The Blue Print: Building a Legacy

“To whom much is given, much is required.” This morning, as I was doing my morning inspirational readings, this Bible verse (yes, it is an actual Bible verse. Luke 12:48 to be exact) kept running through my mind. When I study the lives of so many great leaders like Nelson Mandela, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., Sojourner Truth, and Angela Davis, who have impacted this country so significantly, what I see are echoes of the same themes. Humility. Compassion. Courage. And what’s more, they each realized that they were afforded certain platforms and opportunities to embark on a mission/purpose that was far greater than themselves. They each had the foresight to know that the work that they were doing was not for themselves, or even solely for their generations. It was for the generations to come.

As we celebrate what would have been the 85th birthday of slain civil rights activist, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I think that it’s important as trendsetting professionals to examine what legacies we are leaving behind for others to remember. Making money and building our own empires is awesome, but even multi-billion dollar entrepreneurs such as Sheila C. Johnson, co-founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET) recognize the importance of giving back. The mogul was quoted in her most recent interview with Essence magazine stating that “You can’t be successful if you don’t give back.”

So in this week’s post, I’m urging you to take a little time to reflect. Are the goals that you are striving for today going to make some corner of this world better tomorrow?

Ask yourself the following five questions and jot down your answers in a journal or even make a vision board:

What is my purpose?

What gifts or ideas do I possess that can contribute toward solving an issue in my community?

How closely are my goals aligned with current events happening in my community or the country as a whole?

How will my professional endeavors influence the next generation?

Will my life’s work be something that my family or friends could carry on after I’m gone?

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