Oh, To Be Remembered
This time of year I often think about Lucille Ball. We lost her 26 years ago although it doesn’t seem that long. I can remember coming home from school and watching I Love Lucy and laughing along with the cheesy laugh tracks on the screen, or when I was home sick, you could still find her show on some off channel for the reruns.
I often use her life adventure in one of my talks about leadership. If you know her story, it is an amazing tale of survival. To be able to have the star power she had for 30+ years in Hollywood (starting in the 50’s) takes what I like to call GRIT—the ability to keep going and stay motivated for the long haul.
But today I want to focus, not on her stardom, but on her (and our) ability to be remembered long after we’re gone.
I spent last month talking about our need to pursue and readily accept opportunity if it comes our way, and if it doesn’t pass near us, to reach out and grab hold of it, anyway. I wanted you to understand that sometimes in life we have to take on jobs, opportunities and adventures that we might not feel 100% ready for, but to go ahead and trust yourself enough to take the challenge because I just know that you will succeed.
The simple adage is true—nothing ventured, nothing gained. Friends, I want you to reach for the mark—the high calling of what you were born to do.
I hope that you’ll draw more inspiration from the life of Lucille Ball, so please let me direct you to the many autobiographies and many news articles about her life, which I might add was not always glamorous and sometimes downright silly. Yet, through it all, I admire her attitude of always moving forward, rarely looking back and learning to love herself when love seemed fleeting by Hollywood standards.
You probably have a favorite show of Ball’s that still makes you laugh. I love the clip of Lucy and Ethel in the chocolate factory that makes me laugh every time, and I love, love, love the Vitameatavegamin clip that makes me laugh still today (26 years later). Oh, to remembered and leave a legacy.
So that brings me to you, friend. How do you want to be remembered? How do you want others to remember your life, your actions, your love, your—dare I say it—testimony about your life?
I know I have spoken in many shows about your legacy and how you (and I) will be remembered, but I want you to reflect on it again today, for today may be the day you realize that one day you’ll be gone, and all we’ll have to remember you by is what you left us.
In one sense, that is a sobering thought—that all we’ll have to remember you by is what you left us—so, in consideration of that thought, what will do you today to correct, enhance or begin to build your remembrance?
Oh, to be remembered is a wonderful challenge for all of us to reflect on today and every day.