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If you’ve followed my work for any amount of time, then you probably know that my dad was a motivational speaker and bestselling author. You may also know that he and I had a very meaningful and special relationship — he was my soulmate—and losing him is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever been through.
It was while I sat at his bedside during his last days that it occurred to me that I wanted to carry his legacy. Joachim de Posada was a man who loved studying human behavior and helping people succeed in life. His only focus in life was doing good in the world by speaking, writing, consulting, and mentoring others. As I watched his energy, passion, enthusiasm, and zest for learning slowly die, my only thought was:
I can’t let his work die, too.
At the time I was a lawyer with a thriving condo law practice. I knew my dad’s content pretty well. I’d managed his career for some time, attended his keynotes, workshops and seminars. I’d been studying personal development since I was a kid, and I grew up “in the business.” But my role in that business had always been to support and assist my dad while I attended school, got a degree, and practiced law — it was never to DO my dad’s work. I lived happily in his shadow.
When the time came for me to step up to the plate, I didn’t know exactly how to do it. It took years for me to transition out of my law firm, gain clarity, and build my platform. I wanted to follow in his footsteps, but my lifestyle, circumstances, priorities, and skills differed from his. I struggled to figure out how to honor him while doing things my way and picking my own lane.
Then two months ago, I began facilitating “Wellness Challenges” to help people integrate healthy living, exercise, meditation, and emotional intelligence into their daily life. I combined my lifelong personal development work with the healthy habits I implemented in my life back in 2011 to give people the coaching, accountability, community, and resources they need to create a life of wellness. The challenge includes a what’s app chat, member’s only resource page, and weekly Zoom calls with me.
Even though I incorporate my dad’s delayed gratification teachings within the challenge… I thought this was nothing like my dad’s work.
Until this happened…
Last week I was prepping for my Zoom call, when I thought about my dad’s latest book, Keep Your Eye on the Marshmallow. Although my dad was very proud of that book, he was so ill by the time it came out that he didn’t have much time to promote it too much.
During that time, I was so focused on taking care of him I, too, hardly thought about that book. I remember reading it, but I could barely remember what it was about. That time period was so foggy. But I remembered that my father had taken the marshmallow/delayed gratification concept and expanded it to relationships and living a balanced life. I figured it might have some good content to share with my girls on the Zoom call.
I pulled one of the many copies I had from my library. Coincidentally, I grabbed his personal copy. I knew it was his because he had pieces of paper marking sections of the book, along with highlights and pen markings.
I opened to one of the paper “bookmarks.” In his unique handwriting, the paper read: Wellness concept.
The passage highlighted, stated:
While career advancement and financial health are important, there is much more to life. Success, then, is not just a measure of how financially independent you are; it’s about having strong, mutually beneficial relationships; passion for your job, career or hobby; good health; and a vision that goes further than your own life or family, into your community, country, or even the world. We call this state of success “well-being.”
Five years have passed since my dad died (almost to the day, actually). It’s taken five years for me to find my place in this world without him. At the moment I found that book with his markings, (something I’d never seen before) I realized that I had accomplished what I set out to do.
I’m continuing the work he didn’t get to finish. Or maybe he finished the work he set out to do because the person meant to teach the wellness concept was me.
Either way, my heart is full knowing that I am successfully building on my father’s legacy.
This experience confirms what I’ve been telling you all along… you are always in training for something bigger. Whatever path you’re on, whatever goals you’re working toward, keep going. Open your heart and your mind and maintain a spirit of service. And last but not least, trust the process. Your journey will reveal mysteries and connections along the way… even if the process is years in the making.
We are all legacy builders. You get to decide the legacy you want to carry. Don’t be afraid to do it your way.