I walked out of a funeral home today happier than when I walked in.
I know that’s unusual, but the person whose life was being celebrated was that too. Cheryl Maloney was someone I barely knew. Our paths crossed serendipitously and for that I feel privileged.
Born without arms, Cheryl was handi-capable and astoundingly did more with her feet and toes than most people are able to do with their arms and fingers. A trailblazer for her generation, Cheryl refused to let physical limitations restrict her ability to live life. More than that, she lived with an outlandishly positive and grateful attitude about life and about every obstacle she had to overcome because of her physical condition. In short, Cheryl was a hero. She was the type of person that you didn’t have to know well to be profoundly impacted by, and that is why I found myself celebrating her legacy today in the beautiful service that honored her memory.
Someone who has lived a life – and left such a legacy – like Cheryl inspires me profoundly. In thinking about how our small amount of interactions left such a deep mark on my life I am compelled to think about just how much of what we are remembered for is established by the little ways in which we live our lives. Our legacy is engraved not by the grandiose gestures we give to the world, but rather by the daily outpouring of love we give to others through our attitude and our actions.
You matter. The attitude you put on every day matters. The small interactions you have with others matters. The life you are living matters. Cumulatively everything you do combines together to create your legacy – that is, what you will be remembered for.
As Albert Pike so succinctly put it, “what we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”
And with that, I ask you, and I ask myself the following questions:
- Are you doing more for others or are you doing more for yourself?
- What about your attitude towards life will be remembered?
- Are you living out your story in such a way that the legacy you leave will be immortal?
- What are you doing in life that will be remembered?
- How do you love others and how will they remember that love?
- What do you want to be remembered for?
- Do you value every person who has been brought into your path?
The greatest lesson I took with me as I stepped outside of the funeral home doors today is that it is not the circumstances in life that define your legacy, but rather your attitude about life and the love you pour out on others through that attitude does.
Be someone like Cheryl – live with intentional positivity and with a heart of joy that sees beyond physical and circumstantial limitations – and you will leave to generations of others the gift of knowing how to live life to the fullest.
Happier today because of Cheryl,
PS: If you want to activate your attitude to a new level and to emerge your personal legacy into full bloom, then you need to sign-up for my seven-day personal empowerment program, the Emerge Experience. You can find out more and sign up for the Emerge Experience at: www.trishblackwell.com/emerge