Thursday, October 15, 2009



The concept of legacy returns again in the 16th degree. The candidate is asked, “will you leave the world in a better state than you found it?” This time, legacy is examined from an intentional standpoint, of starting with the end in mind. In this, the second of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, your image of the end of your life becomes a reference by which everything else is measured. You set the image and then purposefully go about your life to fulfill your dreams and desires.

The 16th Degree considers relationships in terms of the way we treat the people over whom we have power – suggesting mercy and generosity. The lessons council that there may be a time when we need to restrain ourselves and be patient, temporarily resigning our own interests for another’s advantage. This strategy of patience and restraint is the hallmark of the Asian business model.

So, how then do you go about leaving the world in a better state? Certainly, it's done one purposeful step at a time. Pike said, "This Masonry teaches, as a great Truth; a great moral landmark, that out to guide the course of all mankind. It teaches its toiling children that the scene of their daily life is all spiritual, that the very implements of their toil, the fabrics they weave, the merchandise they barter, are designed for spiritual ends; that so believing, their daily lot may be to them a sphere for the noblest improvement."

Look at the things that you do in your day. How do you view them? Is work a chore? Is it a blessing? It's all in how you see it, or frame it, that counts. If you are seeing work as a chore, then you need to reframe how you see it. Remember to put all of your best efforts into your work. Your work, after all, recommends you. Imagine each day that you are auditioning for your job - that employment the next day depends on how well you perform today (in this troubled economy - that sentiment is not too far from the truth most times). Look at yourself honestly. Would you hire you? Would you follow you? If not, why?

Sure, times are tough. But, as Pike said, "very near to us lies the mines of wisdom; unsuspected they lie al around us. There is a secret in the simplest things, a wonder in the plainest, a charm in the dullest." A happy and content life is all in how you see it.

In terms of legacy, why not choose a happy and contented life. "To every [leader] there will be opportunity enough for these. They cannot be written on his tomb; but they will be written deep in the hearts of men, of friends, of children, of kindred all around him, in the book of great account, and, in their eternal influences, on the great pages of the Universe.

Still think you won't leave your mark on this world? Think again.