Leave a Legacy: 3 Ways You Can Make a Difference Today

Debbie Ford, one of my formative teachers and the woman who trained me to be a coach, passed away at the shockingly young age of 57. While she had been battling cancer for a few years, hearing that she had succumbed was nonetheless a shock to me. She was such a vibrant woman.

Debbie shared wisdom that impacted millions around the world through her books, courses and workshops. When I first met Debbie I was in the midst of a divorce and all the emotional and logistical upheaval that is part of that process. For several years I trained as a Master Coach and eventually helped to train coaches in her organization.

Her passing raises some important questions for all of us.

What legacy do you wish to leave behind?

What would be possible if you lived each day as if it was your last?

Mortality isn’t a popular subject, yet it’s an inevitable part of our journey.

After all, planning to leave something behind implies that you’re no longer here. This thought doesn’t make most of us comfortable, but it is a reality…

Debbie Ford made a difference in the lives of others. That someone so vibrant, fiery and committed to helping people find their own wholeness would suddenly fall silent seemed incomprehensible to me.

Yet Debbie Ford has left a very rich legacy behind her. There is tangible proof of the difference she has made in so many ways –  with her dedicated coaches, her staff, the people whose lives she touched in ways large and small, and with her son. I feel the difference she made in my life every day, and I am eternally grateful to her for that.

Life is indeed precious. To make your choices each day with a healthy appreciation for the gift of having one more day on the planet adds an urgency and context to the piddly, day-to-day distractions than can entangle us. Choosing to live life full-out helps set your priorities, drop the doubt and fear, and makes it easier to muster up the courage to go after your dreams and make a difference to others.

Whether you want to make a difference by becoming a world-renowned author and teacher, or by raising loving and responsible children, the world yearns for the difference only YOU can make. By following these 3 strategies, you can get started on leaving your legacy right now.

1.    Know Your Heart’s Bottom Line

What is truly important to you? What are your core values that drive you and have you willing to take a stand? When you tap into your heart’s bottom line, you ignite your passion. Feeling your passion, values and truth allows people to feel you and be moved by you. It is not about the information you are here to share, but leaving a legacy is about the vibrational impact you have on others that inspires them to shift their perspective and make a different choice for their highest good.

2. Feel Your Burning Why

Having a vision that inspires and motivates you is important to helping you get through the daily challenges and setbacks that are an inevitable part of life. Having a burning why gives you the fuel to keep going when you want to quit or coast. For Debbie Ford, a single mom, her son was her motivation to go out and help others learn to heal their inner wounds.

3.      Take One Bite at a Time

To leave a legacy doesn’t require you to become a best-selling author, public figure or Hollywood star. You can make a difference today by offering a smile to a stranger in the check-out line, or giving your child an extra word of encouragement. You can leave a legacy by choosing compassion for yourself instead of criticism.

Don’t let your ego minimize the difference you make when it judges your dreams as inconsequential or not big enough. If each of us consistently took one small step every day to commit to living with love and peace within ourselves we would melt away the violence and struggles that challenge our society.

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