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The Legacy of You

By November 18, 2013December 19th, 2016No Comments

bigstock-legacy-dictionary-definition-17668370“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” – Shannon L Alder

I admit it – I’m what some people would call a workaholic – but I think that word needs a revamp, because to me, what I do as work is more than that. Call me a dynaholic – or even a pashaholic! – because to me work is a dynamic and passionate process each and every day.

I love working. I always have, but now I am truly passionate about what I do. I absolutely love it. I rarely watch TV – Homeland is really my only show at the moment; my downtime more often than not involves picking up a book, reading a white paper or listening to someone that inspires me. Yes, I am busy juggling life as we all do, and yes, of course there are days that aren’t as good as others. But overall, I am passionate about changing the conversation, working with other dynamic women in business, driving courageous leadership, and most of all changing the game of life and business.  Witnessing the incredible talent of entrepreneurs, leaders and business owners achieving their dreams – that is the fuel that keeps me going.

It wasn’t always like this though.

My journey to here is similar to many others – school, university, graduate trainee, worked way up career ladder, met someone, fell in love, moved countries, had children, worked even harder, earned money.  There has been a lot of fun and periods of adversity along the way, and both significant dips and tremendous highs. But was there passion? Sometimes yes – but not all the time.

So what was my turning point? When did the ‘like’ of work become the ‘love and must do more, more, more’ of work?

When did I become a pashaholic?

Three years ago a multitude of conversations happened that changed the course of my life. My integrity was being challenged professionally, and I was witness to behaviour which was incongruent to my value system; the inspirational Abigail Disney told me I didn’t have to strap on the 45kg backpack and climb Mount Everest to make a difference, I simply had to choose to be a brick in the wall of change; and my daughter, the wise beyond her years angel who continues to teach me every day, asked me a question.

What’s working hard and what does it mean Mummy?

That was the tipping point.

I realised that if I was ever going to be the parent I wanted to be, the teacher and mentor that my children would turn to, the seed of belief for others to follow their dreams, I had to take ownership of my own life, decisions and future. How could I possibly explain the concept of working hard to achieve your dreams, to follow your passion no matter what, if I wasn’t walking my own talk? The responsibility was mine alone.  It was up to me to start living life on my terms, to be true to my value system and to follow my purpose and passion – to be the game changer I wanted to be.

The point to sharing this story is that we all have a choice; and that choice is not just about passion and dynamism. It’s about creating a legacy – a Legacy Of Self. Whether we are paving our own entrepreneurial life, following our corporate career dream, raising a family or continually learning to be the best we can be, the impact that we have on those immediately around us is significant and should never be underestimated. Every action we take determines the Legacy of Me – our own perception of what we want to show passion for, and the perception of others in terms of how they both benefit from and give back to our passion.

We are all in this together. The Legacy of Self is there to be created every day through your own behaviour and attitudes. YOU have the ability to influence one to one, many to many, more to more – your team, your colleagues, your leaders, your children, their friends, your friends and your family.

In the last few days we have seen some news about people such as Doris Lessing who have left behind an incredible – and indelible – impression on the world. And why? Because every day she lived her own legacy; writing about what she was passionate about. Being dynamic. Creating a Legacy of Self which will not fade easily.

Every woman I am fortunate enough to engage with is in some way a pashaholic – and a dynaholic!

So take that passion and start your life. There can be no better way to make that Legacy of You. As Ray Bradbury said in Fahrenheit 451:

“It doesn’t matter what you do so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.”

janine sig

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