We all want in some way to be remembered; to feel that we’ve contributed something lasting to the world.
And these days, we seem to live in a world that encourages us to “play big or go home“, putting a lot of pressure on us to work with the end result in mind, rather than inviting us to take that first step.
For some, this can be a driving force leading to great accomplishments and extraordinary contributions to mankind. But for others like myself, our hidden fear can begin to surface, holding us back; our doubts convincing us that what we have to offer is not enough, causing us to do nothing.
In what can feel like an obligated pursuit of purpose or need to leave a legacy behind, we get lost along the way because the idea of “legacy” seems so grand that it paralyzes us.
We become so concerned with how we’ll finish (or if we’ll finish at all), we let the end result be the only thing that matters; afraid that everything we do, all the work we put into something, all the hustle and effort will amount to nothing. That in the end perhaps our efforts – or we – won’t matter. That we won’t make a difference. That we won’t leave this life having done something meaningful.
I’m pretty sure when Michelangelo painted his first brushstroke on the Sistine Chapel ceiling, it was not inspired by the hope he would become known for one of the most creative masterpieces of all time. Yet he somehow understood that the best (and only) way to make things happen – or even to make history – is to just get started.
Most times, taking that proverbial leap begins with taking one small step, then another, and yet another.
We need to start believing that any meaningful, lasting legacy is made up of the little moments, not the grand gestures. The try, the act, the give. Our greatness measured by the size of our passion and heart… not our impact.
Starting can be the trickiest, and also the easiest step in the process of doing great things.
The puzzle piece that completes the masterpiece is always that first note played, that first word written, or even perhaps that first brushstroke of paint.
***Dedicated to my amazing husband, Scott Ivey