How Do You Want to Be Remembered?
Rev. Dr. Kitty Boitnott, NBCT, RScP
Heart-Centered Career Transition and Job Search Coach
Here’s a question for you that may make you a bit uncomfortable, but I urge you to go with it. Recognizing that no one lives forever and we each leave a legacy, what do you want to be remembered for? It’s part of being human, I think, for us not to want to feel that our time here on the planet is wasted. We want to leave an impact. I know I do. And I bet you do, too.
So, I ask you to consider this.
How do you want to be remembered?
People who are living their purpose and are driven by their passion may find it easier to answer this question than others. The folks who are lucky enough to be living with passion and purpose are driven to accomplish something. They have goals. And they have a sense of the kind of impact they want to make. It doesn't matter if they achieve their goals. It may be that they make a more significant impact than they ever dreamed. But the point is in the living at the moment with a laser focus on their goal that makes all the difference.
Clearly, we leave an impact on our family members. When we are no longer around, they will remember us. We can hope that their memories will be fond ones. Either way, you will have left an impression, though.
Your impact will also be felt by friends and people with whom you worked. As Maya Angelou pointed out, they may not remember what you said to them. But they will remember how you made them feel.
Kind words and small acts of kindness cost nothing.
Yet so many people run out of patience and speak harshly in a moment of passion. They can say things they wish they could retract. But they can't do that. They can apologize, but the fact remains the words will hang there forever. And the feelings caused by harsh words will never be forgotten even if they are forgiven.
People who are living with passion and purpose don't have time to waste on meanness or unkind actions. They are busy trying to accomplish something bigger than themselves. In truth, living with passion and purpose means that we live intentionally with the idea of lifting others up rather than putting them down.
The smallest gesture can make a big difference in the life of someone who needs kindness.
Be mindful of the way you treat strangers. Be thoughtful in the way you speak to children. Pay attention to the way you treat people in service jobs. When I was dating, I noted if my date was dismissive of the waitress or the waiter or was stingy in leaving a tip. The way you treat people in positions of service says a lot about who you are and what value you put on other human beings.
Don't forget that your words can lift people up, or they can beat them down. It's up to you how you choose to use your words. And you alone are in charge of how you choose to use them.
People who are living with passion and purpose respect others and use their words carefully. They understand the power behind their words and actions. No act is too small. No gesture too trivial. No word of kindness goes to waste.
Ask yourself how you can help others around you.
What can you be doing right now that might make the world a better place for all of us? By being mindful of how we treat others now, we are laying the framework for how we will be remembered when we are no longer here.
As you probably know, Congressman Elijah Cummings of Baltimore, Maryland died last week. He will be missed because of his position in Congress, but he will also be missed because he had a passion for justice. He was driven by his vision that he needed to do his part to make the world a better place.
The poem goes like this:
Forced upon me, I did not choose it,
But I know that I must use it.
Give account if I abuse it.
Only a tiny little minute,
Each of us only has a minute in the grand scheme of things. Life is short.
And it is precious.
It is up to us how we choose to spend the time we have here. We can choose to go with the grind of a job we hate and stay in relationships that no longer serve us. Or we can choose to find work that we love and feel passionate about. And we can choose to leave those relationships that are no longer helpful and move on to new relationships that are healthier for everyone.
You see, the bottom line is we are always, always, always at the point of making a choice. Every moment...every minute...we make a choice as to how we spend the precious time we have here.
How are you spending your time?
How do you want to be remembered when your "minute" is up?
Until next time.
Have you heard the big news? I am going to be sharing a platform with Jack Canfield of the Chicken Soup of the Soul series, Roberta Flack of "Killing Me Softly" fame, and Angela Maiers, founder of Choose2Matter, an inspiring movement that supports parents, educators, and employees around the world.
During this Virtual Summit entitled, "Freedom for Educators," Suzanne Klein, a former teacher turned serial entrepreneur, will be offering interviews that she has done with 21 educators turned business owners.
When Suzanne reached out to me a couple of months ago, I was thrilled. She and I have a synergistic connection. She doesn't want to teach people how to look for a job, and I don't want to teach people how to start a business. So, we are a pair made in heaven. Between the two of us, we can help any teacher who is looking for a way to leave the classroom for something more fun and feels more fulfilling.
Suzanne can teach you how to start your own business with a strong foundation from the start. I can teach you the basics of a successful job search if you are looking to make a more traditional move.
Either way, if you have been thinking about what other possibilities are "out there" for you as a teacher who is ready to move on from teaching, you don't want to miss out on this Virtual Summit.
This is a great opportunity for anyone who is just thinking about a change. You don't have to commit anything. Gosh, even the admission is free!
I hope you see you there!!!