What is your Legacy?

PREFACE: I’ve had this blog on my mind all week.  It’s been a while since I have written and I was thinking of this very topic as my first after so long.  I had 90% of this writing complete and saved it as a draft this morning.  As I sat in church today, my pastor began speaking and I realized that his topic today was exactly in line with this very article.  He spoke of realizing  your purpose in life and leaving something to the world long after you are gone.  It’s times like these when I know that the work I do and the writings I share with the world are meant to occur.

Two Most Important DaysThis week I was watching “The Voice” and a song called “See you again” is being performed by Wiz Khalifa. The inspiring words are at the start:

It’s been a long day without you, my friend

And I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again

We’ve come a long way from where we began

Oh, I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again

When I see you again

So many thoughts came to mind as I listen to these words. The one core though that stayed in my mind was how that, so many times in life, the moment is gone before we even realize it was happening.  It reminded me of another phrase that I heard just yesterday once again:

“Life is what happens while we are making plans”

Why are we unable to cherish and enjoy those special times in life to the fullest?  Maybe it’s because the world is getting faster before our eyes. We’ve gone from having computers on our desk and laps to having them in our hands and wearing them on our wrists.  Everything is at a faster pace than ever before in history.

But as I thought about the great people I’ve gotten to spend my life with – especially my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and parents – I’m reminded of what things I remember when I reminisce about the days of the past.  And then I’m reminded of the legacy that was left to me; the lessons I’ve learned; the stories that I have been able to tell; and the experiences that have shaped my life to what it is today.

Then I’m reminded of one of my personal core values that I learned first from Stephen Covey: “To Live, To Love, To Leave a Legacy“.

It may sound crazy, but one of the many things I must ensure that I accomplish in life is to leave a legacy. To be remembered for something.  To stay in the minds of others long after I am gone.

What is your legacy?  What are you hoping to accomplish in this life that you want others to remember you by?  Is it a book? Is it a charity event or effort? Is it helping others in need? Is it a great invention? Is it to help grow your company or organization? Is it to start your own company? Is it to provide a memory to your children and grandchildren of core values and a purpose in life? Or is it something even more large that changes the world forever?

We all have the potential. And we all have the same amount of time every day. Zig Ziglar stated that “We all have 24 hours in a day“. What are you doing with your days to leave your legacy?

I’ve learned that as we grow older new things become more important than others. I’ve learned many of the basic core goals of my life in just the last few years.  I feel confident in telling you that when you realize what your goals, your aspirations, and your legacy encompasses, you will know it with clarity.

I would love to hear from you, reader, and what are your plans for leaving a legacy? Your life is important. Have you found your purpose?  What is your purpose?  How do you want to be remembered?

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New Year’s Resolution Time! 2015 is My Big Year!

It’s that time of year, when folks start thinking about New Year’s Resolutions.  I’ve laughed at how so many of us will make promises on January 1 that we soon fail to complete.  Many of our commitments are lost by the end of January.  it’s a known fact that gyms get the most applications for new membership in the first week of January.  And then people go for some time and eventually let it drop off of their schedule.  People will start a diet, and many will lose a few pounds, only to give up when they step out of the diet to eat something that is not good for them.  People set goals to accomplish their lifelong dreams, only to give up after just a few months of moving in that direction.

I can’t say too many negative things about this, because I, too, have been one of these people.  I have planned to grow faster, do more, accomplish more, set major goals for the year, only to find that I fall short.

But in 2015, this is about to change.  I know that my diet needs to change and I need to become more healthy.  That is a goal I will set on January 1 and i will be firm on making this happen.  But this is only a minor part of what 2015 has in store for me.  I plan to reach out to schools and other institutions to look for opportunities to speak on leadership, and to begin coaching people on the things that made me successful in my life, as well as lessons learned which I can share to help others avoid the same roadblocks and obstacles that I encountered through my life.

But 2015 brings something new for Mike Lyles —- I have aspired to write a book for so many years.  And I have kept notes, articles, thoughts, ideas, suggestions, and guidelines in a journal for more years than I can remember.  I am pulling all of the things together and in 2015, I will be planning to publish a book.  And I hope you, my followers, will be interested in reading my thoughts and being part of this journey with me.  I have read so many books as well as experienced so many things in my life that I feel the book will have something that everyone can relate to, regardless of whether they are a computer geek like me, or whether they like leadership and management coaching.  I want this book to be something that touches everyone in some way and gives them something to use practically in their lives.  Keep your eyes open.  2015 is the year of the Lyles Book!

There are so many other things I plan to do in 2015.  The list is too long to share in a single blog.  But I can assure you that as I check off the long list of goals for my 2015, that the world around me will be changed!  No time for procrastination anymore!

So what’s your plan for 2015?  Have you already started thinking about what you want to accomplish in 2015?  Have you procrastinated in 2014? 2013?  Years before?  We are not getting any younger, and life is not slowing down to give us more time to complete what we want to do.  Look around you and examine what you do each day.  Are you wasting your time doing things that have no value to your life, and your message to the world?  Make a list of things you want to accomplish in 2015.  Prioritize that list.  Look at the first two items on that list, and break those items down into tasks that you can do every day to move you in the direction of completing the goal.  You will be surprised what you can accomplish if you give even 10 minutes a day to your goals.  Tell those that are close to you about your goals.  Tell them when you plan to complete them.  And tell them to help you be disciplined.  Sometimes a word of encouragement will help you to stay on track.  It’s human nature to want to keep those people that are important to you happy.  So if you have someone watching your goals, you are less likely to procrastinate.  Make it a team event!

Always remember the words of Steve Jobs, who said:

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well worn path; and that will make all the difference.”

2015 should be the year of “Never, never, never give up!” (quote from Winston Churchill).  Make it year that you look back on and say that this was the year you turned your life around in the most positive direction!   One small goal that you complete today may result in an amazing impact to your life in 2015 and beyond.  Never underestimate how important what you do every day will do to move you closer to your goals in life.

And if you’re reading this and saying “I don’t have goals” – then today is the day you need to set at least TWO.  Get them on paper and get started on them.  What is your purpose in life?  What do you want to leave as your legacy?  It’s been said that the two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.  Make the best of this life.  Set your goals.  Go after them.  And let’s celebrate 2015 a year from now!

Get ready for my book!  It’s coming my friends!