Are you currently alive or are you dead? Many people, if not most, are living-dead, spending their lives on the surface, not adding meaningful contributions to the world. They might live for a while in the hearts of their beloved ones after passing away, yet once their beloved ones die, their memory will be erased as if they never existed. Are you one of them? The idea of death annoys us, it’s true, yet I was taught that opposites exist to help us develop better understanding of things. To learn how to be alive, we need to imagine how we want to die. Imagine yourself on your own grave, who do you want to be standing there and what do you wish they would be saying about you? For how long do you wish to be remembered by them? Would the life you are living now keep you alive after your death? For how long; months, years, decades or centuries?
Reading one of Sharma’s books, he talked about the ‘Legacy Statement’, the legacy a person wish to leave after his death. Trying to write my legacy statement was a tough task which took me weeks to craft. At first, I started by listing the people whom I admire and who no longer exist in flesh and blood. I wrote many names like Mother Theresa, Gandhi, Stephen R. Covey and many others. Second, I started to write what I admired in each one of them, the values they stood for, the contribution they did and the legacy they left. Third, I started to look for the things in common between them all that made me admire them. I figured out that I loved their persistent contribution in elevating the lives of people in their communities. They had lived for a cause and they never died. Forth, I started to look deeply within, considering my own values, gifts, talents and skills. I started scribbling the lines of my legacy statement based on what I wish to leave on Earth after my death and how I want to be remembered. Fifth, I started putting my legacy statement in action; identifying the things I need to learn, the work I need to do, the changes I need to adopt and the decisions I need to make to create my legacy, to ensure remaining alive after my death. I wrote my legacy statement on the New Year Eve, now, six months later, I have the first thing that I will leave on earth after my death; my first novel which is a part of me that speaks loudly of who I was and what my life stood for.
What’s your legacy statement? You’re never too old or too young to create one, no one knows when he will depart planet earth, your time left in flesh and blood might be in moments or in decades, pick your pen and start sketching.