In the last six weeks I have turned fifty-eight years old, become a grandfather for the first time, Steve Jobs has passed, the Martin Luther King Memorial was dedicated in Washington D.C., and an amazing human being, Dakota Meyer, has been awarded the Medal of Honor for incredible heroism in action.
Jobs, King, and Meyer all leave a legacy beyond their lives that will impact the human race forever. However, I doubt their intent when they were alive was to leave a legacy. Those who create a positive, inspirational legacy do so as a result of bringing excellence to their everyday lives. They decide to give their very best in everything they do. In short, the legacies of Steve Jobs, Dr. King, and Dakota Meyer were created one day, one relationship, one decision at a time.
Most people never pay enough attention to what they are doing to stop and realize that they are constantly writing the history of who they are as a human being. Today's fast-paced lifestyle rarely gives us pause to consider the fact that our lives are being recorded by the memory of dozens if not hundreds or even thousands of people every day. This is particularly true for network marketers. Few professions give you the ability to show people how to live a life of excellence, one day at a time. Like it or not, each of us is creating a legacy in every passing moment.
Here is a short list of character traits that others are measuring as they see you write your life's story. The more acutely aware you are of these issues, the more you will pay attention to the legacy you leave through your daily actions.
1.How you handle problems. Do you dwell on problems or are you a solution-oriented thinker? Do challenges curb your enthusiasm or fuel your engine? People who leave a positive legacy view problems as opportunities to move forward and create new successes.
2. How you deal with adversity. Do you run from adversity and view it as an enemy? People who leave a positive legacy view adversity as a moment in time that can accelerate the growth they need to move on to the next level. They view it as a chance to shine.
3. The quality of your attitude. Do circumstances and other people dictate your attitude? Or do you view your own attitude as a valuable asset that deserves protection and attention? People with the latter perspective know they could lose all their material wealth and gain it all back ten times over—if they only keep the right attitude.
4. The longevity of your effort. Do you grow impatient and easily give up? Or do you see each and every task through to completion and victory? Most people lose steam along the way. Those who leave a positive legacy in their lives understand that success is a process. They understand that "overnight" successes often take years of struggle to reach. They also understand that who you become in the accomplishment of a task is more important than what you accomplish.
5. The degree of your honesty. Is your honesty worth sacrificing money for in the moment? The average person tends to rationalize the "small" acts of dishonesty they may commit in the course of everyday life. People who leave a positive legacy live and die by complete integrity—even if doing the right thing costs them a lot of money with no chance of ever recovering that financial loss. These people are driven by values, not by dollars.
6. The depth of your character. Is your character dependent on how tough the issues or tasks are before you, or is it consistent through all situations? While people can pretend to be one way or another temporarily, true character always reveals itself over time. People who leave a positive legacy view their character, not the balance in their bank account, as their most significant asset.
7. Your willingness to passionately pursue your dreams. Do you live life in the guarded pursuit of a safe harbor or in the passionate pursuit of your dreams? If safe harbor is your answer, it's not likely that very many people are following you. People follow passion and purpose. To leave a positive legacy, you must chase your dreams with everything you have. All human progress comes as a result of someone having a dream they could not live without pursuing with every fiber of their being.
8. The power of your vision. Does your vision include things, conditions, or circumstances that don't currently exist? People who leave a positive legacy are inevitably described by their peers as visionaries. They see things not as they are but as they could be. They harness the power of their imagination and apply their passion to change the world, one action at a time.
9. Your ability to rejoice in the success of others. Do you celebrate the success of others, even when you are not winning? People who leave a positive legacy are patient in their quests and know in their hearts that their time of victory will come. Their inner peace is firmly rooted in the acceptance of where they are and the confidence in where they are going.
10. The degree of your humility. Do you grab the spotlight anytime you can because you are afraid the opportunity to shine may never come again? People who leave a positive legacy live a life underscored by an attitude of humility. When there is blame, they take it. When there is credit, they always pass it on to someone else. Humility is an outward reflection of the inner knowledge that your accomplishments reflect the blessings of God and your committed efforts.
How is the history of your life unfolding day by day? The answer to that question will determine the legacy that will result from your efforts and your life.
JOHN TERHUNE is an attorney at law who
has been involved in network marketing for
twenty-four years. In his previous career
he was the Chief Felony Prosecutor for a
Northern Florida jurisdiction. He has spoken in
front of more than one million networkers
and has written several books, including 15 Secrets
Every Network Marketer Must Know: Essential
Elements and Skills Required to Achieve 6- and
7-Figure Success in Network Marketing
coauthored with Dr. Joe Rubino.