Legacies

I can’t help but be struck by recent events about what’s appropriate behaviour and what isn’t. In my experience common sense isn’t all that common. So often on training courses they go through procedures and expected behaviour and the thought that immediately flits through my head is “They have to explicitly mention this! How stupid are some of these people?” And then of course you realise that the reason it’s explicitly stated is because so many people get it wrong so often. And that’s why there’s training courses on this stuff.

It doesn’t matter what age you are or gender. For me the link between maturity and age was shattered a long time ago. Probably when the first person told me I couldn’t do something because of what age I happened to be and then acted like a child in front of my class mates and me.

I guess what’s struck me recently is just how much crap I’ve had to deal with over the past twelve months or so. Sometimes when things go wrong in our lives it’s because of circumstances outside our control. The death of a loved one in a car accident. A sudden illness or loss of a job. And then there’s things that go wrong because someone didn’t do what they were supposed to do or acted exactly as they always have. And the crap in my life has been in the latter category. It’s amazing because it can become so frustrating.

It does get you down. I didn’t realise how much it got me down until recently. What’s brought it home more than anything is when someone from the outside looking in has said how people involved aren’t doing what they should be doing. That can boost my mood for days. It gives me hope. Yeah there is a pile of crap going on but I’m getting through it and still achieving. Maybe not as much as I’d like but other people recognize it.

In relationships and in life, rightly or wrongly, we are judged by other people. History is merely the opinion of those who are around long after we have gone. The question I always ask myself is a simple one. “Is the world better because I lived today? The Bible says we shall know ministers by their fruits. Leaders are judged on their results. The proof is in the pudding. I’m very young to be thinking about legacies but you never know what lies ahead of you. What’s your legacy?

There’s a myth that picturing where you want to be will help you get there. I will be successful and will reach my dream. For most of us that’s not the case. It’s much better to harness the power of regret. How bad will I feel if eat this junk food? How bad will I feel if I skip the gym and mess up my workout routine? If you have a spare moment consider what you’d like to be said at your eulogy or on your tombstone. It’s a great way of focusing the mind.

It’s when I think about the legacy left by other people. The ones causing so much stress to everyone around me that I feel a twinge of melancholy. What is their legacy?

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