I recently watched a man I deeply love and respect make a difficult decision ... As he explained his thinking, he said, "I had to answer something (author) Donald Miller said, "If the story of my life wouldn't make a very interesting movie, it wouldn't make a very interesting or meaningful life either." "I couldn't get that out of my mind," he says. "What would my legacy to be?" he said. "How would I want my kids and my grandkids to remember what my life was all about?"
Wow! Instead of short-term, "What's in it for me?" He was asking, "What's in it for the next generation? What's in it for the generation after that?"
That's the "legacy filter" for decision-making. It's considering that our lives have a deeper impact and significance than our own accomplishment, comfort, or cash payout. When we see ourselves as part of a greater impact on our world 30 years from now, we may need to
Of course there are hypocrites all around us.... Some even live in our home (US!) BUT some people are the real deal!
One good friend shared last year during a round of golf that what he's most passionate about is kids. Over lunch yesterday, he tells me he and his wife have taken into their home a teenage boy with cerebral palsy... "Why?" I ask. As intensity grows in his face and tears form in his eyes, he says "Since his father died, no one else was really caring for him! And he's really a good kid! My dream is to see him be able to live on his own some day."
Another friend "Facebooks" me to tell me he's moving forward with a daring plan to raise money for the poor despite disappointments and implications for his own net worth. Of course, he still struggles as many have no idea why he would forgo his comfort for the good of others. Yet, he moves ahead and I really believe he's going to impact many who may never know his name or what he gave up to help them. Still, his legacy will go on.
Another friend decides to love and serve his wife, even though she hasn't had a kind word to say about him in quite a long time.
Roberta Jamieson, the first aboriginal woman in Canada to earn a degree in law and now CEO of the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation in Toronto, said, "How much purpose and power would you have if you knew your choices would impact your community and your country for seven generations?"
Got a tough decision to make? Sure, look at the impact on lifestyle, on finances on benefits. But also run it through the legacy filter. The life you save just may be your own... and someone seven generations from now!
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