What’s Your Legacy?
Every one of us is put on this earth to leave a legacy – whether we do or we don’t is up to us.
When I told my husband I was writing a blog on Legacy, that’s what he said to me. He inspired me to take a deeper look, to unravel the notion of legacy until I found the key. Many of us think our legacy is just how we’ll be remembered once we’re gone from this earth. We’ve been thinking of legacy as a final and defining statement attached to how we lived our life, a proclamation, good or bad, and seemingly out of our control. But what I’ve learned is, we have a choice to launch our legacy as soon as we own our paths and direct our actions through the power of our Purpose.
But most of us are getting a late start on finding purpose. We were asked so many questions in our formative years, but not the most important one. It was probably in High School when our parents and other influential adults started the barrage of questions – and warnings…Are you going to college? Have you thought about where you’d like to go? What kind of job do you plan on getting? What career are you considering? It’s never too late, you know, to start laying the foundation. Don’t wait too long to make a decision. And the direst of messages, there’s a lot of competition out there, you know.
No one in my world asked, “Do you know your purpose?
Purpose was never talked about when I was anxiously carving out my future. Looking back, I wish it was a part of my conversations about goals, jobs and even relationships. Being guided by this “North Star” would have made my life fuller and more heartfelt a lot earlier. But I grew up thinking that purpose was bestowed upon special people who transformed the world singlehandedly, people like Albert Einstein, Abe Lincoln, Martin Luther King and Mother Teresa, even Princess Diana, Bill Gates, Oprah. I found out I was wrong – we all have a purpose, every single one of us, and we can’t be afraid to go looking for it, no matter how long it’s been since High School.
If legacies begin with finding our purpose, how exactly do we find it? That answer comes from listening to our hearts – and our hearts are speaking up now more than ever. In fact, everybody is talking about purpose these days and the significance, and effects, of feeling joy in our work, family, community, and life. For a long time, we were too busy pushing forward to figure out our purpose, what our gifts were and how we wanted to use them, let alone share them. We had no time to stop and think about what moved us, what made us happy, how our relationships made us feel. Did we even notice how or what we were contributing to the world?
But when we look around today, it appears we’re not too busy anymore. We’re learning how vital it is to spend quiet time re-examining our choices and paths, evaluating the possibility of making changes, weighing the costs and benefits of a different life, and deciding how we want to contribute to our world consciously and passionately. We are now listening to the inner messages that make our hearts sing. Our heart voice is speaking up and we need to summon the courage to follow its lead and take action. This is why we’re here. This voice is our legacy emerging.
When we invite our heart voice to lead us, a single purposeful act has the power to resonate with others and momentum begins. Strangers connect far and wide, igniting a movement that creates harmony, finds solutions, and raises us all. By deepening our commitment to each other, we grow our impact for the greater good. When we learn to inspire others to be their best, by being our best, the legacies we launch as leaders will influence the next generation, motivating them to create more, care more, change more and give more.
Legacy can be defined by something we build, what we lend our voices to, how we choose to spend our time. So, the crucial questions to ask ourselves now are, how can I live my life with passion and purpose? What do I want to contribute? How can I inspire my family, my community, my colleagues? Are my actions supporting the best person I can be? And yes, finally, how do I want to be remembered?
In the past 24 years, I have seen extraordinary things happen when we take a chance on discovering our Purpose, and then find the courage to reach out and share it. But we’ve been through a time when we’ve distanced ourselves from each other. We need to get closer to inspire one another. It’s crucial now to come together in community to support and lift everyone up. The truth is, there’s no competition when we lead from our hearts to make the world a better place, while we’re here – and after.
By deciding right now how we want to live our lives and how we choose to express ourselves, we’re making our mark on the world. So often we hear people say, “It’s the power of one that changes things, look at the power of one person!” But I’ve learned the truth:
“It’s not the Power of One that changes things, it’s the Power of One-ANOTHER that moves mountains and moves people.”
And our legacies can move the world.
By Genevieve Piturro, speaker, author, consultant, Founder of Pajama Program
“One woman came up with her own idea to honor her calling, and her name is Genevieve Piturro.” -Oprah Winfrey
Genevieve’s journey has taken her from a little girl’s question in a shelter to the OPRAH show to boardrooms and stages across America to talk about purpose-driven leadership. A successful TV exec, Genevieve dramatically changed direction and found purpose when a 6-yr old girl’s question rocked her life. She founded the national organization, Pajama Program, in 2001. Gen is an inspirational speaker/consultant, sharing life and leadership lessons from her 5x award winning best seller, Purpose, Passion, and Pajamas: How to Transform Your Life, Embrace the Human Connection and Lead with Meaning. Understanding how vital Purpose and The Human Connection are in leadership, team building, and the bottom line, Piturro designs personalized keynotes embracing these two pillars of success. Genevieve’s second book, Purpose, Passion and Moxie: How to Lead the Way and Leave a Legacy, is a workbook to help you start a nonprofit from scratch to success and was released September 2023. A TEDX speaker, Genevieve, has been interviewed on OPRAH, TODAY, GMA, The Early Show, CNN, Fox & Friends, The Wall Street Journal and more and she rang the Nasdaq Bell in 2016.
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