Decisions, Decisions

Your legacy is built one decision at a time.-2


One of my favorite sayings, and the title of one of my favorite books, is “Die Empty” (written by Todd Henry). (I have even had a bracelet made with this saying to remind me of my desire to “die empty” when it’s my time). This post isn’t about dying but about this quote from the book  – “Your Legacy is Built One Decision at a Time.” These decisions, which determine our legacy, are made by safety professionals everyday.

You walk by a guy teetering on the top of a metal ladder, in front of a closed door, holding a drill and oh wait  – it’s starting to rain – Do you say something?  Or do you walk on by?

You are riding a bus or train with co-workers and someone starts to berate someone in your group of the opposite sex or of a different religion or political viewpoint than that of the rest of the group. Do you step in or step away?

You are the passenger in an Uber or Lyft and the driver is texting while driving while trying to follow the GPS and get through traffic. Do you say something or keep quiet?

In some of these situations only you will know what decision you made and in others, your actions will be very public. You may think no one notices but every decision will form your legacy. Will people remember you as a safety professional who truly cares about others or someone who “practices” safety only when it’s convenient?

What decisions will you make today that will be your legacy?




Burn Baby Burn


I recently read “212 The Extra Degree : Extraordinary Results Begin With One Small Change” by Sam Parker and Mac Anderson. (It’s a small, short book you can easily read on a bus or train ride to work).  The premise of this book is that the difference of just one degree – 211F to to 212F – can make a huge difference.  The back cover states:

At 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 degrees, it boils. And with boiling water, comes steam. And steam can power a locomotive.

It’s a good idea.

The idea of just doing a tiny bit more can make huge differences. Applying this and the authors’ examples to our lives as safety professionals could have huge rewards. Consider adding an hour a week (12 minutes a workday) to studying a topic that particularly interests you. At the end of the year you will have added an equivalent of a full week of dedicated study to that area.  When volunteering your time, if you gave 15 minutes more per week,  that’s about another full day and a half of service you are providing to an organization that likely really needs it. If you are a runner/jogger, going an extra .5 mile everyday would mean you ran 183 more miles in a year – that’s the distance between New York and Baltimore and more than the horizontal distance across all of Ireland.  If you got into the office 30 minutes earlier than you already do, that’s 2.5 extra hours of time per week you could use to work on your career, your side hustle, your professional development, your book – whatever. Think about it. If someone came to you and said you could leave work 2.5 hours early every Friday, what could you get done with that newly found time?

In my role as Vice-Chair for the American Society of Safety Engineers Foundation, I always wonder why some safety professionals donate and some do not. If every ASSE member just gave a little more (that one extra degree), that would mean $37,000 more dollars for scholarships, professional development grants for our peers and funding for research – and this could all happen if members gave ONE extra dollar, even if their current giving is zero.

I think it’s hard for us to see how seemingly insignificant actions, such as giving a dollar here or there, can add up. If everyone did a little extra, whether it be in volunteering, studying, exercising or donating to good causes, the benefits would be remarkable.

DNA of Top Achievers

dnaIn an article written by Chris Widener titled the DNA of Top Achievers,  Chris says that Top Achievers would have several important genes including:

  • A predisposition to setting high, lofty goals
  • An ability to focus intently upon reaching their desired destination
  • An ability to focus intently upon reaching their desired destination
  • The willingness to personally sacrifice in order to get to their goal
  • A predisposition to tenacity
  • The ability to see available resources and to use them accordingly
  • A desire to help others achieve more for themselves as well

It’s a great article to check out to see if you are on the right track and if not, it can give you some things to work on. I am particularly interested in the third bulleted item, the ability to focus intently. I have been reading a lot of Cal Newport’s work lately and I have learned a lot about eliminating distractions and it is one of the areas I am working on personally in 2018.  What about you? What’s in your DNA?