In the ego-driven real estate industry, the suits, cars and lifestyle lead the way and people are measured by how many homes they have sold. Yet this approach to life leaves many people just searching for something at a deeper level. Jet Xavier asks: What kind of legacy do we leave behind?
A COUPLE OF years ago, a good friend of mine challenged me by asking, “Jet, what will they say about you in 200 years?” To be honest I had never thought about it, and said to myself ‘Not much!’ with a laugh.
However, his question totally took me off guard and stumped me. I live a great life. I have an awesome career, I support charities and do good to others as best I can, and I try to be a good example for my children. Yet his question pressed deep into my mind and forced me to analyse my life – what I do and why.
The challenge is we live in such an egocentric, driven world where everything is defined by bank accounts, materialism and status. It’s hard not to be ego-driven when everything around screams buy more, get richer, play harder and die with the most toys.
I love what the Dalai Lama said when asked what surprised him most about humanity. He responded, “Man sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present, the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, then dies having never really lived.”
Yes, many nice things will be said at our funerals and the majority of those who love us will have kind, fond memories. If they are lucky, the kids will get left with something; although there is a shift now with retirees not leaving anything to the kids but instead choosing to sell up, spend it and have a good time whilst they can. What happens from there, though, when we are gone? Will the only legacy we leave be a few good memories and some material possessions?
“Work for a cause, not applause; live life to express, not to impress. Don’t strive to make your presence noticed, just make your absence felt. Feel the legacy, not just money” – Anonymous.
Every year I take a group of my coaching members away for the Success Mastery conference. As part of the conference we give back to the community. Last year we went to Bali and built swings for kids in a remote village. This year we are going to Alice Springs for our conference and will be helping out the indigenous communities by way of giving back. It is a great opportunity for the agents to connect to what really matters and what is really important.
“Build something that outlives you” – Alexander Rose.
So, are you leaving a legacy, or just a life? It’s not only the Nelson Mandelas, Mother Teresas and Martin Luther Kings who are responsible for making the world a better place and leaving behind a giant legacy. It’s the responsibility of us all.
THREE WAYS TO LEAVE A LEGACY AND IMPACT ON YOUR WORLD.
- Put the ego aside and learn to serve. The best five words in the English language are ‘How can I help you?’ When you have a servant heart you move from what Wayne Dyer calls ‘ambition’ to meaning. You leave the selfish to become selfless. It becomes all about ‘we’ instead of all about ‘me’. Ask yourself: what difference am I really making? And how can I serve better?
- Think beyond the easy contributions you might already be making and find something that can have a bigger impact on others. Bill Gates not only gave away money; he became fully involved in the causes he supported and established many new foundations to make the world a better place. He realised that just giving money away is not enough; you have to engage and get your hands dirty. Move beyond token giving and commit to something bigger. Get outside your comfort zone and stretch a little.
- Decide what legacy you want to leave. Jon Gordon says there are four types of legacy: the legacy of love, excellence, encouragement or purpose. What type of legacy do you want to leave? Decide now and start living accordingly.
So, what will they say about you in 200 years?