How to Outlive Your Life on Purpose

Arena Men,

Labor Day has come and gone, schools are in session, leaves are turning, and fall is here. We are weeks away from offering the free download of my book, Tell Them: What Great Fathers Tell Their Sons and Daughters. The book is a daily meditative tool containing 200 statements, verses, and reflection questions for men who yearn to be great fathers.

            Due to popular demand, in January Guts and Manhood: Four Irrefutable Attributes of Courage will be available through most book distributors. Some of you may have read the free download we offered in 2020 when COVID shut things down.

Legacy Questions Last week, Rex Tignor joined us on the Men in the Arena Podcast. Rex is the founder of Man Up Ministries, is the New England Training Director for Iron Sharpens Iron Men’s Conferences, and is a National Team Captain launching our Eastern Time Zone virtual team in October. (You have one more week to sign up to be on a virtual team, here.)

            It’s never too late to think about your legacy. I’ve been working towards that end for 30 years with my journaling, personal vision statement, and eulogy. Yes, I wrote my dream eulogy.

            I firmly believe that whatever you put to the grindstone will be remembered on your tombstone. I’ve never heard a dying man say he wish he’d spent more time at the office. Think about those who will be crying at your death bed and answer three legacy questions that Rex uses to challenge men:

1. If you died today, how would you be remembered?
2. What will those who love you say about you at your memorial service?
3. How will you be missed by those who loved you most?

 

            Live with no regrets. Pour out your life. Leave it all on the field, every day. At the end of his life the apostle Paul had no regrets; “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:6-7).

            Below are six ways to live without regrets—to outlive your life. To make it easy, I want to share a L.E.G.A.C.Y. acrostic that Rex shared on the Men in the Arena Podcast: 

Let it go. Your past is the past. Paul said it best, Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14). Sometimes we hurt ourselves. Other times people hurt us. We can let our past define us, destroy us, or drive us towards our destiny. I highly suggest the latter. Walk in forgiveness. It is tough to run into the future while dragging those you haven’t forgiven behind you.

Example. People are watching.  Every day you serve as a role model, good or bad. I live in a small city where we run into people we know every time we go out. Recently a dear friend was sharing about Men in the Arena with another man who responded, “I’m a little hesitant about getting involved. You see, I was on a date with my wife and was seated next to Jim Ramos and his wife. They got into a heated discussion, and it didn’t sit well with me.” It was another reminder that people are always watching so be a positive example. 

Grow every day. Never stop learning. If you have breath in your lungs, God is not done. Every day is a chance to learn something new. Don’t live the same year 80 times and call it a life. There is always something new to learn. If you aren’t growing  you are going.
            Ask yourself two questions at the end of every day: 

1. What did I learn today?
2. What would I do differently?

Accessible. Wherever you are, be there! Being physically present is not the same as accessible. Live in the moment and focus on those who are with you. Put that phone down and focus on the present. Never forget when you give your time, you are giving away something you can never get back. This is sometimes very difficult and must be strategically handled. Decompress on your commute home from work. Take ten minutes alone in your room to gear up for your wife and children. You will be remembered by how accessible you were from 5:30-8:30 every night.

Create memories. Out-Live Your Life. Out kick your coverage. Never forget that some of the greatest moments happen unexpectedly. We did this well. We strategically neglected buying lots of “stuff” when the boys were younger. Instead, we invested in memories—lots of them. These memories will stay branded on all of our hearts and minds long after material things have faded.

You. Be the best version of yourself. There will always be people telling you who they think you should be. You may be tempted to imitate the qualities you admire in someone else. Reject everything except your identity as a unique creation from God.

As the psalmist reflected:

For You formed my inward parts; you wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them”
(Psalm139:13-16).

If you want to learn more about becoming your best version, order your copy of the Amazon #1 bestseller, Strong Men Dangerous Times.

Tell Them 

What will you do with this new knowledge? Start leaving a legacy today.

  • Write down fifty things you will tell those you love and start telling them. Be watching for our free resource, Tell Them: What Great Fathers Tell their Sons and Daughters. It will be uploaded no later than September 24.
  • Subscribe to the Men in the Arena Podcast and join men from 122 nations who are becoming their best version.
  • Engage on our Facebook Forum with 11,000 men in lively conversations about everything related to manhood.

 

Becoming His Best Version,

 

Jim

 

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