The famous Mexican painter Diego Rivera was born in the town of Guanajuato, commemorated with a plaque outside of his former childhood home. The location today has been transformed into the Diego Rivera Museum. Several rooms on the ground floor are furnished in period style, giving visitors a glimpse into what life might have been like during his formative years. The remainder of the floor is filled with wall size frescos and peaceful, serene sitting areas to soak up his work. The upper floors contain paintings that chronologically depict his growth, development and career as a painter, showing how his style and focus evolved over time. There are also tributes to other Mexican artists who were influenced by Rivera.
Not many of us will have entire galleries or museums dedicated to reflecting on our life and careers, or immortalizing our growth and development. But, like Rivera’s legacy in the art world, we can ask ourselves, what legacy do we want to leave behind for society? Not only should we be asking that question, but we need to take action each and every day to manifest that legacy.
One of my clients left a solid career in banking to pursue working with companies that are more mission-driven. She is still deciding whether that means working for non-profits exclusively or expanding to for-profit as well. She realizes that now is the time to invest in a career change and manifest her passion for contributing to society in some deeper way. She continues to write her legacy in this world.
In speaking on legacy, provided below is an email post from my coach and mentor Alan Weiss, referencing his soon-to-be published book Threescore and More, and sharing his insights on the topic of legacy and writing the second half our life’s pages.
“Legacy” is not only what we leave to those we love when we’re gone. Our legacy is actually a daily contribution to others, and our duty is to keep adding to and improving it.
It’s poor planning to try to enhance our corporate performance the day prior to a promotion decision. It’s ridiculous to try to create a particular, lasting impression for others on your deathbed. And it’s insane to think that you can change your relationship with family on the eve of a marriage, divorce, or departure.
Are we all in agreement? The last minute doesn’t work.
We mistakenly look to the distant future for our “legacy” to take shape. But the fact is that each day we write a new page in our growing autobiography. The question is, how interesting and appealing is the book? Or is it filled with boring pages and repetitive chapters?
The horizon is closer. That distant line demarking the border of sea and sky has become more delineated, more visible, more imposing. We still have room between us and the horizon, but we realize every day there’s less of it. There’s less time. Because in our 40s, most of us have already lived far more than half of our productive life.
We go from thinking “there’s plenty of time” to “there’s still time, but for what?” We’re all familiar with the adage that no one on their deathbed wishes they had spent more time in the office. But what we don’t acknowledge is that most people don’t fear death so much as they regret the things they never got around to doing.
That’s why our book has to have new pages daily, new chapters monthly. We can’t stop the approach of the horizon, but we can fill the distance with meaningful productivity and contribution.
With Threescore and More, discover what you can do to create your legacy while the horizon is still in view. Here’s how to increase your power, not surrender it; how to improve your influence, not diminish it; how to utilize your experiences in the future rather than pine after them in the past.
Each day you have left is an opportunity to write a new page in your story.
ACTION: What steps you can take right now to bring your legacy to life?
Special Deal: Alan is offering several incentives if you pre-purchase his book Threescore and More by Sunday, April 8. Don’t delay – take action NOW!
Note: Email excerpt reprinted with permission from Alan Weiss, PhD.
Kathy Hart’s driving passion is human change and transformation. Her goal is to provide professional women in midlife (ages 40 – 65) with the support and resources needed to re-imagine and lead even more abundant, joy-filled and purpose-driven lives. If you are a woman wanting to reclaim your voice, realize a long-held dream, or just live your life to the fullest, take concrete action by contacting Kathy at firstname.lastname@example.org. The choice is yours!
Services that Kathy offers:
- 1:1 coaching to support the next journey into your midlife transition
- Trusted advisor for leaders navigating work changes and requiring an expert guide
- Speaking and workshops on human change and transformation
- Small group work and team development to boost the group’s performance