International Speaker, Peak Performance Trainer and Business Mentor Arnon Barnes discusses legacy.
Who are you becoming?
People ask me all the time “Arnon, what drives you?” or want to know things like “what is your ultimate goal?”. These are both good questions, and then I always hit them back with a question of my own “Did you know your great great grandfather? Could you tell me about him?”. In reality over 95% of people have no clue about who their great great grandfather was or what he did. And by the look on the confused person’s face I can tell that they have never heard of the legacy of their great great grandfather. How come? And why is that? Because there is no legacy.
By now the person is looking at me like I have just climbed down from Mount Sinai carrying the Ten Commandments, confused yet curious by my audacious question. The purpose of the question is to point out one simple fact – most people come into this world and leave without stepping into their power or using their real gifts and talents. Instead, most people succumb to fear. They play small and safe, never take risks and as a result live to never be remembered. And that’s exactly my goal! I want to be remembered for being a person of value, a person that gave instead of just taking. I want my life’s work to mean something and for it to have made a positive impact and contribution to as many people as possible.
Serving as many people with my gifts, my talents, my experiences and to use them unapologetically, in all my power as a force of good. Many many years ago, there was a young boy who sat watching his mom get sicker and sicker, until one day she finally laid on her deathbed. In her final moments before moving onto the afterlife she called for her son with the last ounces of energy she had in her frail and weak body, she called out: “Abe, Abe.” Young Abe, being used to his mom’s weakened tone carried his young self into the room where he was witness to the slow deuterating state of his mom, without a word he looked at her, connecting to his mom’s soul through her eyes. A few short seconds of silence she said to him, ‘’Abe, become someone, become someone.” Remember, history is not only being read, but it’s also being written. So, my questions to you are: Who are you becoming? What do you want to be remembered for? What do you want people to write and say about you? I always tell people this famous Confusius quote: “We all live two lives, and our second life begins when we realize that we only have one life.”
Read that again. Those words that were whispered into that nine-year-old boy’s ears by his dying mom had subconsciously shaped his life and helped create his destiny. He used his skills, gifts and talents unapologetically and all the ability he could muster to leave a life long legacy that would be remembered forever. So, wherever you are in life at the moment, I want to encourage you to step into your power, become a force for good, be a person of value, focus on adding value.
Become a person that uses their gifts and talents so unapologetically that the universe can no longer ignore you. Build that business, hire those people, raise the capital, develop that product, set up that joint venture, but whatever you do, do not play small! One life, that’s all we got, but if you do it right, one is all you need. And most importantly no matter what life throws at you, just keep smiling and never ever give up – just like Abraham Lincoln knew to never give up.
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