Recently, I was reading an article written by Jim Rohn. It was an article from an excerpt from Jim Rohn’s Twelfth Pillar of Success: Legacy, part two of The Jim Rohn One-Year Success Plan. I would like to share with you in today’s blog the 9 principles that Jim talked about in that article that you need to commit to if you want to leave the type of legacy that you most likely desire to. While these are Jim’s core principles, I will be adding some of my own thoughts and ideas to each principle.
Principles That We Must Commit to if we are to leave the legacy we desire:
Life is best lived in service to others.
Please understand that this does not mean that you should not still strive for the best for yourselves. It does mean though that in all the things you do, you should look constantly look for ways that you can serve others. This includes family, co-workers, friends, and even strangers. It is clear that this is one of the main directives that God gives us for how we should live our lives so you know that it is very important.
This is one of those principles that I have unfortunately, not had a very good grasp on. I have spent way too much of my life concerned mainly with serving myself and my own needs. It is only in the last few years that I have seen my heart change in regards to trying to serve others. When I started doing this, I realized something very remarkable that I never understood before. When you are serving others, you are helping them yes, but the satisfaction and fulfillment you receive in yourself comes back 10 fold. It will totally change you on the inside and how you look at life. It will give you a positive energy inside your soul that is very hard to explain. Having been on both sides of practicing this principle, I can tell you, without a doubt, that serving others is a much better way to live your life.
Consider others’ interests as important as your own.
Much of the world suffers simply because people only consider their own best interests. People always seem to be looking out for #1, themselves. The best way that you can leave a legacy in this life is to look out for others as well as yourself. Many times if you are looking out for people, you won’t see any returns or benefits at the time that you are helping them. Somehow karma always seems to come back at you. You may find that sometime in the future, when you need someone else to consider your interests, someone you helped in the past may just be there to help you out.
Love your neighbor even if you don’t like him.
In the Bible Jesus commanded us to love our neighbors, but nowhere in the bible did Jesus say that we should like our neighbor. Liking people has to do with emotions. Whether we like someone or not is determined by how we “feel” about someone. Loving people has to do with actions. Love manifests itself in how you “treat” someone. You can’t control how you feel about someone, but you have total control over how you “treat” someone. You will often that if you make a decision to love someone, and you treat them with love, you will find over time, that you will usually learn to like them. Maybe if some of the married people out there followed this philosophy, there would be a lot less divorces in this country.
Maintain integrity at all costs.
There are very few things from this world that we can take to our graves with us. One of the few things that we can take with us is our reputation. When people look back on your life and remember you, want them to think “She was the most honest person I knew. What integrity.” There are always going to be temptations in our lives to cut corners and break our integrity. Do not do it. Try to do what is right all the time, no matter what. The long-term benefits will far outweigh any short-term gains.
You must risk in order to gain.
In just about every area of life you must risk in order to gain the reward. In love, you must risk rejection in order to ask that person our for the first time. In investing, you must place your capital at risk in the market in order to receive the prize of a growing bank account. When we risk, we gain. When we gain, we have more to leave for others.
You reap what you sow.
In life, you will find that without exception, you almost always reap more than you sow. You can plant a seed in the ground and reap a bushel of grain. Simply put, what you give you get. What you put into the ground then grows out of the ground. If you give love, you will receive love. If you give time, you will gain time. This is one of the truest laws of the universe. You need to decide what you want out of life and then start sowing the seeds so you can receive the harvest you envision.
Hard work is never a waste.
No one will ever say, “It is too bad he was such a good, hard worker.” But if you aren’t a hard worker, people will surely say, “It’s too bad he was so lazy-he could have been so much more!” Hard work will leave a grand legacy. Be sure to give it your all during your time here on earth. You will end up doing a lot of good during your time here and you will leave a lasting legacy.
Don’t give up when you fail.
Imagine all the legacies that have been left throughout history and how many of these legacies may have never been left if people had chosen to give up. How many thriving businesses would have been shut down if they quit at their first failure? Everyone fails. It is a fact of life. It is part of the equation of being human. Those who succeed are those who do not give up when they fail. They keep going and build a successful life-and a legacy.
Don’t ever stop in your pursuit of a legacy.
Many people have accomplished tremendous things in their lives. Many of these people did not accomplish tremendous things until the later years of their lives. There is never a time to stop in your pursuit of a legacy. Sometimes older people will say, “I am 65. I will never change.” That won’t build a great life! There is always time to do more and achieve more, to help more and serve more, to teach more and to learn more. Keep going and growing that legacy!
The next time you are thinking about the type of legacy you are leaving from your life here on earth, I challenge you to look back on these 9 core principles for leaving a lasting legacy. If you are succeeding at doing these core principles, you can rest easy knowing that the legacy you leave will be a positive and lasting one.