A friend of mine recently lost a friend from high school, and he commented that after reading her obituary, he realized her life was one of “building monuments.” Long after she is gone, these monuments will stand as a testimony of her life and accomplishments.
It got me to thinking – am I building monuments?
Are the things I’m doing, the people I’m touching, the plans I’m making, creating a lasting impression? Or am I just getting through the day and spinning my wheels?
I want to focus on doing things that matter. The work I do needs to mean something, not just be a J.O.B. My work needs to be critical and impactful, making a difference in people’s lives.
I also want to make the personal interactions I have important. Whether it’s doing things daily that improve the communication and processes for my team at work, showing respect in my online and email interactions, or speaking with kindness to the cashier at the store on the way home who seems to be having a bad day. Being proactive in reaching out to stay in touch with family and friends is important too, instead of getting so caught up in “me” or “my activities.”
I think about the leaders and people in my life who have made an impression on me, and there were a lot of little things that they did that added up. There’s a volunteer at work who has a smile and a kind word for everyone no matter what health issues she is going through. One of my favorite bosses was a servant leader, inspiring and encouraging us to excel but not afraid to get in there and work. One of my dearest friends has a knack for sending me a random “hi how are you” text when I need it the most.
These are the kinds of monuments that I hope I am building, the kind of legacy I want to leave.
What monuments are you building?