What’s Your Legacy?

First things, first.  Thank you to all who entered my Huma Chia Energy Gel giveaway.

Huma strawberry

There were 85 entries and Random.org selected entries 25, 34 and 61.  (Don’t worry, I triple counted to make sure I got the right people.) I’m excited to announce that the three winners are:

24

3461

Congrats Tara, Nicole and Holly! I will be in contact with you shortly to get your information.

Now onto the heart of my post.  Yesterday, I attended the funeral of a coworker’s husband.  After a very long and hard fight, he passed away from cancer.  I sat in the service listening to all the wonderful stories about him, how selfless he gave of himself and the large impact he had on our community and I thought to myself what a wonderful legacy this man leaves behind.

Later in the day I started thinking about my own legacy.  What would people say about me at my funeral?  Am I living the life that I want to be remembered by?  Let’s face it, I don’t really want to be known as the girl that “loved to run and eat healthy.”

I believe that we were all put on this earth to make a difference.  To reach out and touch other people, maybe even change their life in the process.  We come into contact with hundreds of thousands (millions??) of people throughout our life which means that we have the opportunity to better the lives of millions. How awesome is that?? Yet, I question, what am I doing to live up to that responsibility? And I had to honestly answer myself that I’m really not going out of my way to reach out and change people.  Ouch.  The truth hurts.

Alright, so obviously I have to start somewhere.  How do I/you/we start living up to our potential of bettering people’s lives?  I think the key to that answer lies in finding what we’re passionate about.  I truly believe that where our passion lies, therein also lies our ability to directly impact people.  You can have more than one passion, in fact, the more the better!  So here’s just a few things in life that really get my juices flowing:  military vets (especially combat vets), animals, domestic violence victims, and encouraging healthy lifestyles.  Looking at that list, there are dozens of organizations that I can volunteer at and make a difference.

So what if your passion doesn’t have an organization for you to volunteer at?  Think outside of the box.  If your passion involves an ability, maybe you can offer free lesson.  If you want to take it one step further, maybe you can start your own outreach program.  Every great organization starts as someone’s brainchild.  The resources are there, you just have to search for them.  Yes, it will be challenging but let’s face it, when was the last time you said, “Man, I’m so glad I didn’t have to work hard for {x-y-z}, I feel totally satisfied at having it handed to me.”  Never.  We all take pride in hard work and a job well done.

Maybe you feel you’re too busy.  That’s ok, we live in a go-go-go world and you might not have the time you want to help others.  If you’re life is like that, I encourage you to take a step back and see if there is anything you can put aside; maybe that little bit of TV you watch at night could be time spent doing what you’re passionate about.  If you examine your life and you still have no time, look into donating monetarily to an organization that promotes what you’re passionate about.  Once again, think outside of the box.  As busy as we are, we should always be able to find a way to help others – even if it’s through donations of money instead of time.

Ghandi

So after all that thought, I don’t know what my legacy will be.  BUT I do know that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.  I need to start creating my legacy today; start changing lives today.

Question:  What would your legacy be?  What fuels your passion?

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23 thoughts on “What’s Your Legacy?

  1. I too, have a huge heart for animals (ASPCA) and I also have a direct link to Chron’s disease awareness/treatment since multiple people in my family inlcuding myself are affected by it. When I was reading through your post, I completely agree that each day too many of us don’t do enough to fill our “legacy” shoes. I also couldn’t help but think of “random acts of kindness”. You never knjow just how you will be affecting a person’s life – buying their coffee, paying the meter that is about to expire, an extra shirt for someone’s back, etc. That one small token of decency could make the biggest difference. On the blogger front, I make sure to always, always reply to my comments and messages that are sent, even if it means losing 5 minutes of sleep. That one message may make the impact that the person needs to commit to something positive.

    • Those are both such great causes to have a heart for Beka. I’m a big believer in random acts of kindness and paying it forward. I love the idea that one little gesture can snowball into something huge. And I definitely agree with you about blogging. I think that as bloggers we have the potential to inspire and uplift countless, we just need to make sure we’re doing that. I find inspiration in your blog so obviously you’re doing something right. 🙂 Thanks for being awesome.

  2. What a heartfelt post Gina! I feel like I make a difference as a teacher. I also feel like I make a difference with the ladies I train to run in our running group Sole2Soul Sisters. But I know there is so much more out there that I can be a part of. Thanks for this!

    • I can’t even begin to tell you how big an impact teachers have in the world, Mindy. I adore the fact that you lead your Sole2Soul group. That’s exactly the type of passion that I was talking about in my post. Find what you love and then find how to benefit others. Kudos to you!

  3. Thanks for a great post. I am passionate about my job as a teacher as well as Haiti. I am so blessed because this summer for one week I get to combine both. I will be helping train Haitian teachers. I’ve never done anything in a developing country other than send money, I am sure it will touch and move me.

    • That is awesome, D! Teachers play such a critical part in who we become; what a great passion to have! I am so excited about your upcoming trip to Haiti and I can’t even begin to image how many thousands (tens of thousands) of lives you will help change just by passing on your passion to fellow teachers. Just amazing!

  4. I think it’s all of our job to support those who we can help as best we can with what God has given us. I feel my mission to help others live a healthy life whether they have asthma or any other ailment and now also getting my CPT certification is part of that duty. Whenever I get too down about life I try to remember that I’m not worse off than many other people around me. It’s all about looking at the positive and thinking about how you can help one other person smile or realize that your potential in my opinion 😉

    • Yes, yes, yes! You’re absolutely right, Kat. We work with what God gave us. We don’t have to be Olympic runners to inspire people to get out there. You have great things in store for you, my friend.

  5. Gina, I would say you’re changing person’s lives and being a huge inspiration via your blog (and Twitter, Instagram, etc.). In today’s day and age, it’s so easy to connect with people worldwide, and even if they don’t say, “your post about TK helped me,” I am sure you’re still affecting change. PS – You obviously inspire me! 🙂

    • Thanks Carrie. ❤ That's so sweet to say, I just know that I'm not living up to my full potential. That realization is actually kind of exciting to me because it means that I have way more to offer then I give myself credit for. Now I just need to get out there and start doing. 🙂

  6. I love this post, beautiful girl!!! Such wise and encouraging words! We are all here for a reason, and we all have a purpose! You are completely right! I believe that to live to our full potential, we should try our best each day to have open eyes to those around us and the situations we are in. We get so wrapped up in our own lives that we often have blinders to everything else. I know I’m definitely guilty!!! It’s hard to take that step to reach out, but it’s so worth it! Wonderful words, love!! Xo

    • Absolutely, Jenna. We all have a purpose and even if we can see our potential it doesn’t mean that we don’t possess qualities to help others. I’m guilty of the blinders, too. Time to take them off and get involved!

  7. What a deep filled post this morning. So wise and everyone was put on this Earth for something. I’m honestly not sure what my legacy would be…I really make an effort to turn off my blinders and see what is going on with others. I have found that has made the biggest difference.

    • Don’t worry, I clearly don’t know what my legacy will be either but I know we will both leave inspiring ones. Turning off the blinders to what’s going on around is a great start.

  8. I love giving tours and getting the kids talking about marine science. Making them feel safe to voice their ideas/questions is what gets me all jazzed after I give a tour 🙂 Granted I do make just a little money, but I would do it for free (and have in the past). Also, I love writing/songwriting for the puppet show each year for open house to teach kids/getting them to interact in the show about the ocean in a fun way 🙂 One woman said she wished she could bottle me up and give my enthusiasm to her kids. For me my passion is teaching and I love these little outlets I have at my grad school. It’s not super life changing, but I feel like maybe I will inspire a future scientist someday!

    • How cool, Nicole! I love that you do that for the kiddos – especially the puppet show! The fact that you make a bit of money doesn’t diminish the impact that you’re having in other’s lives. Think about teachers, firefighters, the military; they get paid to do something they love and they make a difference daily! I’m a big believer in doing what you love. ❤ And who's to say that it's not super life changing?? All it takes is one little planted seed to sprout into an amazing flower. Keep inspiring those future scientists. (Just stay away from math, ok? J/K!)

  9. Beautiful post, Gina!

    I don’t ever really think about where my mark will be left when I am gone.. it’s a scary thing to think about, but it is nice to know that you can make a difference and leave something behind… I’ll add it to my evergrowing to-do list… 😉

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