The pursuit of excellence will require us to choose our legacy. Maybe it’s a matter of age, but I’ve been thinking about this subject a lot lately.
When we think about our legacy we must decide if we’re going to build one based on pointless suffering, or are we going to strive for something more. This is important when we consider what a legacy is; an inheritance, something we leave behind. What we do with our lives has an infinite impact on the generations that follow. So, choose carefully.
In my own life this choose has always been clear. I’ve always fought to be something more. To break the mold of my past. To grab hold of a better future that was hard to predict or understand. But, when we choose that path, where does it take us?
Likely towards humility. I know it has for me.
How can it not? Especially when life so often has a way of proving that we can fail.
It’s in these impasses that greatness is found, and where we find pause for reflective learning.
What we achieve in life is a byproduct of what we learn and how well we apply those lessons to resolve the problems we face.
It’s a flaw of the human condition that we are so quick to assign blame for our status in life to the situations we face. Especially when we have so much control over the road we travel in life.
We may start at a disadvantage, but we shouldn’t allow our success to be defined by the portion of the world we control. Instead, the extent of our success should be measured by the quality of impact that we make.
That’s how legacies are built.
A legacy can’t be built overnight. Growth is a mindful process of learning that requires preparing for opportunities, charting your course, carrying out your plans, and constantly taking steps to improve. When we live this cycle well, we build a legacy worth sharing.
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About the Author
Stewart Nicholas is a U.S. Army combat-veteran who served as a team leader with the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) on Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan. After leaving the military, he went on to provide over a decade of service to the non-profit industry and founded Nik Systems, a community minded business consultancy located in Northern New York. He holds a B.S. in Information Systems from SUNY Empire State College and is a Certified ScrumMaster (SCM) through Scrum Alliance.