“Your story is the greatest legacy that you will leave to your friends. It’s the longest-lasting legacy you will leave to your heirs.” —Steve Saint
It was a leisurely Spring Saturday morning as we drove out. On the way, we decided to visit the local farmers market down St. George’s Bay Road in Parnell.
It was kind of relaxing milling around with all the other committed market goers and some tourists along with the regular stall owners with their delicious and varied offerings.
As I sat there waiting for my coffee, I couldn’t help but look around and muse – we were all but a constellation of “walking stories” and what rich, varied and fascinating tales these would be – if we ever got sharing.
Stories of joy, beating the odds, being done over, stories of triumph, tears, celebration and redemption.
Think about it – our lives are made up of multiple stories and these become the narrative, which we live from as they further form and inform us.
Our belief systems also cast a long shadow on the stories we tell ourselves and others. But as the experts in the field remind us – stories don’t need to remain fixed but are constantly evolving and we can take different vantage points on our stories too.
We need to be mindful that residues of our old belief system that no longer serve us do not become the pre-dominant and defining colours of our life collage.
Have you thought about your story lately? What have been some defining moments – recent and from the past – which have impacted your life to date including your leadership, relationships and career path?
After some light munchies and coffee in hand we ended up around the corner in Judge’s Bay. Here one can see some of the best views of this great city and the resting place of some early Aucklanders.
Having just finished two days of the authentic leadership programme where discussion and reflection on “legacy” had been a focus……I wondered what the lives of those resting since early last century had been like – from the 68 to 90 to the very short 3 day old.
Our time on planet earth is so brief. It left me pondering about my family legacy and one which I am still exploring.
I like the idea of emerging stories in influencing our path ahead.
If I had stayed wedded to the old, dominant story of how a little Indian girl from Lautoka from my family was meant to have shown up, my story would have been wholly different! But thanks to my dear older brother, who we fondly called Dara, the seeds of interest in human motivation, behaviour and self knowledge got sparked. But that is another pivotal moment and story for next time!
Reading this short piece, I am curious what, if anything, struck a chord for you? And apart from children which is the obvious legacy for many of us, what other thoughts do you have on your legacy?
If you are wondering about what anchors might best help you explore your legacy, here are five pointers or guiding principles to help you explore your legacy:
1) Values – Ask yourself what are the 3-5 most significant values in my life which I like to live by?
2) Strengths – What are my 3-5 character or professional strengths which I enjoy using?
3) Vision – What do I get excited about or have a passion and energy for when I think about the future?
4) Purpose – Looking back at your life to date, get transported back to those times when you have felt really connected to the feeling of having found your purpose. What becomes present?
5) Lesson learned – What have been some crucibles or defining moments – the lessons from which still power your life and that of others?
What takes form for you when you weave these core, defining truths of your life? I look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments.
Jasbindar Singh is a psychologist and blogger who helps her clients step up and out to take their next steps – however big or small! www.jasbindarsingh.com
All images taken by author. Amazing, sprawling Pohutukawa Tree.