Warren Buffett made a load of money. Now he’s giving away more than anyone has ever given away. He focused on being great at something he was passionate about before he thought about helping others. His impact will be massive, and long-lasting as a result. Something to think about.
Life is short. But very few of us ever live in a way that shows an understanding of this fact, or the fact that we are gong to die sometime in the relatively near future.
Instead, we act like we have all the time in the world, and it shows in our priorities and what we do on a daily basis. Then you talk about someone in their 70’s or 80’s and they think about their Legacy. They speak with a sense of urgency about what their life will mean after they’re gone. Their decisions show this. Our decisions don’t.
Why did I do what I did today?
We spend so much of our lives doing what’s expected of us. We spend so little time thinking about our Legacy and what our life will mean after we’re gone. Our days lack passion, excitement, and purpose. But there are also very simple ways to cure this, and that’s what we’re going to discuss in this article.
What do I want from life?
Write this question down on a piece of paper. Then think. Really think about what’s most important to you in life. Think about everything you want to accomplish and how you want to be remembered.
If you could do everything and anything in life, travel anywhere, help anyone with anything, what would this life look like? No limitations. Big picture stuff, but be specific.
How is this going to help other people?
An impact can’t be made if all we’re impacting is ourselves. Right now we’re working on getting established. We’re working on supporting a family, investing our money, and earning money to begin with. Thinking about how we’re impacting others isn’t at the forefront of our minds, and it makes sense for it not to be.
The thing is, impacting others – however you decide to do this – is much more fulfilling than always looking out for number one. Am I saying that you have to quit your job and start helping others? Hell no. The job you’re doing can help you build memories, travel to new places, and teach you the skills you need to learn to create your Legacy.
Ask this question, then make sure it’s in line with the first question.
Our Legacy isn’t going to be created if we don’t take action, and take action fast. So many people will look at an exercise like this and do it, then forget about it. They’ll let fear get in the way of their dreams and dive back into the life they’re living that is safe and doesn’t fulfill the purpose they truly want it to fulfill.
I really have no problem with a safe life. All I want to help you do is get the most out of life. Often, this means bold decisions and a degree of risk. If your Legacy doesn’t include this, more power to you. If it does, like I suspect it does, here are some things that will help you in a big way.
1. Line up your passion, with your skill.
You might want to be the greatest basketball player that ever lived because you’re insanely passionate about basketball. But you suck at at it. This isn’t lining up your skill with your passion. In which case, get into coaching.
You may be passionate about movies, as I am. If it’s something you’re truly passionate about, figure out how your skills line up with your passion. If you’re a great writer, get into screenwriting. If you think you can act, then sign up for some acting classes and see if you’re any good at it. If you’re good at bringing people together and organizing projects, research how your favourite producers got to where they are, then work on getting there.
You don’t have to quit your job. A lot of this can be done on the side while you’re still earning an income. Your Legacy can also be the life you give your family and the kind of mother or father you are to your kids. Think big, and think out of the box.
2. Set deadlines.
If you want to try acting, figure out auditions and go to them. If you want to write a book and have a good idea, set a deadline as to when you’re going to accomplish it. If you want to move to Africa and help in any way you can, buy a plane ticket today.
More is lost due to indecision, than wrong decision. Act. Please act. The world really does need more great people.
3. Measure work output, not hours.
Figure out how you work best. I’ve tried sleeping for as little as 4 hours a night in an effort to get more work done; the result was a lower quality of work. Yes, I worked longer hours, but I actually got much less done because I lacked focus due to my lack of sleep. This was an important thing for me to figure out.
Figuring out how you work best is a must. Try different sleep schedules, different eating schedules, and record your productivity. You don’t have to do what everyone else does. One guy might not need much sleep, and that’s great for him he’s a lucky guy, but I’m at my best when I get 7-8 hours. I’m also best when I eat certain things at certain times. It’s just the way I work. Figure out how you work, and record the results.
Don’t leave this to opinion. Time how long you can maintain focus at certain tasks over the span of a week or even a month. Figure out when you’re best at doing your most important tasks and schedule them for these times.
4. Spend more time on great things. Then work your way down from there.
Time yourself on your great tasks; those things that are going to contribute to your Legacy. These tasks, missions, and projects should take up the majority of your time.
Yes, we have to do things we don’t like to do in life, so don’t take your ‘chores’ out of your life. But you should spend less time and energy on them. I schedule my site maintenance and non-creative work for later on the in the day when I don’t need to be as in tune. Give this a try, it’s done wonders for my productivity.
5. Find out what makes you happy.
To give you a few examples, here are some things that make me happy:
When I get my 7-8 hours of sleep I’m usually a much happier guy. I’m happier when I eat healthy and am in great shape, training consistently, but not over-doing it. Helping people in some way makes me happy. So does spending time with friends, traveling, reading good books, and learning. Watching movies makes me happy, but spending too much time in front of the TV doesn’t.
Creating a Legacy will give us a deep rooted sense of happiness every single day because what we’re doing has a purpose. Purpose gives us our life meaning. Make sure you also include some of the other things that make you laugh, smile, and bring you happiness on a smaller, more immediate level.
The happier you are, the more focused you are, the greater work you’re going to do, and the more you’re going to accomplish. Make sure you schedule happiness into your days.
Keep in mind that what you’re doing right now can be in line with everything we’ve talked about. The problem might lie in the tasks you devote most of your time to, and how you spend the money you’re earning. Something to think about.
Thinking about your legacy, body first
We think legacy, we immediately think about everything this article has been about to this point. We think about what we’re going to leave. Who we’re going to impact. How successful we’re going to be.
One of the greatest factors in us achieving all that we want to achieve, travelling where we want to travel, and creating everything that we want to create, is our health and energy. Measuring work output rather than hours spent working has a lot to do with the amount of energy we have in a given day, and the degree to which we can remain creative and focused for extended periods of time.
Our degree of health not only adds years to our lives – which will surely enhance our Legacy if we choose to use them correctly – but it also adds to the quality of those years.
It’s tough to climb the Himalayan Mountains if you’re out of shape. It’s pretty difficult to run a marathon, play with your kids, or even have the confidence to put yourself out there and experience everything that this life has to offer if you’re skinny and weak, or overweight.
Confidence is an important piece to building a lasting Legacy, and having a body that you’re proud of, that allows you to push yourself, travel, and work hard, will give you this confidence.
This is something that Nate Green understands. Nate’s on a mission to help us become our own hero and build this Legacy that we all want to build.
His “Hero Workout” is an awesome program. One designed to help us build ripped, powerful muscle, and get that confidence that will help us live the life we dream of living. He’s recently put his program on sale, and if you’re looking for a new method of training, one that will get you results, I highly recommend his Hero Workout.
You can find out more about it here: Nate’s Become Your Own Hero: Workout.
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