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Life Scribbles: Greater Than Your Name

A few weeks ago, I was walking by a newly constructed building in the heart of a major city. It was a beautiful, state of the art structure that was built upon the generosity of many whose names were nicely embedded into the walls of the entry way.

I paused for a moment to read the names of those engraved on the wall. I began to consider the legacy behind each name represented and the numerous lives they must have impacted. Quite honestly, I didn’t recognize any of the names on the wall. Nevertheless, I experienced their “legacy” for a brief moment without even knowing who they were.


I was reminded once again that our lives will impact more people than we’ll ever know. Our lives have the miraculous potential to heighten the human experience for many who may never come to know our names. Our anonymous legacy is truly exciting to consider.

What would happen if more people let go of their goal to be “known” in the now and shifted their energy towards anonymous impact for the long run? There’s something in this that is both irritating to consider and enticing to explore. Could we live for something greater than our name?

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Charles is the CEO & Chief Idea-Maker at Ideation, a brand innovation company that specializes in helping businesses & organizations build remarkable brands via innovative business design, organizational change architecture, brand integration, design, web, and marketing services. He is also the author of Good Idea. Now What?: How to Move Ideas to Execution, a practical book designed to help people move ideas to implementation. Charles is regularly invited to speak to leading companies and organizations on topics such as creativity, innovation, idea-making, and branding. Executive leaders from brands including Wells Fargo, Toyota, The White House, Catalyst, William Morris Endeavor, mun2, Council of Urban Professionals, Chick-fil-A, and many others have benefited from having Charles present at their key events.