In the new book, Your Legacy is Now, author Alan Weiss recommends an interesting and insightful approach to making each day count towards a living legacy. The goal of his book is to inspire behavior and motivation and develop skills that can help readers create meaning in their lives and realize the opportunities in each day. He presents ideas that may cause some to rethink their daily routine, and messages that move them into action. Weiss’ success in consulting major corporations make him a credible source for these messages. Throughout the book, he shares helpful diagrams to reinforce key points and uses short case studies from his work as examples of success.
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Weiss opens his book by challenging readers to view their daily work routine relative to early times in their life that was designed for learning and growth. The danger, Weiss points out, is that our adult lives can fall into a rut where there is “less time for understanding or insight, exploration or growth.” Weiss shares the observation, “We look back in regret, and look forward in dread, when we should be looking around in awareness.” He encourages dedicated time for this type of reflection to help define and continue creating meaning in one’s life.
Weiss explains that a person’s life meaning drives their legacy and there are guideposts in the effort to define that meaning. They include our values, beliefs, and our vision. Readers are cautioned to avoid the common rut of adult life, but instead to pursue meaning through a calling that provides self-satisfaction and a contribution to others. In fact, Weiss says that legacy is about “contribution, love and lasting impressions.”
Connecting with others is necessary for all three of these attributes and is central to Weiss’ concept of meaning. We all desire relationships that have “closeness” and “familiarity.” Weiss suggests going further and broadening our community to connect with individuals with different backgrounds. This helps to increase our awareness and exploration, he says. Conversely, our intimacy with others is reduced by isolating ourselves with those that have similar beliefs. It also limits our learning, our growth and where we can contribute.
Weiss encourages readers to see their contribution in everyday interactions rather than record-setting accomplishments. If we all think back to those people that guided or directed our lives the most, they were not likely people with touchdown records or other claims to fame. They were caring people that listened well and gave us their time to help shape our life goals.
The management of time is also part of Weiss’ approach to making a legacy from your daily life. Where you allocate your time should correspond with your effort to create and keep meaning in each day. Weiss closes his book with a message that “your book of life turns a page daily,” and “legacy is daily.”
This book helps readers focus their days on what matters most for their personal growth, their contribution to others and the creation of their legacy. As Weiss says, hopefully it is a living legacy where they get to see their influence “unfold in others.”