“No person was ever honoured for what he received. Honour has been the reward for what he gave.” Calvin Coolidge

When we go through life we subscribe to different value systems; some people place much emphasis on having a lot of money. Some consider relationships to be more important than everything else. There are those who consider outward appearance and making a good impression to be the most important possessions, sometimes without considering the cardinal principles of character. These are some of the differences in the perspectives through which people view life and the important things associated therewith. I would like to share with you one viewpoint that might or not have passed through your mind; the need to leave a legacy.

The difference between prosperous nations and failed states, affluent societies and struggling ones, rich people and poor people, most times is in their desire to leave lasting legacies. One group focuses on leaving valuable skills, ideals and values to the coming generations whereas the other is only concerned with gratifying their present desires. This is that lot which we describe as having a propensity to sacrificing tomorrow at the altar of instant gratification.

Leaving a legacy has to do with having a futuristic approach to everything that you do. A focus that goes beyond your period of existence on the planet. Think of what those young boys and girls will benefit from your existence on the planet after you’re gone. This does not call for any special skills but a conscious decision to live a life with a desire to leave a lasting legacy.

Alfred Nobel, the man behind the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize had his death prematurely announced by a French newspaper. In his obituary which he read, it asserted that he was remembered for inventing a dynamite responsible for the death of countless human beings. It stated, “Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday.” This error is said to have had an incredible effect on him that he decided to leave behind him a better legacy. Nobel set aside the bulk of his estate to establish the Nobel Prizes, to be awarded annually without distinction of nationality to anyone considered to have rendered the greatest service to the cause of international fraternity, in the suppression or reduction of standing armies, or in the establishment or furtherance of peace congresses. Nobel died in 1896 but his legacy still lives on more than a hundred years later.

It is unfortunate that the subject of leaving a legacy is one that a lot of people ascribe to politicians and other prominent leaders. Many do not understand that leadership is situational and are of the opinion that if they do not hold an official leadership position they cannot lead and live a legacy. A labourer in the factory floor can leave a legacy if he does what he has to do with excellence. I like the way James F. Clarke put it, “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.” That is the essence of leaving a legacy. Everyone has to take time to think about what kind of legacy they are going to leave on this wonderful planet.

Creating a lasting legacy is not a once-off task. It is built through steady accretion and constantly performing in ways consistent with excellence. Your legacy is not something that you enjoy. Rather, it is something that you live for future generations. This means that if your focus is only to benefit yourself then you will find yourself magnificently prepared for a wrong game. Make a choice today and you will leave a lasting legacy.

Author's Bio: 

Ozias Mucheriwa is a motivational speaker and writer. He writes from his website http://www.motivcenter.com/ and can be contacted on ozias@motivcenter.com or skype: ozymucheri