Does the image you have of yourself match who you really are? Which one is real? Here’s another thought, it’s not about how you see yourself that matters as much as what you do. Actions matter.
One day I was dressed all in black, my old uniform, but it wasn’t the clothes that triggered a thought. It was how I saw myself then. You see, though no one knew it, I was the baddest, toughest, guy around who had all the answers.
At least that’s how I thought of myself.
That was my internal world/buffered self (see The Problems of Being A Self-Made Person). It was my identity and the story I told myself. Was it true?
How did I interact with the world within this view of myself? With a superiority complex covering over an inferiority complex.
What use was it? Hard to say, I was too busy telling the world how brilliant I was to measure impact. There wasn’t any legacy in it.
Ask yourself those questions.
Living An Impactful Life
Now consider legacy. Legacy comes from making a meaningful impact in people’s lives. If you look carefully you can see the influence of one person as it works its way down a line of people. A ripple effect.
Think of the small things, the little things that you’re consistent at. I see people who show up and volunteer at every big project. They are in part creating something that will have an impact for years to come. Those who see them will remember, and whatever banner they are under will be remembered.
I work with people that I know I can count on. Their legacy is loyalty. One had even left, but while there I could count on her and learned from her.
The questions I’m leaving you are these, what legacy do you want to leave behind, and how far-reaching? When you die, how do you want to be remembered? For the Christians, when you see Jesus, will he tell you ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ (Matthew 25:21).
Think about these. If you are truly who you see yourself as and are making the impact that you should, or if it’s just a personal fantasy.