We talk a lot about legacy at Pramek, especially on PramekRadio, where we talk to the top names in different industries about their achievements, lessons, and legacy.
Recently, Dr. John Landry (who is leading up our new Transitional Lethal Tactics, or TLT program) was here in my desert home and we did a planning session. Our question was not on the program, but what legacy did he hope to achieve with the program. We spent a number of Jack Daniels nights discussing and mapping this out. As I told him, ‘the question is not what you will do, but why you will do it. When we answer that, the what will happen because people will see the passion in the what…because of the why.’
I picked the meme above because it’s important – I have no idea who that is, actually, but I see a meme. It tells me that the idea of a legacy is shifting. Written works are not enough in many cases (unless you’re Tom Clancy). To be out there and use the medium’s available to us to show the what, because of our why, is quickly becoming the new standard.
It may seem silly, but think about the next graphic:
The Nazca lines of Peru are mind blowing – but no one has any true idea of what they are. From worshipping gods to ancient astronaut theories (ALIENS!) we have a physical artifact, but outside of inspiring others to make large structures seen from space – no one knows what the original creators of the lines mean. They had no Youtube, website, brick and mortar store, catalogs, or Facebook…we are left with lines that while impressive, fall short because don’t know their meaning. Why did they make them? What did they make?
So, this begs the question: are you creating your own Nazca lines?
First we must answer the question of why and what.
Everyday I work on the programs within Pramek…the CLM, MSF, TLT…I think about one thing: what will people in 100 years see my work as.
The internet offers us an amazing gift: immortality. Ebooks, videos, search engine records…everything offers us the ability to take who we are and make a permanent mark on humanity, even if it is small. When I published my first book in 2002, the K-Sys manual, I sold 100 written copies. While that is dwarfed by the thousands of videos and e-books I have sold since, in 100 years, sans any structure fires or people who really hate me and burn the book, 100 copies of my work will still be there to be read.
Our students offer us a step beyond, in that our teachings and doings live on through generations of thought, combined with our written and digital works. When I see a student teach their child the wedge, or have their girlfriend do Gear movements, I see something different…I see legacy.
But, let’s stop.
Defeatism is easy in today’s culture – everything is so fleeting, so right now, what if we arent’ in the right now? What if no one see us right now? We see the social media moguls, the TV and movie royalty…we see the guy up the street with the big house: we can quickly say to ourselves ‘But I can’t measure up to that.’
If you are reading this blog you know there is something bigger in what you study, so you come here to find some guidance. You had a thought, a process, a twinkling of something bigger – and found us to help you on the path. The Kardashian’s will get old, their photos will fade…the guy up the street with the big house will lose it or die in it…but what if you had a why today, a why burning in your soul, and you know a little about, that created a what?
Who cares if you are a master – you know something, you have a why, where is the what?
You think you can’t do it? No one will listen? I know people on Instagram with 130,000 followers who are texting people asking if they know anyone hiring because they are about to lose their house. I know well known Youtuber’s who are calling me asking to borrow money to pay their car note because their videos aren’t hitting well.
That’s not a legacy – that’s the right now.
We can’t live in the right now, based on our perceptions of popularity, fads, and trends to determine our why.
And your perception of others shouldn’t sway your what…what you will do, what you will accomplish. Just realize, everyone started somewhere, and everyone has their own battles.
And their own successes.
Recently an old high school friend of mine started a business, Over Yonder Signs & Such. Jon had a why and did a what – and now he’s going to trade shows, selling his signs, and creating something that means something to him. He makes this stuff – he isn’t just reselling something. Jon made it. Steve Aryan, who was recently on our podcast, had a why…that people should have the idea of the 2nd Amendment in mind and what it truly means. His why made a what…2A Athletics, a burgeoning clothing line.
Find your why…why do you want to share your knowledge…and create a what.
So, in the word of Digital Underground…stop what you’re doing. I’m just some guy with good training and an odd mind and I’ve written 4 books, sold thousands of instructional videos, created a genre of manual types, almost 200 youtube videos, have a podcast with thousands of listeners, and teach all over the world. Hell, I’m just getting started. And when I started all this, I was a drunk in college partying with my friends. But, I had a why…why I wanted to learn, why I wanted to change, why I wanted to learn incredible things from incredible people.
I wanted a legacy…I wanted something more than everyone else. I had a why…I wanted to learn and to show others what I learned. I wanted people 100, 200, 5000 years from now to see I did something.
And I don’t pay attention to social media. It’s not real…your why is real, your what can become real.
Start your own legacy. No matter how small, start it today.
Take what you know, do something with it…