Your Life Your Legacy

In order to leave a legacy you'll be proud of, you first need to figure out what your personal mission statement is.
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You can't watch television or page through a magazine these days without seeing a half-naked man or woman flaunting their body. It seems more and more people are posing nude for a chance at fame or to reignite their careers. They feel it will lift their self-esteem but most time it hurts it.

I believe that the human body is beautiful in all its shapes and sizes. The human body is also art, as evidenced by the great painters who brought us such works as "Venus of Urbino" (Titan), "The Nude Maja" (Francisco de Goya), and the sculpture "David" (Michelangelo), just to name a few. Plus, as a world traveler who has visited over 60 countries, I've seen cultures that hide their skin as well as those that bare it liberally. So it's not the act of exposing the body that concerns me.

What troubles me is when an individual believes that their bare body is all they have to offer the world -- that their breasts or their butt is their legacy.

Realize that being famous, being beautiful, or baring your body for the world to see is not a great legacy. I'd say that what we're dealing with here is more a case of letting one or more of those Impostors reign free. Unfortunately, too many people are losing their Authentic Soul to an Impostor and "selling" their body parts for fame ... and that's usually a recipe for disaster. Unless someone has something to back it up with, it can spiral them into a deep depression, if they don't get the results they want.

Your Life; Your Legacy
So what is your legacy? (Hint: it's not your breasts or your butt, and it's not your wealth or your fame.) What is stamped on your forehead when people see you? Are you leaving the world with a positive outcome? Or will people be indifferent (or even negative) when they think of you? It's the presence you share with someone, not the presents you give them that they remember.

We all leave an imprint on the world -- either big or small, good or bad -- and it's up to each of us to determine what that lasting impression will be.

In order to leave a legacy you'll be proud of, you first need to figure out what your personal mission statement is. If you work in the corporate world, you may be familiar with mission statements, as many organizations utilize one. But mission statements aren't just for business. They are just as useful for your personal life too. In short, your personal mission statement is a strong motivational message that directs every aspect of your life.

It's best to keep your mission statement to one sentence or a short list of bullet points. You can then reflect on your mission statement when making critical decisions that affect the direction of your life. For example, does the action you're contemplating taking contribute toward or reflect your mission statement? If so, then it's probably a no-brainer that you're making a good move. But if your decision detracts from your personal mission statement or even contradicts it, then you may need to rethink your next move. Your family, friends, and even strangers should be able to sense what your mission is based on your words, deeds, and actions.

When creating your personal mission statement, think of the following:
•Your purpose: What inspirational purpose appeals to you? What higher calling do you feel you were put on this earth to accomplish?
•Your values: What core values do you refuse to compromise on? What principles would you die for?
•Your behavioral standards: What behaviors do you deem of value in everyday life? Which of your actions would you want others to imitate?
•Your character: What forms the basis of your personality, disposition, and moral fiber? What makes you you?

Whether you focus on one key area or all four is completely up to you. The goal is to create a personal mission statement that reflects who you are and encompasses the legacy you want to leave the world.

Live Your Legacy
Of course, creating your personal mission statement is just one piece of the puzzle. You now have to live that mission so you can cement your true legacy. Here are some suggestions on how to incorporate your mission into your everyday life:

•Create some goals for yourself. Everyone wants to accomplish something in life. What do you want to accomplish before you die? What contributions do you want to make to society, to your family, to your profession, etc.? If your goals aren't clear, it's hard to reach them.
•Know what's important to you day-to-day. Don't get so involved with the daily details of every issue you face that you lose sight of the big picture. If you only focus on the daily minutia of life you can lose sight of your overall mission. When that happens, it's easy to get lost and wander aimlessly, resulting in missed opportunities for living your legacy.
•Get clear on what's important to you. If money, time, education, and any other perceived obstacles were no longer an issue, what would your ideal life look like? How would you spend your time? Whom would you associate with? What causes would you align yourself with? Get clear on your ideal life, for only then can you make strides to attain it and really live your legacy.

Beyond Physical Beauty
Remember that true beauty goes far beyond the skin and resonates in your soul -- it's something people can sense and see from the legacy you're creating. So take the time to consciously create your life's legacy in order to leave a lasting, positive, and truly beautiful imprint on the world.

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