When you think about how you want to be remembered, what do you think of? Maybe I am not alone in having trouble finding a consistent answer to that question. Sometimes I would have answered a caring and thoughtful person. More often my thoughts and actions reflected the motto I wanted on my gravestone, “Never did I have a friend or foe that each wasn’t repaid in full”. To the extent I was caring and thoughtful it was limited in scope and understanding. I will not try to suggest what your legacy should be. What I will propose, is that your legacy is the final expression of your standards and your adherence to those standards for a Life Well Lived.
This is a huge topic and since this is a short essay and not a short book, I will narrow it down very quickly. Whenever you are going through a transition, (def. Transition: sometimes used as a euphemism for when things are big time crappy; especially when you get older) your self-identity becomes more fluid. You are facing a realization that can’t be ignored. At these times you have two options, either find an entirely new way or make a qualitive change in your current way of expressing yourself to the outside. (def. Outside: the world & people beyond you) Often the best way of dealing with the current dilemma you are facing is focusing outside yourself. People will often respond to tragic deaths by starting a charity. It doesn’t need to be something so complexed, however, it does need to give you a sense of purpose beyond yourself. Sometimes you need to approach a problem obliquely, from a different angle. The best way to handle the pressure, pain and even despair is by focusing on others. This is phase one, inside-out.
Phase two is outside-in. In this phase we realize that to consistently become the person we want to be to the outside, we must learn to treat ourselves with the same love and respect we try to show others. Take intimidation for example, we not only need to quit acting in an intimidating fashion (unless that is our goal) but also greatly reduce how often we are intimidated. Guilt & insecurity that lead to fear prevents us from becoming more consistent in our thoughts and actions. Part of the problem is our amazing lack of education in the art of risk assessment. Some people have jobs that require them to develop an expertise in risk management, but often it doesn’t extend to other areas of their life. Often they exclude themselves and problems their dealing with. When you talk about risk management you first need to understand these three facts:
1.risk means something can go wrong.
Some risks can be eliminated, but more often it is a matter of minimizing.
2. This applies not only to others, but you too.
3. Accept what we can’t change and change what we can.
We should spend a lot less time feeling bad about decisions and actions we made. And a little less time celebrating our victories. This time is better spent on improving and using our risk management skills. In other words, evaluate adjust, and move on.
Some people feel a sense of virtue in feeling negative about themselves. There are legitimate reasons why people feel this way; while. Although these emotions are understandable, they are not virtuous but selfish. We cannot be our best if we carry this burden. As we improve in understanding and healing ourselves, we are continuing to develop our skills in expressing ourselves to the outside world.
So, we are back to outside again. It is entirely possible this only makes sense to me, but it has certainly made a big difference in my ability to deal with issues both big and s