Years and years ago I recall my father talking to another person. I was in earshot and don't even know if he ever knew I heard him make a simple remark that has stayed with me ALL my life. "Your NAME is your most important asset" he said, "and there is no better thing to leave your children then a Good Name." I believe those words and still think about them today. It's not surprising that I have never changed my name when I got married but I often wonder what DO I want my children, family and friends to remember me as? Or by?
I ask other people this question sometimes and wonder if they value that statement as much as I do. Do I just want to be remembered as a "nice" person who lived by the principles of trying to do the "Right Thing."? There's SO much more to it then that. I want to be remembered as a person that followed my own dreams to do what I wanted to do in life no matter how difficult that was at times. I want to be remembered as someone who inspired others to actually change their lives into a more positive aspect, that viewed the positive instead of the negative, that were able to perceive things from a different viewpoint.
But there's STILL more. And I'm not even sure what that IS yet. If I had to figure out, RIGHT NOW, the ONE THING I wanted people to remember most about me, I am not sure what that one thing would be. As I think about it, I wanted to be remembered most for having made a difference in someone's life. I always think that you can't change the whole world, just your little part of it. We can ALL say we made a difference in our children's lives, if we have them, but only if they "Get it."
Doing a Community Service Project in the lovely town of Bayville, Long Island, last year was amazing and so were the "ripple" effects still being felt by that lovely place today. Having gotten their name out to the Community they lived in, help came from some very unexpected places and is continuing to come in. Because the local press picked up on it, it gave people an awareness of this place and the help they genuinely needed. And I am going back this year again, of course, and with the assistance of the reporter who was kind enough to cover the story the first time, she will remind people---again. But it's not enough. For me. It's not ALL that I wanted to accomplish. And then I wonder if we EVER get to accomplish all that we want to or is there so much that much of it gets left "undone."
I have to wonder if it's just my AGE that's making me feel this and if others think about it as well? Do you want to be remembered for being a great parent, a great Agent, a true helper of the Community? I remember a client from years ago who was involved in a lawsuit with someone who had used a VERY close comparison of his Business name and nearly ruined my clients business because of it. The suit had been going on for YEARS and while everyone advised him to let it go and start over, I couldn't help but think that was his NAME, the good reputation he had worked SO hard all those years to build up was being trashed, quite literally. He fought for years and I don't at ALL blame him. While going through it he had asked me if he should just drop the case. It's not something I would normally give an opinion on at ALL, however, he was asking me more in a personal context then as a Consultant.
I was torn. I am normally for not fighting, it drains your Energy, even when you are right. Except in this case; I think things strike a nerve in all of us, perhaps because we have been through something similar. Many of the posts on AR strike a nerve with me because in some way or another I can relate to them so well. From a purely personal perspective, I told him if it was MY NAME, I would find a way to stick it out....And I would. He did; it took him over two years and cost him a lot of money and aggravation but he WON. As well he should have.
Will his legacy be that he fought for his name? I wonder if some of you have the same question and think of this on occasion....and I wonder what YOU, personally, want most to be remembered FOR?