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When people inspire us, we learn and grow. It could be someone we know or someone we admire from afar. They make it look easy and seem to thrive in what’s chaos for most of us. Their actions leave an impression and a legacy for us to follow.

I know, Legacy sounds like a heavy word, especially when we are just trying to make it through the day. But stay with me.

From time to time it’s helpful to ask, “Am I proud of my actions? Is what I am doing today fit within my life purpose?” With each work assignment and interaction, we lay the foundation for our legacy.

Legacies are about learning and living. We build legacies over a lifetime through personal values and daily actions. Creating a legacy gives us meaning and purpose. It’s a way to share insights and experiences, with those around us.

The recent passing of Garry Marshall, the creator of iconic shows such as; Happy Days and Pretty Women left an impression on me even though I didn’t know him.

Over his lifetime, Garry built his legacy through love, kindness, and laughter. He taught many life lessons through his personal interactions and the many shows he produced. Friends and colleagues remember him as “an inspiring leader who set high standards…

keep it simple,
arrive early and ready to work,
listen to others,
be empathetic,
celebrate people and don’t take yourself too seriously.”

Garry is a reminder not to wait until the end of our career or the end of life to start building a legacy. He built his legacy one interaction at a time. We don’t need to be famous to leave a legacy. It just takes living with purpose today.

With each assignment and role, we leave a legacy with those who interact with us. At work and in life, we face tough decisions. How we handle those challenging situations makes a difference in our life and others.

We all strive to contribute something to the world. Here are a few ways to get started:

  • Reflect on what’s important to you and what brings you joy.
  • Make time for the people and causes that are important to you.
  • Pay attention to how you interact with others and be a positive influence.
  • Coach, inspire and mentor others to bring their best.
  • Bring positive energy and passion to all you do.
  • Be grateful and find ways to work with whatever life brings your way.

To create your legacy, what enhancement can you make to bring your best self?