All of us seek to leave a unique imprint on the world. While this may be a tangible legacy that we pass down, such as a trust, a business, or a piece of property, there are many other ways we can leave a lasting impression.
When thinking about your legacy, you may wonder what others will say about you in the years to come. How will they describe you? What are the things your friends and family will miss about you the most? In fact, it’s often the impact that we have on others that is our greatest legacy. This means that each of us can create a lasting legacy that will influence future generations.
Questions to Ask About Your Legacy
Our gift to future generations includes the work we do with and for others. As you begin to develop your legacy, here are some questions to consider:
● What do you most want to be remembered for?
● What kind of impact would you like to have in your community or city?
● How will the world be a better place because you were here?
● What contributions do you want to make to the greater good?
● Whose lives have you positively impacted?
● What have you done that you want to go on after you?
How to Develop your Legacy
Leaving a meaningful impact on the world does not happen overnight. Nor does it happen by accident. Consider the people you most admire, whether they are close friends, family, or notable or historical figures.
You will probably notice that each of these individuals likely had a deep commitment to their personal passions and beliefs. In addition to doing most of the work themselves, they also shared their passions and beliefs with others through teaching and mentoring. This act of pursuing goals, followed by support and mentorship is precisely how to create a legacy that continues living on.
Pursue Your Passions
What are you most passionate about? What gets you up in the morning? For many of us, our passions bring contentment and a sense of purpose. Developing a legacy is all about discovering how your personal passions can meet a need in the everyday world. Start by writing down your core beliefs, values, and passions. Then ask yourself how those beliefs, values, and passions can benefit those around you.
Think about how you can pursue those passions in a way that might benefit others. It could be something as simple as writing a book or learning to play the piano. But don’t be afraid to think bigger!
Perhaps what you really want to do is write a book about the power of belief or persistence, and get it published so you can share your insights with others. Or, maybe you want to learn how to teach others to play the piano, in addition to learning how just for yourself.
Be a Mentor
Experience is a valuable and powerful thing. Those who choose to share that experience with others leave a lasting legacy. If you love what you do, whether that’s cooking or accounting, why not coach and teach others? Your expertise could influence members of the next generation – leading them to create a business, take control of their finances, or develop the next great cure.
The truth is we often don’t realize our impact and influence on others – which is why teaching can be so rewarding. You get to see the impact you have on another’s life fairly quickly, especially if you choose to mentor those who are just starting out in life. As a mentor or teacher, you become an integral part of shaping their journey.
Preserve and Share Your Unique Memories
There are less formal ways to pass down your knowledge to others, too. Sometimes leaving a legacy can be as simple as sharing cherished recipes and photos, as well as written or recorded memories.
Consider involving your loved ones in researching and creating a family tree; teaching knitting, cooking, or financial skills to other family members; or sharing family traditions. Getting a DNA test can also be an eye-opening way to connect with your roots and may lead to surprising insights.
Each of us has something of value to pass along to the next generation. Share your experiences, memories, and resources freely with others, knowing their impact will last far into the future.
More Lifestyle Resources
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