In my book, “You are perfectly flawed and rarer than any diamond!”; I wrote a whole chapter titled “Find your Legacy”. It is too long of a chapter to share here and I didn’t want to cut the message up either. If you want to dig deeper into this topic, please check out my book.
I want to challenge you to think about your legacy versus a new year’s resolution. I want to spin it on the things that surround you and your environment. As what you surround yourself with and adorn yourself with are a reflection of your self-image. Below is a quote that I have always loved especially in this topic.
Quote by Martha Stewart “Your home should be a reflection of how you want to live right now, and for the next phase of your life.”
If 2020 taught us anything, a key takeaway is to live simpler and appreciate our loved ones even more! I ask you to look at your home, the things that you share your space with. Do they really reflect the next phase of your life? If not, it is time to make some changes. Do you have things that you have kept because you inherited it and feel duty bound to keep it? Or do you have things that are just hard to get rid of because of the emotion attached to the item/s?
As I write this, I have been going through and removing things that I no longer see as a fit in my next phase. One in particular has been a hard one for me: My black leather briefcase that I started my financial world with back in 1990, when I started in banking. I carried it for years, it held important documents and it was also a status symbol too back in the day. Think of me in a power suit and sneakers much like Tess in the 1988 movie -Working Girl with my beloved briefcase!
I was going through my closet and there it was tucked back in the back on my top shelf. I cleared many items from the top shelf fairly quickly and released them to the wild…the thrift store! However, this one item, for a little longer tied to my identity apparently held on for dear life! It was as if I let this one item go… the one item that had played such an important support role to my career… I might not be her anymore.
I had to let it simmer a little more… I am not her anymore! I hadn’t carried it in almost 25 years! Why am I having such a hard time letting it go? I hadn’t even opened it up, yet! Truth be told, I was trying to remember the 3-digit code for the double tumbler locks! So secure…what treasures could still be in it? What notes or treasures could be found inside? I struggled with it, and finally I put in the magic code. The left lock sprang open…I did the same on the right side and it was stuck. It did not open! Seriously, okay Universe/God what trick is this? I walked away for a few minutes as I recalled the last time; I had carried it was not the best time in my life personally. Maybe there was something in there that might cause me pain. Thankfully I had forgiven and forgotten some difficult stuff from my past.
I left the briefcase sit on the top of my dresser for several days. Every time I went into my closet; I looked at it and waited for the right time. Early in the morning, when I was alone. I sat on my closet floor with my beloved briefcase in one hand and a flathead screwdriver in the other hand! I was going to break into it at all costs… the leather was worn and the handle was too worn to donate in the end. If I had to break it open it wouldn’t really be that much more damaged… to anyone else it was trash already!
I tried the right lock, with the 3-digit code again as I had several days ago… it sprang open! Inside of my briefcase were pens still in their pen slots and several pieces of paper with my handwritten notes on them. Nothing of value except it was a list of pros/cons of a very difficult decision in my life. I read the lists and remembered the time very clear as if I was right there making the list 25 years ago! I still make lists of pros/cons when a decision has to be made.
I have now shredded the lists, thrown out the pens and trashed my briefcase after taking a picture of it. (see picture at the top of article). It was a pivotable piece in my life and career. It is no longer needed in my next phase of my life. Especially in the digital age, whereas most documents are sent electronically. I am no longer that shy young lady hiding behind her briefcase and power suit aspiring to prove my worth and credentials in my field! If you know me, it is hard to imagine I once was very timid and shy. Now I am that fearless woman… taking on the Wallstreet Bull as I know my worth and I don’t back down!
So… What do you have in your surroundings that no longer serve the next phase of your life or your legacy?
Challenge accepted? You decide.
Financial advisor I Speaker IAuthor
Tiffany L. Gough has been in the financial services industry since 1990. Over the years, she has helped many through some difficult times while working on their financial goals. She is a financial advisor with an office in Seattle. In her debut book, "You are perfectly flawed and rarer than any diamond!", she shares some of the tools that helped her with her challenges as well as others. She grew up in Seattle. She is married and has two grown bonus sons (aka stepsons) who reside in Toronto, Ontario Canada.
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