Beyond The Grave We Are Building Legacy

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Today I want to share something that will really help to take action, and to avoid needlessly wasting the precious time that you have The idea that we are always building legacy, because one day, perhaps soon we will die.

When I was editing a recent podcast episode with David Brubaker, I was reminded about our philosophy chat. He is known as semi stupid, a short comedy filmmaker, yet we talked a lot about life, both living and dying. In part it may have been because my brother’s deaths were so recent, but either way we were aligned on the idea. He said that his favorite quote is memento mori, A Latin phrase which means, “Remember that you must die.”

As creatives, perhaps struggling artists at times this reminder is helpful because it reminds us that we are building a legacy and that putting off even a day of building may be too much. There is an interesting paradox between the fact that when we die the world keeps turnin, all of the systems we were a part of will move on without us, and even the biggest of celebrities will be in some way forgotten.

Yet, in many ways the things we create, the ideas we share and the memories we make truly do live on forever. I think of my two brothers and some of the many wise things they shared pop into my head often. But they never posted on social media, created a youtube channel, or a blog. They just lived. And still had a big impact. We are always leaving a legacy.

Instead of telling you why my work is so helpful, or sharing my expertise I would rather point you to a resource from someone who really helped me appreciate this idea too. I never met Randy Pausch, but every year, since 2009 I’ve watched his video. This will be the thirteen year anniversary of me being better at life, all because he recorded and shared that talk. So if his family ever sees this, thank you.

He really shows how we have an opportunity, actually a responsibility to leave a legacy, one that extends far beyond chronological dates and times, to impact others’ for many years to come. One of the critiques of the hit show 13 reasons why a few years back was a belief and sometimes headline that read “we can not send messages from beyond the grave”. 

But, that is exactly what we do by building brands, creating content to share and documenting our journeys. Without realizing it we leave our daughters, our parents, our friends, shit people we don’t even know, an incredible scrapbook of lessons. We leave breadcrumbs from which they might learn, a trail of treasures that they can turn to whenever they just want to hear our voice, see our face, or wonder what would mom do? 

“You must die” This D Word is the one thing we all have in common and without it we would be nothing more than robots, or laptops, used and then gone. When I’m in the mood for a nostalgic laugh I’ll watch Chris Farley, if I need inspiration to create listen to Aaliyah, Amy Winehouse, and need that kick in the ass Randy Pausch. All people I’ve never met….

If we document, create, and share then we are so much more.  So what’s your legacy and where are you leaving it?

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