After a 45-minute spin session on my clothes horse this afternoon, watching Dr Covey training large groups of the wise, I found a YouTube video of a gentlemen in heavy facial tattoos having a go at the book First Things First. (I’ll come to those tattoos and why I mentioned them later.) Of course, I was always going to defend the book, but the focus of this post is one criticism that the vlogger made.
He suggested that the book was great for high-earners and those in powerful positions, but (to paraphrase) ‘the guy struggling to make ends meet is never going to be interested in leaving a legacy’.
How patronising. For a start, why shouldn’t the guy struggling to make ends meet want to leave behind something important when he’s gone ? From something as simple as a loved child, through to some magnificent contribution that changes the lives of millions, why is it that this vlogger thinks that the remit to leave a legacy is only within the power of the wealthy, the super-clever or the unbelievably talented?
A legacy isn’t necessarily a Microsoft, an Apple, a World Cup or other personal title. A legacy is positive contribution that lives in the memory of those left behind, whether it is a stadium-full of happy football fans or the spark of love remaining in the hearts of your children and grandchildren. It exists when a professional remembers a teacher that had faith in them when they doubted themselves. It exists within a charity worker who holds a child until it realises that people love it, and that life is worth pursuing. It exists within an author who writes a book that informs or entertains.
It exists within YOU. But it is only you who can bring it out into physical existence. You can leave a positive legacy, a bad legacy, or none at all. Those who feel they have nothing to offer live homelessly on our streets, abuse alcohol or drugs, or mope from day to day with no concept of meaning. And many die as a direct result of that sense of meaninglessness.
That’s why I promote The Three Resolutions and that is why I wrote the books. I believe that people who live in their accord – knowingly or not – live happy lives of competently executed purpose and service, resulting from a sense of self-discipline and great personal character. And in doing so they will all leave a legacy, similar to those described above. Even if they don’t realise they have done so – they have. I remember teachers, role models, trainers, writers and others that have had faith in me and whose example have made me what I am. (It’s me who hasn’t quite fully capitalised on their faith!) I bet you remember such people, too.
Leave a Legacy. PLAN to leave a legacy. It’s a lot more fun to plan one that leave one by accident.
Anyway, back to the tattooed vlogger.. I don’t like excessive tattoo-ery but those are my values in action. He has every right to have a tattooed visage if he wants one.
The reason I mention it is not to criticise, but to ask this.
If he doesn’t think leaving a legacy is important, why is he vlogging and why is he raising his individuality and sense of self-esteem by painting his face?
To leave a legacy, that’s why.