What Legacy Means to Me (319)

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In this episode, I talk about this thing called Legacy – this notion that the sum of what we do, who we are, and what we leave behind will continue to live on, quote, unquote. No pressure there. 

I share with you my take on Legacy, which just might surprise you. But if you approach Legacy the way I do, it might relieve some of that pressure.

Full transcript below.

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Mike Malatesta

Mike Malatesta  00:03

Hey, everybody, welcome back to a Friday solo episode of the “How’d It Happen” Podcast. So happy to have you here, as I am with every episode that I do. Thank you so much for sharing your time with me. Today, I want to talk about this thing called Legacy. So, I’m going to start off just by asking how do you think about legacy? Do you think about legacy at all? 

In my experience, a lot of people think about, worry about, obsess about this thing we call Legacy, the notion that the sum of what we do, who we are, and what we leave behind will continue to live on, quote, unquote. And I’ve thought about this a lot. And I questioned legacy’s value for at least two reasons. 

First, no matter how hard I try, I can’t imagine how I can control, direct, orchestrate or produce my legacy. I feel like my legacy will always be in other’s hands — interpreted, communicated and defined through another person’s lens. And if I’m right about that, the obsession and the pressure around creating a legacy seem like wasted resources to me, like wasted time. 

Second, I mean, I don’t think I have the ego, the self-confidence or whatever you need to have to be intoxicated by how I will be thought about after I’m gone. I mean, I hope I’m not thought of as an ass, or worse, of course, at least not by too many people. And I do want to think I do want to be thought of as someone who did something that mattered to someone. The last thing I want, even if I’m able to be aware of it after I’m dead, which is suspect, the last thing I want us to be worrying about why my legacy that I thought I’d so carefully constructed, evaporated as quickly as most things that disappear in life do. Wouldn’t that be a drag? 

So to relieve this pressure, I think about my legacy as being about today. And the only person that matters to is me, provided I’m grounded enough to answer these questions with a yes. And here are these questions? You ready? 

Did I do the right things? 

Was I kind and respectful? 

Did I learn something new? 

Did I help someone? 

Did I support my family? 

Did I bring love into the world? 

These are the questions that I asked myself. And I know the answers won’t be yes to all of them every day, it’s just impossible. And I’m okay with that. I’ll work on a yes tomorrow if I don’t get a yes today. And every day after that. That is what I feel will be my legacy. Not what people think about me afterwards, and not what I tried to create to outlast me in this life. But about what I did today, and about what I will do tomorrow, not for me, but for other people. 

So how do you think about your legacy? That’s my question to leave you with today. I do thank you very much for investing your time and energy in me and my podcast. I hope that you got a positive return on that investment today. And if you did, please share the episode and follow or subscribe to the podcast so that every episode comes to you automatically wherever you like to listen. 

Until next time, maximize your greatness.

Mike Malatesta

Mike Malatesta

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