Will you be remembered as Legendary?


Will you be remembered as Legendary?Remembered as legendary? If we are being honest, most of us would answer that question with “No.” Legendary is a tough word. Here’s the Merriam-Webster Learner’s Dictionary definition:

Meaning:  2 [more leg*end*ary; most leg*end*ary] : very famous or well-known ▪ He is the most legendary football player of his time. ▪ legendary musicians

We don’t see ourselves as legendary

We don’t usually see ourselves that way. As I thought about legendary, the opposite end of the spectrum came to me with this quote from Henry David Thoreau:

Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.

I don’t know about you, but that isn’t the life I want to lead either. One of the reasons I was drawn to the resume writing field is that far too many people that struggle to see their accomplishments and gifts.

Do you see your gifts and talent?

One of the assignments I give my clients is to think, “Accomplishment, Accomplishment, Accomplishment.” If Realtors can say, “Location, Location, Location” is what makes a property the most valuable and leads people to buy it, then a successful resume must say accomplishments and illustrate them well so you can be chosen as the most valuable person to hire.

Here’s a selection of random accomplishments from recent clients:

  • Selected to develop Certified Ambulance Accreditation Service (CAAS) program for department to evaluate quality of service, such as JCAHO for hospitals.
  • Goal-driven and motivated with the unique ability to coach and motivate others; successfully coached an Olympic hopeful swimmer to complete in Summer Games.
  • Promoted to XYZ Captain. Selected for leadership role to maintain team unity, manage morale and disciplinary issues for 10+ member team when playing during domestic and international tours.
  • Implemented method of system to trend action level on high end and lowering action level, resulting in cost savings of $500,000+ due to increased run time, chemical savings, sheet profile quality, and reduced labor costs.

Don’t go to the grave with the song still in you

For me personally, I have been working hard to not go to the grave with the song still in me. In my family, I have seen four people die of Alzheimer’s disease. Three were blood-related. The disease is devastating as their ability to remember and in the end the ability to function slips away.

I can see the signs growing in my mother. We’re having the same conversation over and over again. She can’t bake cookies like she did for the last 20 years or more for my children because the process of baking is now too hard for her. Mom gave up other dreams long ago. She stopped singing in the choir and performing as solos at weddings and funerals when I was 6 so she would be able to be with me more. She never did write the book she wanted to write. (Note: Mom died in July 2011 after a tragic fall down the stairs. I miss her daily.)

Of course, Mom did many other things throughout her life that made a difference. She wrote encouraging letters for years to friends and others. Mom once was a familiar sight at the library known for her binder organized with books she had read and more that she still wanted to read. She won prizes years ago for the gladiolas she grew.

I don’t think it matters if you are legendary, few of us will reach that level. But when you look back on your life, I hope that you will not die with the music still in you.

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  1. Gee Backhouse | Custom Jewelry on January 10, 2011 at 7:23 am

    Oh Julie, I’ve not heard that expression before – but I certainly don’t want to die with the song still in me either! I can see very clearly that you are someone with the ability to help others to see their accomplishments and gifts. Thanks for this lovely story in a post. Gee.

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