What Legacy Will You Leave Behind?

What Legacy Will You Leave Behind?

The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith – Billy Graham

The idea of leaving a legacy behind for my daughter started soon after I left my previous career in 2006. I was 37 at the time and was pretty much starting a whole new life from scratch. I must admit, leaving a secure job, good pay with benefits, a child, in the process of divorce, mortgage and car payments wasn’t scary at all. I felt like an elephant had been lifted off my chest. I was stress free and happier than ever. There was no doubt in my mind that I would make it. You might have thought it would have been the polar opposite, right? Stressed, scared and worried? During this time, I would have eaten out of dumpster and lived under a bridge just to be free. I was finally free. Free of the rat race, rotating shifts, working holidays and weekends. It was over and I vowed to never, ever work for anyone again as long as I lived. So, what did I do, I started a business.

I started my own real estate business. Yes, starting a real estate business during one of the worse financial crisis this country as seen. Property values plummeted. People were losing their jobs and their retirement accounts. So, here’s where the legacy part starts for me.

My daughter, Alexa was 4 at the time and the concept of leaving my legacy was born. My idea of leaving a legacy is the desire to be remembered for what I have contributed to the world. However, for most mere mortals walking this earth, most will leave a more modest legacy that doesn’t necessarily change the world but does leave a lasting footprint that will be remembered by those whose lives they touched.

You hope your life matters to some. However, I was not hoping my life mattered to my daughter, I was making sure it did. I want my contribution in this world to leave a cemented footprint that never dies.

My purpose legacy is my daughter. I make sure I am fully present for her as well as being the best version I can be as a father. More importantly as a daddy. I have learned that any man can be a father, but not every man can be a daddy. I want her to always be proud of me. I want her to always look up to me, not only a role model but for what a great man should stand for. I want her to remember me as a hard worker, great listener, disciplined, determined, goal orientated and last but not least, always being there for her. Everything I do, I try my best to think would Alexa be proud of me. It may sound corny to some, however, this is my thought process. I want her to say to people with pride, that is/was my daddy. If I accomplish nothing else in my life, I would be fine with that as long as I continue being called daddy. I also want to make sure I am leaving a legacy as a good loyal man, loving friend, person and businessman to others. I want those I’ve touched throughout my life to say, he was a man of hard work, integrity and honor. Below are my 5 ways that I want to leave my legacy. I hope this artice inspires you to leave your legacy.

Here are my five ways to leave a great legacy

1 – Always Do Right by People
I live and die by this philosophy not only in my personal life but in my business life as well. No matter the interaction with someone, you must always do what is right. When I interact with someone, regardless of the setting, I always feel that I have a fiduciary responsibility to that person. If you approach life & business this way, you can’t go wrong. You must be able to lay your head down at night knowing you did what was right. We all know right from wrong. If it’s in your DNA to be a scammer, fraud, liar or rip-off, all I can say is I will pray for you. I just hope the recipient knows better. However, what goes around, comes around. Listen to your intuition and act with the highest level of integrity & honor.

2 – Reflect, Be Grateful and Decide What is Most Important in Your Life
When you rewind your life’s journey, several ideas may come to mind? Are you constantly growing, learning & improving in order to transform your life? Take time to be grateful for what you have, not for what you don’t have. Take time to reflect. It puts life into perspective. There is one saying that I love and live by, #YouOnlyGetSoMany. Be decisive, make changes when needed, find your truth, inspire others, become a leader and influence others in a masterful way. Be sure to make an impact when touching someone’s life. Leave them better than you found them should be your mission. This is paramount to living a joyful, peaceful and purposeful life. You want your legacy to leave a permanent footprint in the hearts of others.

3 – Pursue Your Passions
Your passions are your legacy. Passion comes from an outpouring of the interests and ideas that make a difference in your life. Finding and pursing your passion allows you to see your destiny clearly. That’s what happened to me when I decided to become an author. You will live an unfilled life if you don’t purse your passions. I can assure you, one day you will be lying on your death bed saying, I wish I did this, I wish I did that. Not pursuing your passion is the #1 regret in life. I decided to make it a goal of mine to leave more than just photos behind, I wanted to write a book. What better way to leave a lasting legacy for your loved ones than writing a book about what you’re most passionate about. Three books, another one in the making and several hundred articles later, I have created shelf life for my daughter, her children & family forever.

4 – Be a Mentor/Leader to Others
A mentor/leader by my definition is a more experienced or more knowledgeable person with an area of expertise due in part to study and/or life experience. Everyone has some significant truth & wisdom to impart onto others that will guide the less experienced people in life. The relationship must involve personal development, support and time. Share your knowledge and don’t be worried about someone being more successful than you. This mindset only leads to your own failures.

5. Create Memories Through Life Experiences
Nine years ago, Alexa and myself started a father/daughter tradition. A tradition that we love and look forward too. Every Thanksgiving for a week or ten days, we go away to a different destination. This has been one of the best things I have ever done for the bond we have today. The time spent together is priceless and our bond is stronger than steel. It is one week for us to be together, to build lasting memories and to leave our legacy.

Leaving a legacy is an important part of your life’s work. A legacy develops from a life dedicated to self-reflection and purpose. What legacy will you leave behind?

Copyright © 2017. John Salkowski All Rights Reserved

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