Tuesday, March 14, 2006

What do you want to be known for?

Went to the memorial service for the church member who passed on last week. Always an introspective time for me.

The family gave beautiful tributes to their husband/father. They remembered so many details, which brought smiles to all our faces and sometimes hearty laughter. What a wonderful family.

I left thinking, I wonder what my kids would say about me? Some of the details, if they were brutally honest, wouldn’t make people smile. But I hope time and healing will bring us where this family arrived, to a place of love and joy.

When I’m interviewing people for the articles or Websites I write about them, I bring out this question to get the conversation going: What do you want to be known for? This always makes people stop and think. I wind up with great material for the tone and content of whatever it is I’m writing.

So, what do I want to be known for? I’ve not asked myself this recently. Career Warfare recommends asking yourself this question in order to develop a “personal brand,” but I think it applies to life as well as career.

In no particular order, I want to be known for:

  • being a good parent
  • being a devoted daughter and loving sister
  • being helpful to those who need help
  • professional ethics
  • making the world a better place
  • labor that bears fruit
  • friendships that last for decades

I could go on and on, and will think about this more. Career Warfare made the point that once you figure out what you want to be known for, you need to live by those ideals. Every time you don’t act according to your ideals, you erode your brand.

Well, I don’t think the person whose life we celebrated last night thought in those terms. But he certainly did seem to live by a code of ethics and joy that blessed his family and community.

I feel the need today to rededicate to my own ideals, and to live according to them more consistently. This is not about changing who I am, but about realizing more fully the ideal creation God made. And about dropping those things that don’t coincide with that ideal. Now’s the time.


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