Going to get “REAL” for a moment or 3 that it takes to make this post.
I look at my life after 5 decades, as maybe sometimes some of you do too, & say what have I done with those years? What have I accomplished? Will I leave a legacy? Have I made a difference?
When I was younger I thought chasing position, promotions, titles, nice things, a big house was what defined success. I thought if I just get this or that, I will be happy. I was rather task oriented back then, nearly a workaholic, & I like money. Actually there is nothing wrong with liking & striving for success, doing well, & reaping the rewards of your labor. Granted I did accomplish many of my goals, promotions & nice things. However, material things will fade & rust. Money can be earned as well as lost. Great health can be achieved, yet lost in a blink of an eye. I have experienced those as well.
The thing I have realized over my decades, the legacy I leave, is the life I live today. You may have heard me say it, “The good life isn’t about how many toys you have or money you make, it’s about how many lives you touch & good you create” Think about when you were growing up. What are the things you remember the most? Was it the nice toys, or elaborate gifts or was it the precious memories you had with you mom, dad, siblings?
You see life isn’t about arriving at your destination, it is about the journey. Will people remember you for your titles, awards, or money, or will they remember that you were kind, loving, supportive, engaging, and present? The things of this world are temporary. Our lives pass so quickly. There is profound truth in the quote by Charles Spurgeon, “A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble.” So how are we carving hearts? Are we investing quality time with our children & loved ones, serving others, or are we working too many long hours, accruing things or unmanageable debt, as our children grow up in the blink of an eye. Is our time spent more on our devices, or vices, than with our children, spouse & other loved ones? Are we calling or visiting our friends just to say hello or tell them we were thinking of them? Are we growing our souls, & minds, as much as we are growing our bodies or muscles?
I remember, & as my dad would often say, especially over the last decade, “Yesterday is gone, son. Nothing we can do to change that, the question is, what are you going to do now?” Remember, too, that tomorrow is not promised. Oh it’s good to set goals, & roadmaps to success. However, that’s the potential future. Something to hope for, & yes to work well for, but not sacrifice family or your health for. Today is now, it is a gift that is not necessary promised for tomorrow, that is why it’s called the Present. One of the most valuable things you can gift to your children & other loved ones is your presence, to be in the now. To really listen, laugh, & engage.