Jon Gordon has partnered with Dan Ritton and Jimmy Page to co-author Life Word. We first introduced Gordon in 2007 when he wrote The Energy Bus.
Life Word: Discover Your One Word to Leave a Legacy
is a follow up to their first endeavor titled One Word That Will Change Your Life
Identifying a single word that represents the life you wish to lead, is a simple yet powerful exercise.
Your life purpose can be summed up in one word, it's truly a word to life by; a word that will help guide you on a daily basis, and a word that becomes a measuring stick for your success.
Upon completion of the exercise - having chosen your word, you'll have greater clarity about what's most important in your life, which allows you to focus more clearly on your goals.
Additionally, that one special word will provide you with a compelling vision for your future.
“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
― George Bernard Shaw
We talk a great deal on our website about the importance of identifying your most important life goals.
This book fits perfectly with the following tools already available in our free tools library.
- Life Balance - Success Wheel- establish life categories, measure current levels of success and set future goals
- Master Action Plan (M.A.P.) - effectively break goals down into key projects and tasks. Without a clear plan for success, you'll only have a dream, which is not the same as having a well planned goal.
- Vision Board - is an activity we encourage you to use to super-charge your focus and motivation. It's too easy to become distracted from your goals so it's imperative that you use every tool at your disposal to increase your chances for success.
Life Word takes the goal planning process to an even higher level, providing a simple tool for daily inspiration. At only 89 pages, this little book increases your chance for achieving the big results you seek.
Identify Your Life Word In 3 Simple Steps
Particularly if you've already completed the goal setting tools mentioned above, the process of identifying your life word won't take a lot of time.
It's process is simple as the authors take you through these three areas of self-reflection:
- POWER (Gifts & Strengths) - Everyone is unique and has something of value that can be of great benefit the world. If you aren't sure what your strengths are, we encourage you to take the StrengthsFinder 2.0 survey. We've provided a full review and a free StrengthsFinder template that you can use to facilitate the survey for your entire team. Knowing your strengths is an empowering exercise that will assist you in your leadership journey. While it is not required for the purpose of identifying your life word, the StrengthsFinder 2.0 survey will provide valuable insights that can make the process easier.
- PURPOSE (Calling & Cause) - One of the most affirming quotes I've heard was told by Tom Ziglar, the son of famous motivational speaker and best selling author, the late Zig Ziglar. Tom shares a story about a time when he was struggling with self-confindence. His father sat him down and said, "Son, God don't make no junk, and thanks to your mother, neither do I." You are here for a reason, and it's up to you to figure out what your purpose is. Sometimes your purpose is triggered by a powerful book, movie or sermon. Some people find their calling by experiencing a great hardship or tragedy. To find your purpose, you need to be looking for it - be willing to try new things; experience other cultures; volunteer for non-profits; go back to school; seek to find that one special thing that you're compelled to act on. You'll know your true purpose when you can say to yourself and others, "I am made for this!"
- PASSION (Motivation & Energy) - The most effective kind of motivation comes from within. When you possess an inner drive that fuels you to get up and begin each day with a positive spirit, which allows you to contribute your special talents for the benefit of others - you have found your passion!
The authors ask a series of questions in each of the three categories that will help you to quickly identify your life word.
Your life word will become apparent to you as you connect the dots between your Power, Purpose and Passion. Once you've identified your life word, it becomes a primary tool in your decision-making process.
Looking back, it's easy to identify a life word that guided some of history's great leaders' decision-making and speaks to their legacy. Examples could include Martin Luther King, Jr - EQUALITY; Mother Theresa - CONTRIBUTION; Thomas Jefferson - INDEPENDENCE or; George Washington - CIVILITY.
Looking to the future, if you determine that your life word, for example, is LOVE, you'll become more intentional about responding to challenges and opportunities with a kind and loving heart. If your word is COMMUNICATION, you'll measure your success based on how effectively you are communicating to others, and by how well you are helping others to become better communicators.
Whatever word you choose, understand that it will help guide your daily decisions and ultimately cultivate your legacy.
In the next section, we'll continue to talk more in-depth about legacy.
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
― Anne Frank, Anne Frank's Tales from the Secret Annex
One Word To Leave A Legacy
Imagine a cemetery and a blank headstone. Next, imagine it's your headstone.
If you could only write one word on your headstone, what would it be? After reading Life Word: Discover Your One Word to Leave a Legacy
, the answer will be clear.
Everyone will leave a legacy. Some will leave a positive legacy, whereas others not so much. The key is to leave a legacy that is intentional; a legacy that sets a shining example for everyone you love and respect.
Due to protected copyright I won't provide the full text here, but there is a powerful poem titled The Dash written by Linda Ellis. I encourage you to search 'the dash poem" on your favorite search engine and read this timeless classic.
As you work to determine your life word, reading The Dash provides some excellent insight.
On most headstones you'll see two important dates:
- Date of Birth
- Date of Death
However, the dash in between these two dates hold far more significance.
The dash represents all of your experiences, efforts and contributions made during your entire life.
After reading this book you'll be armed with the knowledge of what you want your dash to represent. What kind of legacy will you leave?
Jon Gordon, author of The Wall Street Journal bestseller The Energy Bus, and several other books. He is a regular speaker and motivator, featured on national news and TV programs.
Dan Ritton, is a speaker, author and coach. He has co-authored five books.
Jimmy Page, is a speaker and leadership coach. He is a Nike performance coach and Spartan racer. He has also co-authored several books.