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Today’s Decisions, Tomorrow’s Impact

August 13, 2013
Today’s Decisions, Tomorrow’s Impact

My father has COPD. He will never be any better than he is today…and today, he is at home in a hospital bed with oxygen strapped to his face every moment of the day. This is prompting my thoughts for this writing. A man who worked his way up in his profession, commanded hundreds of employees, serviced a myriad of customers and now is resigned to having to rely on others for his everyday needs; but what about his legacy?

Priscilla Shirer (2011) writes: “Your legacy is all about choosing wisely. Are you making today’s decisions with their impact o tomorrow in mind? When you’re arranging your priorities and forming your habits, do you think about your children, your grandchildren, about the kind of character they’ll remember about you and inherit from you? When you spend your money, or sport your fashion sense, or speak your piece, or spare your time, does it ever occur to you that you’re not just making a choice for yourself, in the moment?” (p.249)

There are many things I have learned from my father; a strong work ethic, loyalty, honesty in business dealings, fiscal responsibility, proper use of words (I have never heard my father swear), and an attitude of forgiveness. I do not know if he set out to forge these values in my sisters and me, but nonetheless, by his daily choices, he did just that. We learned from his behavioral example to value all of these characteristics and be true to them in our daily lives.

What about you? Are you thinking about how the choices you make impact those who are following in your footsteps? Do you realize that you are influencing the attitudes and choices of other young men and women that see you in action every day?

Our spiritual, physical, emotional, relational, and intellectual legacy should be carefully crafted and purposefully passed on. In my practice, I see many people with plates full of regret. People who “wish they had”…It’s never too late to change from wishing you had to “being glad you did”. It is just one choice at a time. Why not stop for a moment and take a moral inventory. Take an honest look at your attitudes and behaviors and see whether they are in line with what you say your values are. If so, good for you…keep on choosing well. If not, then take a step back and see what choices you need to make to align your behaviors with your values. Remember, others are watching and taking note. You’re leaving a legacy…either way.

Moral Inventory Checklist:

  • Resentment…or…Forgiveness
  • Fear…or…Faith
  • Selfishness…or…Unselfishness
  • Dishonesty…or…Honesty
  • Arrogance…or…Humility
  • Jealousy…or…Trust
  • Insincerity…or…Straightforward
  • Laziness…or…Industrious
  • Intolerance…or…Open mindedness
  • Despondency…or…Hope
  • Criticism…or…Encouragement
  • Discourteous…or…Cheerful
  • Pessimistic…or…Optimistic
  • Indifference…or…Compassion
  • Revengeful…or…Forgiving
  • Excess…or…Balance
  • Greed…or…Generosity
  • Disrespect…or…Respect
  • Conceit…or…Modesty
  • Inadequacy…or…Capability
  • Aggressive…or…Cooperative
  • Begrudging…or…Appreciative
  • Procrastinate…or…Promptness
  • Inconsistent…or…Consistent
  • Gossip…or…Discrete
  • Manipulative…or…Let Go
  • Guilt/Self Pity…or…Self-Acceptance

 

Shirer, P. (2011). The Resolution for Women. Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group.

About the Author
Dr. Connie Ingram is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Life Coach, and Corporate Consultant. She is certified in clinical supervision for undergraduate and graduate students as well as those seeking supervision to obtain professional license. Connie is an adjunct professor in counseling and leadership studies, a supreme court certified mediator, and a parenting coordinator. Connie is most known for her public speaking and training in the areas of relationships, stress/anxiety, and leadership.

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