Legacy is people pleasing for the afterlife.
If we’re so focused on making sure that people are still staying our name after we’re gone, then we’re not champion, we’re codependents.
If we’re so insecure about our own value that we need a pat on the back, a word of praise and a nod of approval from people who aren’t even born yet, then we are not living today.
And yet, legacy this the story we’ve been sold. Especially by financial planners, credit unions, estate planners and other professions of that ilk. All of their marketing materials sing from the same narcissistic hymnal.
How will you be remembered? What will future generations say about you? What will be the impact of your legacy one hundred years for now?
Easy answer. People will remember us as someone with a bottomless need for approval.
Truth is, preoccupying ourselves with our place in history is not a noble pursuit, it’s an ego trip.
Legacy is not a goal, it’s a burden. Killing ourselves for some intangible trophy that we won’t even be around to enjoy, spending our time considering the opinions of people who aren’t even born yet, it all sounds so exhausting and empty.
It doesn’t actually matter what the public’s affection for our life is in the distant future, it only matters what kind of impact our life has on that public today.
The distant future is irrelevant. Hell, for the majority of the people in this world, the mere concept of tomorrow is a luxury they can’t even afford.
And so, our goal should be to focus every bit of our energy on being the most loving and useful person, right now, in the present moment.
This is it, this is as good as it gets, this is the best day of my life.
Linklater summarizes it most eloquently in his best film:
There’s only one instant, and it’s right now. And it’s eternity.
Once we embrace that conception of time and space, our legacy is neither here nor there. There is no past to be remembered, and there is no future in which people will remember it.
Only right now.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you making the present moment into a monster to be defeated or escaped?