Leaving a Legacy
Do you ever think about the legacy you’ll leave behind? Have you thought about the impact you have on those closest to you? Proverbs 13 says that “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children”. When I consider what that means, leaving an inheritance to my grandchildren, I realize that my inheritance is more than just money in the bank. There are so many gifts, talents and characteristics that I want to instill in my children. I’m going to share some of my core beliefs that I want to be a part of my legacy. I want to instill these character traits into my children and their children, and show them that if they focus on high morals, abundance will follow.
Why prioritize God, family and work? God is the core faith that sustains my life, and the hope from which I draw strength. Family is the network that satisfies my need for personal connection and makes life worth living. Work is the means at which I contribute to society, sustain my lifestyle and give to others.
Maintaining this balance can be hard in prioritizing my time with God, Family, and Work. For the majority of my career, I’ve worked somewhere between 55 – 65 hours a week and making time has definitely proved challenging, but I’ve always made time for God and family. I lost both of my parents during the last two years, and it’s my faith and family that keeps me grounded and gives me hope for a future.
There will be more challenges and stressful situations in life, that’s just a part of life. I hope to instill in my children the priority that God and family will be the anchors that sustain life during good and bad times, while work is the way in which we contribute to society.
When I was younger and I would leave the house to spend time with friends, the last thing I would hear my mom say as I left the house was: “don’t shame the family name”. I didn’t realize until I got older but she was saying to uphold the values, beliefs and integrity that my parents instilled in us. I often think about that phrase because I want to act in a manner that when someone talks about me they know that I’m a person of integrity.
To me, integrity means being someone that follows through on their word. My wife (Mrs. Dollars) and I, frequently have conversations about how drastically the words that we speak impact in our lives. Not only do words define how we see ourselves, but they define how trustworthy we are. As a result, I’m very careful about the words that I speak, and that I follow through on promises I make. Part of the legacy I want to leave to my children is the assurance that when I tell them something, it is the honest truth, and they can rely on that. Proverbs 22 sums up integrity by stating “a good name is more desirable than great riches”.
You’ve heard it before, “knowledge is power”. Pursuing knowledge, understanding and wisdom is an often undervalued tool in progressing in life. The mind is constantly learning, whether you think you’re teaching it or not. If you enjoy and spend time watching television, your mind is learning to enjoy that activity. If you spend time and enjoy solving problems, your mind becomes sharper and faster at solving problems. What you feed your mind shapes your outlook on life.
I want my children to know that seeking wisdom will guide, shape and advance their lives. Proverbs 4 gets it right by stating, “Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding”.
Strong work ethic
Developing and maintaining a strong work ethic is vital to being a productive person in society. While acting in integrity, developing a strong work ethic promotes confidence in your career and prepares you for success. Simple things like showing up to work on time, keeping a positive attitude, and being a team player will set you apart from your colleagues. Diligence will also make you stand out as a hard worker. Refrain from idleness and challenge yourself, advancement will come.
After you’ve developed a healthy positive work-life balance, what happens when you mix integrity, wisdom, and diligence together? Proverbs 10 says “lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth”. Consistent and persistent diligence and integrity prospers greatly. Especially in a time when corruption and greed run rampant, integrity and diligence will make you stand apart and advance.
Many people think “wealth”, when I talk about leaving an inheritance to my children. But wealth is just a by-product of integrity, wisdom and diligence. This will be the greatest legacy I could leave to my children, because no matter the size of my bank account, a good name is more desirable than great riches.
What legacy do you want to leave?