What if, instead of leaving a legacy, you lived your legacy?

Happy Friday! 

And a happy friday it is, too! The sun is out, glistening on the lake as I watch through the glass doors to my right. I have the soundtrack to Hamilton blasting in the background, and I’m smiling.

Last night I was lucky enough to go with my cousin to see the award-winning Musical, Hamilton. And O – M – G (and I don’t say that very often!) it was SOOO good!

Now I’m a sucker for musicals, it’s true. But this one was pretty darn special.

A historical depiction of the fascinating life of Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, the story is told in a very modern fashion, combining hip hop with spoken word poetry with rap with traditional musical theatre styles to boot.

It truly is a masterpiece.

As the first Secretary of the Treasury, he was responsible for bringing the country out of debt, and established not only a centralized bank but also their own US national currency. He also wrote 59 essays defending the US Constitution, founded the Federalist Party, The United States Coast Guard, and the New York Post newspaper. Oh, and he was father to eight children… accomplishing an incredible amount before he was killed in a famous duel with Vice President Aaron Burr at age 47.

And even though he is the least known and spoken about of the Founding Fathers, you can’t hear his story without thinking about legacy. And rightfully so, as he certainly left one.

But it got me thinking. Does legacy have to be something we leave?

After finishing an amazing book last week, Everyday Legacy (which also happens to be written by my good friend and colleague Codi Shewan, and just launched this week – shameless plug I know!) I have a whole new perspective with respect to legacy.

His belief is that legacy isn’t something you leave, but something you live, and create every day of your life.

And I couldn’t agree more.

Your legacy doesn’t exist in what is written on your tombstone, but in the words of encouragement you utter, in the smiles you share with strangers, in the belly laughs you have with your girlfriends.

Every day you have an opportunity to live your legacy. In every interaction, in every conversation, in every pair of eyes you meet.

I received some very sad news last week, which is still very surreal and very raw. A very special family friend, one of my Dad’s best friend’s in fact (who subsequently became very near and dear to me, also…) has terminal cancer.

She has sent me a card on my birthday every year for the past, well, probably 30 years. Although she lives in the UK, never once has it arrived late. And I know she does the same for likely hundreds of others in her life. She has been a volunteer in the prisons for decades, is an incredible friend, wife, mother, grandmother and caregiver, and the most welcoming and amazing host you could ever imagine (I’ve never tasted Yorkshire pudding so delicious in all my life… and I don’t even like Yorkshire pudding!) 

I have never once heard her complain, nor have I ever not seen a smile on her face.

She is a perfect example of what it means to live a legacy. And with every day we are lucky enough to still have her with us, she will continue to do so.

Living your legacy is about living fully. Living with passion, and living with purpose.

 

How might you be living your life differently if each day you were aware of living your legacy?

 

Would it give you permission to try that thing you’ve always wanted to try?

Would it give you the courage to acknowledge your fear, stare it in the face, and take the first step in the direction of your dreams anyhow?

Would it give you an extra nudge to say yes before you felt ready to have that conversation, the very thought of which makes you uncomfortable?

 

That is what Codi means when he says everyday legacy.

And that is living brave.

 

This week I encourage you to take on this idea, and spend each day as though you truly are living your legacy.

And then please share what everyday legacy means to you, and how you’re going to start putting it into action in the comments below… it warms my heart every time I hear from you!

Have a FAB week!

Carol Schulte

Carol is a published author, has been featured in numerous magazines and podcasts, and is a returning guest expert on Rogers TV. Having lived and worked in 16 countries including Ashrams in India and vans in New Zealand, rocked dreadlocks in Thailand and shaved her head for breast cancer, she certainly walks her talk and brings a global perspective to all she does. When she’s not traveling or speaking on stage, you can find her volunteering as a bereavement facilitator, training for her next triathlon, or practicing her serious carpool karaoke game.

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  1. Alexandra Ginty says

    Great post Carol. Everyday legacy. I thought cancer would hurt my kids too as I made it real to them as I went through it and all the un-favourite after-effects and scary genetics too. They rose resilient like the best legacy I could ever wish in my biggest dreams. I’m so proud of how they coped and are now Living Brave. My daughter is in Queens Med school changing so many more worlds. My everyday legacy is authenticity. A rare and beautiful gift. Thanks Carol.

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