Years ago I met a man who bragged about his ten hand-written journals lined up on his bookshelf. Each journal contained an entry for every day of his life for an entire year. If asked what he did on a certain date during one of those years he could pull a journal from the shelf and tell you. I thought he was crazy.
But he made me realize an important truth. Each day of life is significant. You are writing your own autobiography according to how you live each day. At the end of each year you’ve written another chapter to your life story.
Think of it like this. At your funeral people will reflect on your life. They will swap stories about you. Some stories will make people laugh and a few memories will evoke tears. What’s happening? People are reviewing your autobiography which you wrote one day at a time.
Last week I attended a funeral and saw this with my own eyes. A father had passed away, leaving behind a wife and three grown sons. During the service each son stood and shared memories of their dad. Each touching tribute revealed the father had written the pages of his autobiography with care. I sat there mesmerized by the stories being told. The father left behind a terrific legacy.
Contrast this with the meeting I held with a different family to prepare for their father’s funeral. I asked this question, “What is it about your father that I should say; perhaps there’s a special memory or quality which needs to be highlighted?” The family members grew silent. You could hear the nervous shuffling of feet. Finally a son broke the silence. As he cleared his throat he said, “Dad liked to hunt mushrooms.” This man has also written his autobiography. But his life story will never be a best seller.
When you get to be my age you start thinking more often about the legacy you will leave behind. But the tendency for me is to push the thought out of my mind because I tell myself, “There’s plenty of time to worry about that later.” Nope. Later is too late. We build our legacy, write our life story, one day at a time.
Live today with the knowledge you are writing one more page in your autobiography.
Most of this day is a blank piece of paper waiting to be written upon. At the end of the day this page will contain another small piece of your story.
Do you get it? Each day is a gift. It is an opportunity to add to your legacy. Why would we waste the day?
Today you will write another page in your story. Make the best of it. And when you put your head on your pillow tonight I’m hoping you’ve added to your legacy, not detracted.
Can you think of a relative or friend who wrote an autobiography resulting in a powerful legacy?
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