What you do every day is what creates the legacy you are living and the legacy of who you will be remembered for well into the future. It is your legacy that you leave behind as you pass on to whatever awaits. It is the same legacy that precedes you as you pass through this world. It is the way people think of you before they even meet you.
Reputation, karma, legacy, they are all the same. The more people you lie to, cheat and steal from, the more people you undermine, the worse and worse your reputation, your legacy, becomes. The worse your reputation and your legacy become the less people are willing to trust you, to work with you, and to extend a form of credit to you.
It is more than your Emotional Intelligence, your legacy is a kind of credit score for the compassion people are willing to extend to you. The higher your score, the more compassion, empathy, and forgiveness people are willing to give you, before even meeting you.
There are some people whose legacies are not worth the karmatic paper they are written on. We all know who they are. Their reputation precedes them. At one time they could do anything they wanted to. But over time people have learned, and suddenly one will find people are no longer willing to work with them. Lawyers recognize them as those not willing to pay their bills nor to take council when it is given. They turn them down. Business and political leaders are not willing to read their resume because there really is no need. They have already seen their reputation, heard their legacy, and have a feel for how they do business, enough so, that they do not even want to waste their time going through the motions of a meeting – even if just for a cup of coffee.
At the same time, those who have created a good legacy for themselves, who carry a spotless reputation can travel the world, free from suspicion and free from the actions of their past. The interesting thing about a legacy is that it is not just an external object to be traded as if it were a commodity. It is the way a person carries themselves. It is part of the internal baggage we all must account for. We have all seen it in people, some people just feel slimy, as if they just crawled out of some primordial swamp.
When you give somebody your word, you know in your own heart that your word is your bond. In that moment the people you have cheated revisit you. Your own legacy rolls past you. It is something the person across from you can see in the flicker of your eyes.
That flicker is what causes them to charge a little more, to set the rates a little higher, or to hold back on their trust a little harder. They will think twice, and listen to their suspicions with just a bit more gravitas.
Yes, you may think you can fool the people you work with, but you only end up fooling yourself. In time your legacy will catch up with you for better or worse. When it does will you be ready for what it holds for you? Would you still make the choices you are about to make today when that day arrives, or would you change your actions to create a legacy worth living with?
You can you change your legacy you know. Simply be aware of your actions and be willing to step back from the circus, enough to change your actions and shape your legacy before it is locked into place for all time.
After all, it is your life. It is time to live it your way.
Be well and I hope this helps.