Legacy is About the Presentstring(27) "Legacy is About the Present"

As the founder of BNI®, I have spent years helping business owners build successful networks through referrals. But as I have grown older, I have come to realize that my true legacy is not in the success of my business, but in the impact that I have made on others. In order to leave a lasting legacy, it is essential to look forward and not backwards. Our windshield is larger than our rearview mirror for a reason. It’s important to recognize what is behind us; however, what is most important is what lies ahead of us.

When we look backward, we become trapped in our past successes and failures. We may be proud of what we have accomplished, but we may also be haunted by the mistakes we have made. We may be tempted to rest on our laurels and feel that we have already made our mark on the world. However, this kind of thinking can be misleading, as it can prevent us from moving forward and making even greater contributions.

Instead, we should focus on the present and the future. We should think about what we can do to make a positive impact on others right now and in the years to come. This means investing our time and resources in projects and initiatives that have the potential to change people’s lives for the better. We should seek out opportunities to mentor and inspire others, to give back to our communities, and to contribute to causes that we are passionate about.  We all have people who are in our story – people who have changed our lives. And yet, the most important thing in leaving a legacy in the world is – whose story are we in?  Whose life have we changed for the better?

When we take this approach, we can be confident that our legacy will be one of positive change and impact. We will be remembered not just for what we have accomplished, but for the lives we touched and the people we inspired. We will be remembered as leaders, visionaries, and advocates for change.

Of course, looking forward does not mean that we should forget about the past entirely. We can learn valuable lessons from our experiences, both good and bad, and use those lessons to guide our future actions. But we should not allow our past to define us or limit our potential. Instead, we should use it as a springboard to even greater achievements.

Legacy is not just about what we have done, but what we will do in the future. We should look forward with optimism and a commitment to making a positive impact on the world. By doing so, we can leave a lasting legacy that inspires others and makes the world a better place.

Richard Branson on Legacystring(25) "Richard Branson on Legacy"

I had an opportunity to go back to Necker Island this month where I spent the better part of a week talking to Richard Branson.  I asked my followers on social media to suggest questions that I could ask Richard and the one that I chose to focus on was about his legacy.  Specifically, what is the legacy that he feels he will leave behind?  

My impression of Richard is that he is not one to mull over his legacy in the world. That said, he is one to contemplate the impact that he has had on the people around him.

Surprisingly, the first thing he spoke about when I brought up the topic was his family.  In the end,” he said, “it is about your children and your family.  How you brought your children up and how they live on in your name is an important part of your legacy.”  I asked him for an example of how he did that with his children when they were young and he spoke about the family dinner table discussions.  He said, “it’s so much more interesting if you can throw out a discussion with kids and have a dinner table debate on the issue.”  He said that he “wanted them to learn about what’s going on in the world and most people don’t do that.”  For him, it was a way to guide and coach his children about issues in his community and the world and that learning is an important legacy to carry on.   

My experience of Richard is that he lives his life to the fullest.  Every day on the island he would swim a lap or kite sail around the entire island.  Then, he might go to a nearby island to ride his bike.  In fact, he just had a nasty bike accident as I am writing this blog where he thought he might have broken his hip.  Luckily, he did not. I private messaged him on our What’s App group saying: “I am so glad you are ok.  I’d suggest you slow down a bit but I do NOT think that phrase is in your vocabulary.”   The rest of the private What’s App group seemed to agree with that assessment.    

Also during the conversation with Richard about his legacy, he spoke about the planet and the need to reduce our carbon footprint whenever possible.  He described in detail how Necker Island was now virtually carbon neutral with a solar-panel powerplant covering a large portion of the island along with three massive windmills up on the hill supplying energy to the island.

He once told an interviewer that that “with extreme wealth comes extreme responsibility. And the responsibility for me is to invest in creating new businesses, create jobs, employ people, and to put money aside to tackle issues where we can make a difference.”

Richard said that “you must be driven by a purpose that is greater than yourself. I’d like to think I’ve lived a full life and made a difference but in the end, it’s about how you brought up your children and how they live on in your name.”