I recently met with a friend and colleague to discuss a crowd sourcing strategy for a scholarship in his late wife”s name. During that meeting something very unique happened. Rather than discussing crowdsourcing and endowments for this scholarship, we discussed the legacy of his late wife. As I listened to him talk about the type of woman, mother, and entrepreneur that she was, it became very apparent to me that a scholarship was not the full expression of the legacy this woman left behind. What began as a strategy session quickly turned into a visioning session. This shift in thinking was triggered by simply asking the question: “Why?”
So often we prioritize without any clear direction of where it is and what it is that we”re trying to be. I have discovered this in my own life, as I”m sure many of you reading this have discovered in yours.
In our age of rapid change and seeming chaos we”ve become more susceptible to being carried downstream, hoping and praying we arrive safely on the shore. The sensation this imagery brings to mind is one of fear, panic, stress, and regret. Yet, this is how so many of us are living today. We allow external circumstances and other”s expectations to dictate our decisions, ultimately turning us into victims rather than victors.
So how do we calmly and confidently navigate a world where unpredictability and lack of control seem to increase by the day?
The key is to get to the root cause of what we are truly afraid of. Feelings of guilt, anxiety, regret, and stress are the direct result of misalignment within our own person. One of the more common examples we see today is the fear of failure in one”s work. I use the following example to elaborate on how this fear might be construed in a parent”s life. If we ask this parent why they are afraid of failing in their job, the first and obvious answer is that they will lose their job and subsequent income. If we continue to dig into this particular issue, we see that the fear of failure is dictated by the belief that losing their income ultimately equates to being a bad parent. That”s quite a jump, I know, but the hierarchy looks something like this:
Failure in my job = loss of job and income = losing house and needing assistance = kids won”t have all the things and opportunities I want to give them = I”m a bad parent.
From here you can begin to reprogram your core beliefs about what it means to be a good parent, the type of parent that you truly wish to be, and, most importantly, how that is defined by you (not your external circumstances).
Our circumstances may be changing at an unprecedented speed, but who we are as individuals at our core is constant. Once you”ve realized and internalized this, you can begin taking actions to alter the course you are on, the first step in building a legacy worth leaving.