In the February 2008 issue of Money magazine, executive coach Marshall Goldsmith offers some legacy-creating advice for one's worklife:
Q. If you had to choose one piece of advice that would help people achieve more happiness on the job, what would it be?
A. Imagine that you're 95 years old, on your deathbed. But before you take that last breath, you get a wonderful gift: the ability to go back in time and talk to the younger you who's reading this story right now and help that younger you have a better career and, more important, a better life. What would that wise 95-year-old tell you to do? Now listen closely because this is the best bit of career coaching you're ever going to get: Whatever you think that 95-year-old would urge you to do, do it. Starting now. When the time comes, you want that 95-year-old to be proud of you. If he says you were a success, you were. Trust me, of all the performance appraisals you'll ever have, that's the only one that really matters.
You can watch the Marshall Goldsmith interview at cnnmoney.com/video.