Life, when you think about it, is a pretty deep subject. We go about life day by day, sometimes with little thought as to the legacy we are building. But the fact is, legacy is built on a daily basis. It is composed of who you are, what you believe, what you experience, how you work, and the relationships you forge along the way.
There are three stages of life: Growing, Building, and Reflecting.
What you do in the first two is what you get to live with in the third stage. This makes what you’re doing right now – today – very important.
Maybe you are young and in the growing stage. You are learning life’s principles. Make sure you are growing in the right direction, with solid principles that will serve you for the rest of your life. This is why I absolutely love the teachings of John C. Maxwell…and have for decades now. His principles are solid and timeless. If you are in the growing stage, fill your mind with these kinds of teachings.
My daughter, as much as I hate to acknowledge it, is about to leave the growing stage and move on to the building stage. There, she and her future husband will begin to build their lives together just as we, her parents, have done. They will use the wisdom they have gained during their growing years to build their own meaningful work. And I know it will be special because their first stages of life have been rooted in solid principles.
In time, we all reach the stage of reflecting. In this stage, we come to the realization that we can’t do some of the things we used to do. It is a difficult realization – some accepting it with calm resolution, while others go into it kicking and fighting all the way. And yet, there is a depth of beauty and wisdom at this stage that no other stage has. It is a time of reflection on the legacies we have created – the relationships we have built, the work we have accomplished, the principles we have instilled, and the memories we have experienced. It is the time for helping the young ones to grow in the right way and encouraging the building ones to stay the course. It’s all about perspective. At this stage, you have full perspective.
So here’s the thing, if you’re in the growing stage, look ahead to those who are building and listen intently to those who are reflecting.
If you are in the building stage, lean on the principles you learned as you were growing – and seek the wisdom of those who have built great legacies.
And if you’re in the reflecting stage, be thankful for the blessings, wise from life’s lessons, and inspired to guide those who follow.