It happened nearly 8 years ago – somewhere between Boardwalk and St. Charles Place.It’s now referred to as “the Monopoly incident”, and with it came an infamous reputation that’s been hard to discard.

It started as a family playing a board game. There was talking, laughing, and maybe some brownies. And then I was stupid.

Let’s back up the truck for a minute, and get to the heart of the matter. I don’t like losing. My competitive drive is typically moving at warp speed, and can turn things like a friendly game of Monopoly into a pressure-cooker. I must win. Let it also be said that I stink at Monopoly. Give me a word game or a lovely round of trivia, and I’ll mop the floor with you….A game of strategy? Prepare to take me down. All that said, I was losing….

And then, as if I was auditioning to be on one of those “Housewives” shows, I flipped the board and threw some money…..

It was flippant. Thoughtless. Angry. Selfish. Insecure. Like so many of our choices, it was not planned. No thought was put into my actions. I reacted “in the moment.”

8 years later, and this choice is still talked about. While all in “good fun” now, there is truth behind the little jabs my family likes to give me about this incident. Our words, actions, and choices follow us. What we do “in the moment”, can last a lifetime. While my little Monopoly incident wasn’t a life-changing bad decision, it still carried consequences….as all of our actions do.

But these aren’t things we want to hear. We’ve been conditioned by the media and society at large to “let our heart be our guide” and to “do what feels right or good.” But, when we live a life driven by our feelings we often neglect to remember the consequences of our choices. We make infamous decisions….And like I said, our decisions, both good and bad, follow us.

I don’t want to live in infamy….I want to leave a legacy.

What do you want to be remembered for? Years from now, what do you hope people are still talking about? When your name comes up in a conversation, what do you want people to say?

We’ve been taught to “live without regrets” and celebrate all of our past mistakes and bad choices, as they’ve “made us who we are today.” The thing is, if we want to live without regrets, we need to make certain types of choices. And when we make those “in the moment” decisions, it’s good to feel remorse…to be disappointed in our behavior….to learn from what we’ve done, and fight to not let those moments define us.

So yes, I regret the way I behaved while playing Monopoly that day….the same way I regret a multitude of other stupid and careless words and actions. I live with regrets, so that I am motivated to put careful thought into my future actions. I want to measure my words, think before I act, and be the type of person that people talk about…in a positive way!

Take some time today to think about the kind of legacy you’d leave behind if you left this world today. How would people remember you? What do people say when they speak of you? Is your past riddled with “Monopoly incidents” or boundless love? Are you a table flipper or a mercy giver? Do you tear people down or build them up?

Let those feelings of regret and remorse serve as a catalyst towards change and personal growth. Change infamy into a powerful legacy of love, kindness, and virtue. Instead of letting your feelings drive you, think about the moments after the one you’re in before you act….Consider the consequences that will inevitably follow your choices. Life is not just about the “right now.” So which will it be? Infamy or a legacy?