Creating a meaningful legacy is impossible without perseverance. We persevere because we know what effect our actions will have, both in the immediate and the distant future. So perseverance is toward a future goal.
My grandfather was a teacher. In the summer, though, he worked as the cook at an exclusive camp in Vermont. From the time I was small, my mother told me stories about his care in preparing meals for the girls there. And when he visted us, I enjoyed meals of my grandpa’s creation: dishes he invented by combining his favorite ingredients in new ways, accompanied by salads dressed with his special blend of oil and vinegar.
For years, my mom has been known for her cooking; when company comes, a meal in her home contains an array of homemade choices. In my own way, I continue that legacy daily as I ensure hot meals on our table at suppertime. When did this part of our family legacy begin? Probably in the kitchen of some great great grandmother in Italy (or Ireland) who spent time sharing her culinary art and hospitality with her children. Miles and years away from that kitchen, I am conscious of carrying on a legacy that spans generations.
Love of cooking and family meals are just one part of the legacy I hope to build for my family.
A legacy is formed when people continue the actions or traditions that they value most. Perseverance in the past builds a legacy for future generations.
Yet perseverance is in the moment. We do what is needed, and we keep doing it, until we meet our goal or reach our destination. Day by day, step by step.
Perseverance is fueled by purpose. We carry on because we know what end we hope to reach. If we lose hope, we can reflect on the reasons for the activity to gain encouragement to continue.
As we persevere, we push through challenges and push past our own excuses.
And as we live, we are writing the story of our lives, crafting a legacy that may have an effect long after we gone.
We may find strength to persevere by considering that legacy. Ask yourself: what legacy do I want to create? What choices can I make today that will begin to build that legacy? Consider your values, and choose to persevere in the activities that align closely with them.
If you do, miles and years from now, someone will carry on the work you’ve started.
This was originally posted at Mountain State University LeaderTalk and is re-posted with permission.
I am the founder/CEO of the Weaving Influence team, the author of Reach: Creating the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book, or Cause, and the host of the Book Marketing Action Podcast. I’m a wife and mom of three kids, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, coffee, and dark chocolate.
I totally agree when you say that perseverance is fueled by purpose. When a difficult situation triggers a choice between giving up and pushing through, our natural instinct will only direct us to the latter if the purpose is clear. If it is not, most people I have seen choose giving up.
INTENT drives perseverance.
What nice memories! The legacies I remember are of the people. How they treated me, what I felt when in their presence. My grandmother always made me feel safe and loved (but she also cooked for me – hot breakfast with strong coffee!). After she passed away, I heard a few other stories from relatives that added to her legacy; she had a good life and a tough life like most of us, yet she persevered and left wonderful memories.
Here’s the money quote for me, Becky: “Consider your values, and choose to persevere in the activities that align closely with them.”
Becky, I’m also reminded of the saying “in the end people will remember how we made them feel, more than what we did.” When we take actions from our purpose and values, that lasting legacy is embedded in the feelings associated with those memories.
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This is a really interesting article. Well written for sure. I’ll be coming back.