If I died today, what would be my legacy?
I was on the fence about whether or not to write on this topic because it seems morbid on the surface. However, watching tonight’s CMA Awards inspired me to go ahead and write. I grew up listening to country music and I enjoy it still. The musicianship, the songs -the STORIES-make it an art all its own to appreciate.
Unlike some of the other awards shows, they sprinkled the tribute performances throughout the night. These moments evoked genuine emotions of those mourning colleagues, friends, and tragic losses, like the Las Vegas Massacre. Not to mention the In Memoriam segment, featuring Carrie Underwood’s soul-stirring rendition of “Softly and Tenderly” – I’m sure there wasn’t a dry eye in the house, including my house. It brought to mind the funeral of fallen country star Troy Gentry. I remembered the wonderful words said by those closest to him, and how genuinely loved he was. The remarks made were not shallow or insincere; they were real stories of real love and real experiences. I don’t plan on going anywhere any time soon, but I do sometimes wonder, “what will be said of me when I pass on?”
CReating a (True) Legacy
Have you ever been to a funeral where not much could be said about the deceased? Or better yet, where the officiant painted a less than true portrait of what they were really like? Well, I am determined to live the best eulogy ever written. I want more to remembered about me than “she lived and she died.” People generally reflect more positively and gently about others when they pass away. I want every word said about me to be true. I often worry about how I’ll be remembered and what legacy I’ll leave but I have realized I am in control.
I am in charge of the reality I create for my memory.
If I want a legacy of fruitfulness, I must work to realize my dreams.
If I want people to remember my kindness, I must be kind.
If I want people to remember my generosity, I must give unselfishly.
If I want people to remember my love, I must actively love them.
Tim McGraw sings a great song, “Live Like You Were Dying”. That’s a great philosophy, to seize the day and live like every moment is your last. But I also think we should live the life we would want spoken about when we are dead.
So, here’s an exercise I plan to do, and I hope you’ll try it with me:
Write your obituary/eulogy.
Yes, you read that right. I’m gonna write my own obituary and eulogy.
- Write your obituary and eulogy, as it would stand if you died today. Now, this is not the time to sugar coat anything. Be completely honest about the good, bad, and ugly. Tell your story and tell it fair. (If you find this to be too morose, try thinking of it as a brief autobiography.)
- Review the story. Do you like the truth of what you have written? Are you satisfied with what you’ve done? Do you like WHO YOU ARE? If the answer is no, guess what? You are still alive! There is a chance to turn the ship around while the blood still runs warm in your veins.
- Make your bucket list. List out the things about yourself you want to improve before it is to late, and the things you want to accomplish.
- Don’t talk about it, be about it! Work one day at a time to realize your dreams and improve the areas on your list.
At the end of the day, life is fleeting and you can’t control what people say or remember about you, but you can control the real story. If my life speaks for itself when I’m gone, I want to look down and be proud of what it says about me. What will yours say?
What are you doing to ensure that your legacy will be positive? Drop a note below.