The only thing you take with you when you’re gone, is what you leave behind.
What will you leave behind?
This weekend, I had the incredible opportunity to attend a celebration of life for Don Cash, the Utah man who died on Everest recently, after achieving his goal of conquering the “7 Summits”. I only met Don briefly, but his legacy has inspired me beyond words.
“At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a child, a friend or a parent.” ~Barbara Bush
I am confident that Don Cash transitioned this life with no regrets. For 90 minutes we heard from the people in his life who attested to his commitment to those relationships. He was a world-class Father, Husband, Grandfather, Brother, Son, and human being. His passion for life and adventure was only surpassed by his passion for taking care of anyone in his path. His business successes were remarkable, but the impact of his heart, his personality and sense of humor made them seem small. He lived a committed life. He loved well. He loved the people around him, he loved his community, and he loved the earth in a very deep way. He lived fully, and offered himself to life.
The thing that inspired me most about him though was his challenge to each of us to do hard things. Do the things that scare you. Create a bucket list and live into it. The fact that he died after achieving his goal of summiting all seven of the major peaks on the planet is proof that he walked his talk. He lived and literally died by those words. We’re all going to go. Wouldn’t it be cool to go out doing what you love, and to leave a powerful legacy to those who stay behind?
“When you die and go to heaven, our maker is not going to ask ‘why didn’t you discover the cure for such and such?’ The only question we will be asked in that precious moment will be ‘why didn’t you become you?’ ~Elie Wiesel
Why didn’t you become you?
I came home last night and dug through an old journal. I remember being asked this question years ago at another memorial service. What will I leave behind? Here’s what I wrote…
“I hope to leave behind a legacy of love. I want to be remembered as a true friend…someone who stood up for LOVE over everything else. I want to raise children who love people. People who are the same as them, and people who are different. I want every person I meet to be better for having known me.”
What would you say? What will you leave behind?