Live Your Legacy

Over Thanksgiving weekend I had the opportunity to visit the property where my Grandpa and Grandma Rockensock lived in Northern Minnesota. I had such a good time showing my family some of the landmarks that I remember and sharing the stories that came with them.

My grandparent’s home is no longer there. A fire took it quite a few years ago, and the barn is gone as well. I have so many memories from this place that it is a little hard to see it go back to nature. The spruce trees and jack pines are springing up in the pasture and my Grandma’s garden. It won’t be long before this home place will have gone back to nature.

Even though it’s sad to see the buildings go away, the true legacy left by my Grandparents is so much greater than the structures they lived in. I will always cherish the memories of Christmases with cousins, aunts and uncles. I remember the music, the storytelling and hearing my Grandpa recite poetry. It is in these memories that I have found the legacy that my Grandparents left.

My Grandpa touched the lives of so many people. While he was a quiet man, he lived his faith in consistent and generous ways. He never made much money, but his home was always open to anyone who needed a meal. He demonstrated hard work even though most of his adult life he was missing his left hand. He lost it in a hunting accident during the Great Depression. Yet he worked as hard as anyone and never let the handicap slow him down.

If you were to ask my Grandpa, back in the day, if he were trying to live a legacy, he would probably say no. He was just trying to be a Godly man and do his best to serve God with his gifts. In the process of doing that, he left a legacy for countless people that knew him. Here are some tips, from his life, to help you Live Your Legacy:

Focus on Your Strengths

We spend way too much time on our weaknesses. Spend your time developing your strengths. My Grandpa was missing a hand, but you could hardly notice by what he was able to accomplish. He tied his own shoes, buttoned his shirts (except for cuff on his right hand), and did all kinds of things that you wouldn’t think possible for someone missing a hand. He even milked cows with one hand. You can bet he had a powerful grip in his right hand!

I never thought of my Grandpa as being handicapped. He didn’t act as though it was a weakness. If you spend your time and energy on your strengths and avoid spending time on your weaknesses, you will have a much greater chance of success.

Live a Life of Principle

My Grandpa was a man of principle. There were things that he always did, like going to church no matter what the weather was like. Trust me, those Northern Minnesota winters are brutal. My dad talks about how Grandpa used to drain the radiator on the car on Saturday night. He would heat the anti-freeze up on the stove and pour it back into the engine on Sunday morning to make sure the car would start.

It became clear where his priorities were, and it will eventually become clear where yours are as well. It’s a good thing to live a life of principle. Develop the habits and values that are important and then stick by them even when it is not easy or convenient.

Live a Life of Abundance

While my Grandparents did not have many worldly possessions, what they did have, they shared. I have heard many people talk about the generosity of my Grandpa and Grandma. They always had a meal to share and regularly had guests in their home.

Do you live a life of abundance or scarcity? Do you share what you have with others, or do you hold back? This doesn’t have to be just about things. It can be about advice, or knowledge or skills that you are willing to share. You will be amazed at how much this means to people. I encourage you to try it.

So are you ready to Live Your Legacy? I hope these tips will help you do just that. Do you have a memory to share from someone in your life that has impacted you? Leave a note in the comment section. I would love to hear your story.

Thanks for reading!



About The Author

Duane Rockensock

Duane (Rocky) Rockensock is a husband, a dad, and the National Reconditioning Manager for AmeriGas Propane. Since he was a teenager, Duane has loved hearing the stories of how people have started creative businesses or found ways to use their talents to accomplish amazing things. For that reason he started this blog to encourage teens and adults to find their purpose and to provide the tools and resources to make that happen!