Monday, December 30, 2013

What's your legacy

Today what I do is urgent

1 week from today what I do today will be embraced

1 month from today what I do today will be an afterthought

1 year from today what I do today will be diminished

5 years from today what I do today will be diluted

20 years from today what I do today will be forgotten

100 years from today what I do today will be of no consequence

Unless I leave a legacy

Sounds pretty dismal right? I'm here to tell you it's not dismal; It's focusing.

Over the holiday's I've taken some time to step back and consider where I'm investing my time and energy and what the return is on that investment. It's hard to not get caught up in the everyday'ness of what you do. You have deadlines, meetings, expectations, and etc. If you're doing agile (which I hope you are) everything is broken up into nice bite sized chunks for you which puts even more stress on focusing on the tree at hand and not the forest you're in.

What I'm not saying is that what you do today doesn't matter. It does in the short term at your job and in the medium term of your career. But in the long term of your legacy it doesn't matter at all if you're not focused on leaving a legacy.

You've probably heard the old saying Give a man a fish and you'll feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you'll feed him for life. That is legacy building; taking what you know and have learned and passing it on.

So what's this got to do with your current deadlines or your current project or even your current job? If you focus on mentoring and teaching others what you're learning along the way and teach them to do the same, then you're leaving a legacy that will outlast you many times over.

There are tons of ways to teach others what you're learning. You can blog. You can become a mentor at work. You can speak at a conference. You can write a white-paper. It really doesn't matter how you choose to teach others, it just matters that you choose to.

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