Like the Northern Star that steadfastly guides the lost traveler, the quote today provides us an excellent pointer to what must drive us in making our life more meaningful, fulfilling and exhilarating. It also offers us a fresh perspective about our existence, reminding us that we need to make the most of life, for someday we will cease to be alive physically but we can ensure our legacy lives on.
Many of us get disheartened because we view ourselves as mere mortals who cannot create an impact on the world nor can we escape the drudgery of living as destiny has chosen us to. This is a fallacy that we have ingrained into our psyche and can be easily corrected by being aware that our life can positively impact all those you come in contact with and that each of us is given the opportunity to make the best of all we have. It is apt that at this juncture I share with you a link (http://chairbornewarrior.wordpress.com/category/my-second-life/ )that outlines the story of an extraordinary individual Mr.M.P.Anil Kumar who passed away yesterday. In many ways this post is also a tribute to him but more importantly his story captures the very core of today’s post.
Here are a few tips on making your life a legacy
Know yourself – This is the toughest part, partly because we can never be completely objective about our self but mainly because we are constantly evolving and our personality evolves with varied experiences, new knowledge and changing perspectives. Accepting our limitations also requires tremendous courage while identifying our strengths requires passionate self belief. Yet once we begin to understand and accept the being we are we can carefully circumvent our limitations while fully harnessing our strengths. E.g. Academics may not be everyone’s strength but some of us have diligence, commitment, hard work, vision etc as allies that we can harness fully to succeed.
Identify your passion – Many of us would candidly admit that lazing around, sleeping, day dreaming or being a couch potato is our most passionate activity. Yet we are also conscious that all of them are unproductive passions. So leaving aside these, list out some productive activities that you will happily engage in. Now creatively work out ways and means to make these activities fetch you income / returns. E.g. If you are a movie buff see if you can be a movie critic or if you have a natural flair for gadgets / gizmo’s find opportunities to leverage this passion.
Be zealous in what you do – Visualize a wonderful outcome of whatever activity you are engaged in. This will provide you the impetus to be zealous and meticulous in whatever you are engaged in. The zeal you bring to your work will always give you an edge over others for good work is always noticed and rewarded. E.g. Have you noticed who is the co worker you can safely entrust a task to? Think about why you value his work so much.
Listen to the criticism but never let it overwhelm you – Since we cannot live in isolation, it is obvious that different people will form varying opinions about us. While some will be appreciative, there would be very many who will be extremely critical. There could be others who are indifferent while some others could be openly hostile. Be aware that there could be some truth in the criticism of others, so do not ignore the negative feedback. Yet do not let criticism dampen your spirits or cloud your judgment. Take corrective action where required but stay the course. If you know yourself you can never go wrong. E.g. If Ms. J.K. Rowling believed all the 12 publishers who rejected her first Harry Potter draft, those books would never have been published nor would millions of young readers have the pleasure of reading those books nor would she have become a millionaire and celebrity. What stops you from aiming so high?
Be the person you want others to be – If we have expectations of others, we must be prepared to walk the talk. In effect, our yardsticks of excellence for others must be the same yardstick we follow for ourselves. If we set a good example, all who observe us will attempt to imitate us. If we can simply be diligent in what we do, be truthful to our conscience, be fair to others and appreciate the efforts of those around, we would be living and leaving a legacy for others to imitate and emulate. E.g if we want our children to be honest we must ensure we don’t do any dishonest act ourselves or if we want the world to be a happier place learn to be happy first. Remember Mr.M.P.Anil Kumar and the cruel joke destiny played on him; yet he left behind a legacy hard to imagine and impossible to match.
List out 5 limitations/ weakness that you believe are hampering your progress in life. Now identify a quality that you posses that could be a possible antidote for that weakness. E.g. You are lazy. Antidote could be your ability to be disciplined or your ability to be committed to your goals or it could be your fear of monetary/ reputation loss. Now use the antidote as fulcrum to overcome your laziness.
Identify 3 people who in your opinion have left a legacy behind; (one must be a person from a historical / scientific / political / social service background ; one from your friends and acquaintances and one a former teacher / superior ) Give an example of the one sterling quality they exhibited.
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