On Friday my colleague, fellow blogger, and journalist Judy Martin died unexpectedly at age 49. I didn’t know her well, but had the pleasure of a few phone conversations with her over the years. I loved both her heart and her focus on helping people.
When I heard the news, I started thinking about the contribution she had made with her life. I looked through her recent blog posts at WorkLife Nation and her tweets. Her death gave them a whole new context. They created, in part, the positive legacy of her last days.
That got me thinking about the idea of a “last-days legacy.”
Put simply, if I died today, what would the legacy of the last week of my life be?
While it was Judy’s social media presence that prompted the idea, it really applies 360 degrees in life. The legacy could come from the love you expressed, or the random compliments you gave, or the patience and understanding you showed. It could come from a random act of kindness, or an insight shared.
Life unfolds in the here and now. Thinking about a last-days legacy is a way to keep an ongoing awareness of whether or not how we’re showing up is aligned with what’s truly important to us.
If you look back at the last week, what would your last-days legacy be? Is it a legacy you would feel satisfied leaving?
Thinking about a last-days legacy isn’t about the big impact you make. It’s about how you choose to show up, day in and day out.
Try this: For the next couple weeks, try checking in with this idea every day. At the end of the day, scan back through the day to see how the day unfolded. Think of it in terms of your last-days legacy. Was it aligned with the legacy you would want to leave?
Now, realistically I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect that you’ll really live full tilt as though this week is the last you have on the planet. But checking in like this and using the last-days legacy idea can help steer you in that direction.
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