Live Your Legend, Leave a Legacy

(Read in :03)“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” ~ Catherine of Siena

The last few weeks has me and our whole community thinking about life. The tragic suicide of an incredible young girl has found us questioning everything and left us with few answers. It challenges everything we hold true to see a young life that held so much promise cut short. It leaves us wondering why and asking ourselves how it can be different.

I reflected deeply on the impact that has been felt by so many. In an effort to offer encouragement, I wrote about the importance of living our life intentionally and discovering our purpose. The sweet girl will never be forgotten and her life really mattered. It was something her family heard over and over again. She lived life to the fullest and her legacy will be one of light. Incredibly, a foundation has already been formed to honor her memory. Its highest purpose is to help prevent any other family from experiencing the pain these dear people have felt.

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Even more important, I was greatly inspired by the outpouring of love and felt the need to offer some hope and comfort of my own. About ten days ago, I wrote to encourage my readers to look within and let their light shine. Each of us builds our legacy one day at a time and not a single one of us knows how long we have to create ours. We all have a God-given hunger to find our gifts and we are called to become the best possible version of the person we were created to be. It should be the work of our lifetime no matter how many years that might be.

“All men want, not something to do with, but something to do, or rather something to be.”
~ Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Our legend and our legacy

I ran across a TED talk as I prepared to write today’s post. It was presented by Scott Dinsmore in 2012 and it’s called How to Find the Work You Love. Over four million views on his talk indicate our collective longing for finding and tapping into our passion. Dinsmore also challenged his viewers to look within and find what it is that sets them on fire. He asked them to identify and pursue the work they can’t NOT do.

Dinsmore went on to form Live Your Legend, a company that encourages people to find and pursue jobs they are passionate about. The website is Please check it out, it’s a remarkable resource.

I found Dinsmore’s story so compelling and inspiring that I continued to explore a little more about his life. I was shocked and saddened to read that he died in October of 2015 while on a trip with his wife. What a sickening punchline.

He was killed while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, a feat his family says was to fulfill a lifelong dream. Dinsmore died doing what he loved, something he preached through his work, on a blog, on his website, and in that widely viewed Ted Talk. Before he reached the summit, a cascade of boulders rolled down the mountain and one of them hit and killed the 33-year-old.

He lived his legend and left a legacy

His father was quoted as saying,  “He lived more in his short 33 years than most do in a lifetime.”

Believe me, I had no idea as I began writing that it would end as another story of a life that ended too soon. Honest, I do not share it to make anyone sad. Instead, I offer it as yet another reminder to live each day to the fullest. Steve Jobs was famously quoted as saying, “If you live each day as it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.”

Good advice for us all. See you Thursday.







    • Betty Streff

      My writing is very much in the moment and I was surprised at my own O’Henry ending. I didn’t see it coming. Still, we must use the awareness of our mortality to pursue our life with intensity so I hope it is a message of possibility and not of discouragement.

  • Grant Newbold

    Betty. Thanks for sharing these thoughts with us. One of the things I think of often is that since we never know how much time we have left how do we know how to use it to its best. For me the answer is in our “Worthy Values First” system. If I’m clear what worthy values I’m on this planet to serve, then if I spend most of my time actually serving them, then I will have made the best use of my time regardless of how much time I get. I will also have left the best “legacy of greatness” that my allotment of time allowed. For me that helps relieve the anxiety about how much time I have left. Thanks again. Doc Newbold.

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