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He Done His Damnedest

By Rachelle Disbennett-Lee, PhD

One of Stephen Covey's "Seven Principles of Highly Effective People" is "Begin with the end in mind." When I think about this principle, it comes to mind that this is what a legacy is all about. Thinking about what we want to leave behind helps us to live our lives in such a way that we create that legacy each day. A quote I recently came across made me think of how important each day is to our legacy and what will remain of us once we are gone. The quote was from a tombstone in Arizona that read, "Here lays Jack Williams. He done his damnedest."

Recently I have been thinking of what I would like to have engraved on my tombstone. Oddly enough there are books and lots of websites with the epitaphs of famous and not so famous people that provide an idea of what to say. Some epitaphs tell about the type of life the person had, such as Bette Davis, whose tombstone reads, "She did it the hard way." Some tell about the way the person lived their life, such as Jim Morrison, whose tombstone reads, "Kata ton daimona eay toy" (true to his own spirit). I have decided I would like "She made a difference" on my tombstone.

Regardless if you plan to have a tombstone or not, or really even care what it says, putting into a sentence or two how you want to be remembered is in keeping with Covey's principle. If you have the end in mind, which in this case is how you want to be remembered, you have the opportunity to create that ending each day. Many people come to the end and have no idea what their life was about or why they were here. That's a sad ending indeed. I believe if you live your life as if this is the day you will be remembered by, it will have a huge impact on your actions and how you live life.

Not that death is a cheery thing to think about, but there are worse things that can happen than dying. For me it would be living without making a difference. For you it will be something else. Whatever that something else is, you must do it. Don't put off living your life until someday. I would hate to have my tombstone read, "She meant to make a difference but was waiting for someday."

About The Author
Coach Rachelle Disbennett-Lee, PhD, is a Certified Master Coach specializing in working with business owners and professionals in being more profitable and productive while staying sane and balanced. Coach Lee is the publisher of the award winning e-zine, 365 Days of Coaching. Her first book, 365 Days of Coaching - Because Life Happens Every Day (Universal Publisher, 2004) was named a finalist for Best Book 2004> and has a five star rating on Visit Coach Lee at her websites True Direction, Inc. Copyright

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