Recently I was struck by a wonderful Facebook post, which I went on to share on my coaching page – it read as follows: “A father said to his son: ‘be careful where you walk’. The son responded: ‘you be careful, I walk in your footsteps’.”
It reminded me of how each of our daily actions, whether as teacher; parent; family member; counsellor; professional; priest; friend or another role, has an impact on the lives of others. Although not everybody aspires to be a recognised leader in the formal sense, each of us has the opportunity to choose to walk a path that ensures a life well lived.
Outside of the a medical prognostic determination of how much time we have left, none of us know how long we have to build the dream(s) we aspire to and or make the difference that is so important for us to make. Tomorrow may not always be ‘another day’ to get things right and time may not always be on our side to illustrate, share and or teach others the way forward. It is therefore imperative that we consciously walk in a manner that those who follow can learn and benefit from the paths we make.
When chatting with an older client some time ago he noted his frustration at wanting to do so much with this life in terms of getting involved with various initiatives, and he was battling as how to divide his time between them. When allocating percentages of time to each passion, project and interest he found that the sum added up to 150% – clearly 50% more than he was capable of offering! This realisation led to the discussion of how to choose between the various options open to him, and how to determine which he should delete off his list. The only way he could eventually make sense of the challenge was to consider the size and shape of the footsteps he wanted to leave imprinted in the hearts and minds of those he loved.
The exercise forced my client to face the fact that one day all that would be left of his presence in this life would be the legacy he left behind. And thus his choices needed to be made carefully, from within his heart. What he chose was ultimately intuitively discovered, rather than driven from cognitive, calculated reason, ensuring that his footsteps would always be in sync with having lived, loved and left a legacy flowing from his best self.
Each new day is an opportunity to create paths that, if carefully chosen, leave footprints leading to the memory of the best of us and the unfolding of a better life for those we leave behind.