When you are young, your motivation for working and living lies in larger income, better standards of living and in general having a good time. But as you grow older, your priorities change. You want something more fulfilling. You seek to achieve goals that you will be remembered for. A sense of urgency begins to set in as time passes. And the source of your passion arises from wanting to leave behind a legacy.
That legacy may take the form of social change brought about by your work. Or it can be in an enterprise or institution founded by you. Many successful businessmen set up foundations and trusts in the pursuit of noble causes. Thus they seek to perpetuate their name or family name for posterity. An invention or a new process or a novel product can also enshrine the maker’s name in the books of history.
Temporal pleasures and petty rewards do not satisfy someone working at this level. His or her passion seeks loftier goals. The greater the goal, the more fervent the passion. Revolutionaries and freedom fighters like Mahatma Gandhi and Che Guevara struggled all their lives for the liberation of their countries. Their ambitions encompassed the lives of millions of their countrymen. The sheer magnitude of their legacy consumed their entire lifetime, but it was a passionate lifetime, with every day spent in pursuit of that goal.
How do you set about leaving behind your legacy? What is it that you feel strongly about? Write down your strongest emotions and issues. They may even lie outside your present work area. Start working on those issues. Educate yourself and acquire new skills if you have to, and get to work. It may be a simple project like improving your community, or a major reform of state laws. Remember that all the great men and women who have brought about change were ordinary men like you and me, but they had the power of conviction and passionate belief in their dreams.
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