My dad passed away proud of the legacy he helped build at Pearl & Dean. Learn the steps necessary for you to build an amazing legacy you can leave behind for generation to come!
Does the idea of intentional living, where you live life on your terms and go on to build an amazing legacy, sound overwhelming, maybe even impossible, amid the chaos of just trying to survive life? Many of you are living in a world that is hectic, busy, and chaotic, full of stress, pressures and disappointment. Life is more about struggle than success. Yet we can all go on to build an amazing legacy and today I’m going to show you how!
Intentional living is where you set the course for your own life, determining the way that you want your life to be, motivated and inspired by a vision you hold within, and living life the way you want to. Where when the time arrives that we take our last breath, we leave behind a world that has benefited from our presence, having lived a life that meant something creating our legacy. We are often not remembered by the things we have, but by what we leave the world to be.
“Everyone must leave something behind when they die, a business, a book, a painting, a garden planted, a healthy bank balance or the people who live on with them in their hearts.”
The importance of ensuring we each build an amazing legacy has been highlighted to me in a big way over the last eight weeks. Throughout this time I have been sitting by the side of my father as he fought for his life. We knew it was going to be a losing battle as he had been diagnosed on the first day with acute leukaemia and in fact he lived far longer than his Doctors expected.
At the start of his long stay in hospital my father wanted one thing, not to be left alone. So, my sister, daughters and myself ensured that at least one of us was with him 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The one thing that kept us going, apart from our love for him, was something he said a few days in and that was he was ready to go because he was proud of the legacy he was leaving behind.
There were the three generations of family he had. His children, his grandchildren and his great grandchildren. Then there was the major part he played in the family business, Pearl and Dean, (check out my previous article on the Pearl & Dean Story) where he was the Managing Director for local sales, a role he performed for many, many years. Those of you 50 years old plus have no doubts sat in the cinema listening to the famous theme tune, Pearl & Dean’s ‘pa-pa, pa-pa’ advertising jingle. Also, who can forget the adverts for the local taxi company, hairdresser or restaurant round the corner. These were all down to my Dad and his team of local sales people. Hey you may even have seen me in a few of the ads, but I was only 4 so they were a while back.
To his dying day, my Dad was proud of what the family had achieved from their modest beginnings. Refugees from Lithuania, brought up in Cardiff, to running their world famous business in their lavish West End Offices.
My dad passed away proud of the legacy he built and the one he created.
“We won’t live forever, but our legacy can create something that will!”
He will be sorely missed but his life and his dignified end has reminded me the importance of creating a wonderful legacy and my purpose in life is helping others particularly those struggling to find their way to bring about massive improvements to their life. Hence I write this article so soon after my father passing away. I hope you are now ready to ensure you create the right legacy for you!
But how? How do you ensure you can create a legacy to be proud of? We all want our life to matter in this world and be an example of how to live life for the future generations. Yet few of us ever discover how to do this.
Leaving a legacy is like planting a tree. As that seed grows into a tree, it will provide seeds, so that future generations can then plant their own. You have to keep watering it, nurturing it, and keep going. But are you planting the seeds?
Don’t let years, decades, even an entire lifetime go by without setting out to build an amazing legacy. Get started right now, before it is too late. Let me right now help you to do this.
So, I say again, how do you go about designing a life where you build an amazing legacy that you can leave behind for generation to come?
You need to determine four things.
1. See A Vision Of Your Perfect Life In The Future
I write often about the importance of visualising your ‘perfect life’ sometime ahead in the future. Whether this is 3, 5, 10, 20, 30 years ahead very much depends on your current age. Holding on to a clear picture of the future of your dreams is like having a Satnav/ GPS system showing you the path to where you want to go. A GPS knows where you are starting your journey. And once you enter a destination, it calculates a route, a path, and is exactly what my Single Page Plan process helps you determine.
I want you to imagine your funeral. Not the brightest topic, to be sure, but one worth serious thought—no matter what your age. Your family and friends have gathered to honour your life. But what do you leave behind? Beyond the contents of your last will and testament, what part of you remains on earth even after you’ve passed away?
You need above all else to design the way you want your life to be at a future point. Ask yourself this … what can I achieve in 3/5/10/20/30 years? How do I want my life to be? What do I want to have done, been, and had? What do I want to have achieved?
Don’t waste any more time, reflect on the life you want to live, the legacy you want to leave, get a picture of your future developing in your mind. Make it great!
2. Determine Your Life’s Mission From This Point Forward
Next you have to write up your life’s mission. Having a life’s mission brings focus and purpose to your life.
President John F. Kennedy announced his intention to put a man on the Moon before a joint session of Congress on May 25 1961 “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.” On July 20, 1969, at 20:18 Apollo 11 landed on the moon.
“Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” Neil Armstrong.
Their mission was very clear, what about yours?
Once you craft your personal life’s mission you’ll have guidance for every decision you’ll ever have to make personally or professionally. A personal mission statement could be a sentence, a paragraph or an essay that explains your purpose and how you want to live your life. The point of creating a mission statement for yourself is to make it easier to see if your actions are in line with your core ambitions, so you focus your time and energy on the things that truly matter to you. Ask yourself:
Steven Covey refers to developing a mission statement as “connecting with your own unique purpose and the profound satisfaction that comes from fulfilling it.”
“Give me a stock clerk with a goal, and I’ll give you a man who will make history. Give me a man with no goals, and I’ll give you a stock clerk.” JCPenney
3. Clarify Your Values
What kind of values would you want to cultivate and live by? Our values, are those things we feel important, fundamental to not just who we are, but the things that are right for us to do. By ‘values’, psychologists effectively mean the things we care about and strive for in life. Our values are deeply held beliefs about what is good, right & appropriate.
You need to find clarity on what’s truly important to you—your values. Chasing goals and dreams that are incongruent with your own deeper values is a recipe for failure. One of the best ways to find clarity on your values is to take a values test. It’s often helpful to see a wide-ranging list of values and then order those most important to you. (You can find one of these lists on a previous article I wrote What are your Values). You need to determine five or six of the most important values to you. Finally, see if you can choose the one value that is most important to you.
4. Design Your Action Plan To Transcend To Your Perfect Life Future
Whatever your vision, dream and goals you need to decide what steps you need to take to achieve them. This entails creating an action plan.
An effective action plan should give you a concrete timetable and set of clearly defined steps to help you to reach your objective, rather than aimlessly wondering what to do next.
It helps you to focus your ideas and provides you with an answer to the question ‘‘What do I do to achieve my objective?”
“There is no elevator to success…you have to take the stairs,” Zig Ziglar
There are specific steps, actions, and tasks, you must take to achieve your objectives.
You need to think about what you need to do to reach them? Ask yourself:
Take the time to do these four things and you are on the way to successfully ensuring you build an amazing legacy. I assure you by doing this you will bring about massive improvements in your life.
Your legacy is all about you. It’s something you create during your life solely to benefit future generations, something you may never see come to fruition. Just like a farmer who plants a tree knowing he’ll never live to taste its fruits, a legacy is a gift you leave behind without expecting anything in return. Think of John F. Kennedy and the space program or Martin Luther King Jr. and civil rights. They died before their legacies were fulfilled, but they will be forever revered for their efforts.
The legacy that was Pearl and Dean, the cinema advertising company created by Dickie and Ernie Pearl, my godfathers, brothers of my grandmother, alongside Bob Dean, and three brothers David, Mervyn and Eliot, with many others will never be forgotten. My hope is to write more about the Pearl and Dean story together with my Dad’s brother Eliot. Their legacy will never be forgotten.
“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” Attributed to Pericles
Let me share a story with you. One day, a wealthy and successful man was reading what was supposed to be his brother’s obituary in a French newspaper. As he read, he realized that the editor had confused the two brothers and had written an obituary about him instead. The headline proclaimed, “The merchant of death is dead,” and then described a man who had gained his wealth by helping people to kill one another. Not surprisingly, he was deeply troubled by this glimpse of what his legacy might have been had he actually died on that day. It is believed that this incident was pivotal in motivating him to leave nearly his entire fortune following his actual death eight years later to fund awards each year to give to those whose work most benefitted humanity. This is, of course, the true story of Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite and the founder of the Nobel Prize.
Whether you have thought about it or not, your legacy is being written every day. Make sure you write the right one.
“How you treat your heritage, decisions you make, and the effect you have on others all influence what is said, remembered, and modeled about you. We think the real question is whether your legacy will be intentional or accidental.”
Nobody wants to die – we all want to live, but we understand death’s unavoidability so we understand the importance of making the most of the time we have and our need to focus on finding meaning in our lives and build an amazing legacy that persists long after we are gone. If you don’t already think like that, then rereads that sentence until it sinks in, it is crucial for you to live with that as your focus.
I want to assist you so you can go on to build an amazing legacy for yourself. Think of every successful person you know. I guarantee you that they have a coach whom assists, supports and directs them toward continual success. My coaching helps people develop their road map towards a fulfilled life. Let’s partner together to begin creating the life of your dreams. I offer to you totally FREE a coaching session, where for 45 minutes we will focus on what changes you need to bring about in order to build an amazing legacy.
I want to help you. Whether you decide to allow me to be your coach or we talk once for just 45 minutes, whatever time we have let me help get you moving in the right direction.
Over to you… Arrange your FREE consultation session.
May we all leave as fantastic a legacy as my Dad achieved. He will never be forgotten!