Have you ever thought about the legacy you will leave? I know it sounds morbid to talk about leaving a legacy, but it is something we should all consider. Do you want to be remembered for your loyalty or charity or values or principles or honesty? Will you be remembered for your good deeds or how you helped someone in need?
I never really gave this much thought until after I was diagnosed with cancer. When I was facing a disease that could potentially end my life, I started to reconsider how I was living my life. I remember asking myself, “if I were to die tomorrow how would I be remembered?” To be honest, I did not like the answer. I knew I had to change. I did not want to be remembered as that family law attorney who won a motion hearing, or got her client more alimony or child support, or that attorney who got her client more overnights with his or her child. I do not judge individuals who find satisfaction in those achievements. But for me, after I was diagnosed with cancer, I wanted to be remembered in other ways. I had a Jerry Maguire moment. You know that part of the movie when Tom Cruise’s character realizes he no longer wants to be a shark in a suit. His character says, “I ate two slices of bad pizza, went to bed, and grew a conscience.” This happened to me!
After I realized I had to change, I visualized how my obituary would read. When I litigated family law cases, after meeting with my client initially in the case I would draft the closing statement. The closing statement is a summary of the case and the final words spoken to the Judge at the conclusion of the trial. It is the roadmap for how a case is planned before trial and presented during the trial. So, if I completed this task for all my clients, then why have I not prepared one for my life? I should have a roadmap of my life. The trial is my life. The closing statement is how I want to be remembered. I want to be remembered as a good mother and wife, and faithful and loving and honest and inspirational. I want to leave a legacy of charity and hope and strength, which is why I left my career as an attorney to start this new career as a business and life coach. I published a book to help other breast cancer patients and I donated chemotherapy support bags through my nonprofit because this is the legacy I want to leave behind.
We should all live in accordance with our roadmap/closing statement. Don’t wait for a life altering event to change your perspective on your life and/or your career. Make the changes now, it is not too late! The legacy we leave behind should be something great. Something memorable. Something worth living for!