about your name….

What you come into this world with….your name.

What you leave this world with…..your name.

What you do between entry and exit will determine your legacy.

You have a legacy now. Most people think you have to be a certain age before you can have a legacy or even have passed away. I believe as soon as you have anything to do with the way people act, you have a legacy.

It’s your choice whether you have a good legacy or a bad legacy. A daily choice. Keith Wiginton always said, “If you run with dogs, you get fleas.” I say, if you run with dogs that have fleas, you’ll get fleas. Choose to run with dogs without fleas.

Below is a poem that has been around quite awhile and been shared across the social channels. It fits here.

By Linda Ellis

My full name is Stephen Douglas Black. Stephen Franklin Vaughn was my great grandfather on my mothers’ side. I never met him although I know he was from Arkansas and had eleven children. Douglas is after my mom’s brother, Charles Douglas Seigrist. One of my most admired people. He has been my inspiration for rising above the way you were raised and going on to be successful in your career. (more to come on his remarkable story in another blog post.)

My son’s each have one of my names. Jared Stephen Black & Travis Douglas Black. I also have two nephews that have my name. Joshua Stephen Roll & Cody Stephen Black.

I don’t know what it is, but there is a lot of pride in knowing your sons and nephews carry your name. There is also great responsibility to make sure you don’t do anything to tarnish that name.

Anytime I meet someone or am just trying to get to know them better, I always ask about the history of how they got their name. It’s a fascinating way to get to know people better. And as many of you know, once I know your middle name and the story behind how you got your name, I will always call you by those two names. Hey, it’s an Oklahoma thing, haven’t you heard of Billy Bob, Joe Bob & Sherry Bob?

This topic is also another version of my Rule #5: Protect the brand

Your family name is a brand. How many times do you hear someone making a comment about someone and hear, “You know, they are from that (fill in the blank) family.” Many people have had to learn how to be successful in spite of their family name reputation.

A life lesson about this is that anytime you’re in a situation and you’re not quite sure which way to go, just think about how it could affect the family name. If you take choice A vs. choice B. Put another way, “What’s the worst thing that can happen?”. If the answer isn’t good, then don’t do it. Walk away. Or as I’ve said before, a four letter word; F L E E!

I just heard Andy Stanley make a statement that his wife came up with. The topic was “What Breaks Your Heart?” Talking about what you can do to make this world a better place. She said, “At the end of my life, I would like people to line up and thank me for…..”

I would ask you, if this happened to you, how many would be in that line? Three, thirty, three hundred, three thousand? And what would they be thanking you for?

Intentional legacy building is exactly this; helping people. Where they are. When they need it. How they need it.

Nothing will bring value to your name more than helping people!

Transformation takes place when people know that you believe in them. You show you believe in them, by helping them. Help is more than just money, you can teach, inspire and coach them. It’s always rewarding for me to spend time with my team and teach them something about the business that makes their work life better. They are forever grateful for the impact you’ve had on them.

This is one of my all time favorite songs, by Ray Boltz. The theme of this song is in the realm of church life, but I believe it’s truly in the realm of all areas of your life. I encourage you to take the time to soak this in, and then let it change your life.

If you’re looking to make a difference in the life of a child from around the globe, here are some of my favorites:

Go – make a difference in someones life today!