the age of 23, in 2008, soon after graduating from The University of the West Indies with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Economics. He also won the "National youth Award in Entrepreneurship" in 2009.

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