Pat Katz Pat Katz




PAUSE – 18.09 – Did You Know You’re Retroactively Useful?

Reflection: I seem to be encountering a lot of people from my past these days. In the course of our conversations, more than a few of them are sharing how something I said or did influenced them years ago and continues to be meaningful in their lives today.

Sometimes it was the way I handled a challenging situation. Other times it was a piece of advice or a way of looking at or thinking about things that was important at that moment. Often those insightful tidbits have become reference points or touchstones for them as they go about their lives today.

It moves me to hear that my contributions, both intended and unintentional, added meaning to their lives. That prompts me to be even more active in extending my appreciation to others whose examples have been important to me. And…it causes me to feel more satisfied about the contributions I’ve already made in my life and work.


Action: The desire to be purposeful and of service to others does not diminish with age. In fact as people grow older, they often start to think more directly about leaving a lasting and positive legacy.

Well, the good news is this. You’re not starting from scratch in the legacy department. Your words and actions have already left a trail behind you. Your contributions live on in the hearts and minds of those with whom you’ve already connected.

Hopefully, there will be more contributions to be made as time and energy and resources permit. Sometimes they’ll be tangible contributions, and other times your presence will be more than enough.

But rest assured that, when your energy and your time run out, your legacy will persist. Even if you never do another thing, you will continue to be ‘retroactively useful’.


Quotes Of The Week: Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you. —Shannon L. Alder

That is your legacy on this Earth when you leave this Earth: how many hearts you touched. —Patti Davis

While it is well enough to leave footprints on the sands of time, it is even more important to make sure they point in a commendable direction. James Cabell


Resource Of The Week: Check out this article by Lorraine Devon Wilke that recently appeared in the Huffington Post: Legacy Is Not Just For The Famous – We Each Create Our Own Every Day.


Readers Write: In response to last month’s message ( FOMO or JOMO? Flip It! ), Pause reader MH wrote: Thank you for this message. My inbox overflowed with sales and deals today, and for a moment I thought: ”I am too busy to save money.” That sounded silly to me, too. Then your piece came through, and I knew I was feeling pressure to be somewhere I didn’t need to be. So, I am happily continuing with the project I need to finish, knowing there will always be another sale.


News: I had a blast teaching two one-day Ink & Watercolor Workshops this summer. Here’s a link to my reflections on that experience. If you are interested in future workshop, drop me a line and let me know. I’m keeping a list of potential participants, as I’m sure there will be more of these sessions in my future.


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Appreciation, Life Balance, Life in General, Pause E-zines, Wellness

2 Responses to “PAUSE – 18.09 – Did You Know You’re Retroactively Useful?”

  1. Maureen Haddock

    You have shared an important message. Everyone on the planet is both influenced and an influencer. We never know who is taking notes as we go about our daily lives. One of the most powerful concepts we can teach young children is that each of them is someone’s role model. By living our best lives, we improve the world.
    I love the idea from Shannon Alder of “carving our name on hearts, not tombstones.”

  2. Pat Katz

    So true, Maureen. We are indeed both influenced and influencers at the same time – and what we do and say as we go about our days matters so much! Thanks for your comment, Pat

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