 It all began with me asking myself this routine question , before leaving a place . I did not understand the POWER of this innocuous sounding question , till when I paused to reflect on it . I realized , apart from an obvious physicality , it has many more dimensions if you care to hear what it means …. “ What did I leave behind “, or rather “ What am I leaving behind “ can be such an anchoring thought – if you really listen to what it means , that can help keep us / our behavior in check
 If we go deeper , it can help unravel what ALL can we possibly leave behind on different dimensions ; like :
o Impression
 Everything we do ( or don’t do ) has our invisible quality signature . ‘Advertant ‘ or inadvertent – we always leave an impression behind & it is important for us to know / realise as to ‘What are we leaving behind ‘
o Performance
 We may not , but what we achieve ( or fail to achieve ) will remain on public memory & will remind them of us – positively or negatively , that is why we need to be conscious of ‘ What are we leaving behind ‘
o Demonstration / example What are we leaving behind
 We may or may not be conscious , but by our behavior – which people can see – we can be a role model to follow / not follow for those ‘ behind ‘ . It is our choice to be aware of ‘What are we leaving behind ‘
o Reputation
 So is the case of Reputation , which is the ‘ Sum Effect ‘ of our thoughts , words & deeds If we want people to remember for what we are , I guess , it is important for us to know – ‘What are we leaving behind ‘
o Legacy
 I have shared in my earlier blogs , psychographically there are two types of people : Trader type or Businessman types .Traders are focused on creation of material wealth ( which can be faceless and transient ) ; Businessmen want to make a difference , they are desirous of leaving Legacy behind ; it is our choice – ‘What are we leaving behind ‘
o Memories , history
 History is created by those who are on a mission , who are conscious of their purpose & reason for their existence ; They are aware and on a directed efforts ; we don’t need to alert them on , ‘ What are we leaving behind ‘
o Mess / orderliness
 Do I need to elaborate on what is happening here & why . This is a largely prevalent behavior of majority who is less self ware and much less socially conscious — They will not do what they are doing ( probably innocently ) if only they become aware of – ‘ What are we leaving behind ‘
o Creations : Product , Process , Progeny , Ideas , Innovations , Tools , Formats , Art
 Whatever we do or choose to pursue in life , the message is clear & universal — ‘ What are we leaving behind ‘ ; if only we know this , we will be very different , optimally leveraged & hugely fulfilling !
 Thus , ‘ What did you ( or I ) leave behind , is such a guiding thought , it helps realization in us on what is appropriate, what is not ; so that we are well equipped to make a right behavior choice
 On one hand , this question can humble us with a realization of enormous potential we have in what / how much are we able to ( create & ) leave behind ; on the other hand it can create a high sense of urgency , realizing that vis-à-vis our capacity , how much we are underleveraged – how much more that we can , but how much less are we leaving behind !
 When now that you realise the enormity of potential and possibilities , for what your actions in the moment can leave behind ; there is a possibility that you can be more aware , alert in the moment you act , to think & design to leave behind what you will , looking back , feel proud about , both quantitatively – but more importantly , Qualitatively !


Sponge v/s Stone — You have a Choice

# As a person , you can either choose to be a ‘Sponge ‘ or a ‘Stone ‘ .


# A sponge has a tendency to absorb liquid poured on it , a stone does not . In a way a sponge is receptive to what it receives .

A sponge does not differentiate between (quality of )liquids poured on it nor does it apply selective judgement

# Its structure follows its belief system . keenness to absorb is evident though very many pores it has on its surface – so that it can absorb as much as it possibly can

# Consequently , it has a reciprocal ability to squeeze out what it does not need . In a way , a sponge can exercise  discretion to say Yes or No to whatever it receives

# These abilities of absorb & squeeze out gives a sponge an advantage to seek & choose to retain what it needs . A sponge’s life is blessed — It has a choice to enrich itself as much & as & when it wishes


# A stone on the other hand is stubborn , non receptive

# Its structure follows its belief system. It’s closeness to receive is evident in its solid structure with no pores

# Consequently a stone does not have an ability to squeeze out , what it does not need . Its nature disallows it the discretion to say Yes to what it may want

# A stone does not have a choice of seeking or retaining , what can enrich it ; never mind , a stone does not even wish to

# A stone is oblivious to & untouched by what can add value to it .


Unfortunately in real life , many of us , most of the times , act with a Stone’s attitude ; little realizing that a Sponge’s attitude gives them the power to choose what to Accept rather than Reject ( like a stone ) because of lack of ability to choose to Accept 


Whether to be a Sponge or a Stone is your choice , because , after all , it is your life  !