While we each impact the people we love long after we’ve passed away, considering our legacy is a way to make mindful decisions during our time here on Earth. Our lives are unique and precious, and our legacies reflect the love we shared and the positive impact we aim to leave behind.
Today, we have compiled quotes about leaving a legacy that calls us all to live a life that positively inspires our loved ones. Use these thoughts to imagine what it would look like for you to leave a legacy for generations that follow.
What Is a Legacy?
Before we list some of our favorite quotes about leaving a legacy, it would serve us well to define what a legacy truly is.
Some may regard a legacy in terms of what is tangible, such as money or property left behind to loved ones after someone dies. To others, a legacy relates to influence and impact. Broadly speaking, a legacy refers to what someone leaves behind when they pass on.
The legacy that someone leaves can often be identified by what people say about their life after they’re gone. It might be summed up in accomplishments or in the way they made others feel. Our legacy is how we will be remembered by our loved ones. Many of us aim to live our lives so that when we are gone, people will celebrate the ways we pursued a purposeful and positive way of life.
Career Legacy Quotes
For those who take pride in their jobs or strive to do work that benefits humanity, these quotes will help inspire us to live out a successful career that inspires our loved ones for generations:
Anonymous: “If you don't want to be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
Anonymous: “Even though your time here is temporary, if you do a good enough job, your work will last forever.”
William Arthur Ward: “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
Anonymous: "We all have the need and the desire to be heard, to have our ideas, wants, and emotions expressed for others to hear, to see, and to understand. We all want to matter and leave a mark. Writers take those ideas, wants, and emotions and express them so the world not only reads them but feels them as well.”
C.K. Webb: “A writer doesn't want of riches and fame, even though those aren’t bad things. An authentic writer wants to leave behind a part of themselves, something that withstands the test of time and can go through the generations.”
Family Legacy Quotes
When it comes to leaving a legacy, perhaps the most immediate recipients of such legacy are our children and our beloved extended family. Here are some quotes about leaving a legacy for our family:
Kevin Costner: “Our best chance of leaving behind a legacy is to teach those who want to learn, our kids, by standing firm. You can go with the flow when it comes to some things. But in matters of conscience, you need to stand firm.”
Billy Graham: “The greatest inheritance you can pass on to your children and grandchildren is more than the money or material possessions you get. It’s a legacy of both character and faith.”
Og Mandino: “The greatest legacy you can leave to your kids are happy memories; those special moments so much like rocks on the beach that are taken from the white sand and put in tiny boxes that lay unopened on shelves until one day they fall out and time repeats, with joy and sadness, in the child who is now an adult.”
Simon Van Booy: “Language lets us reach out to people, to touch people with our deepest fears, hopes, losses, victories. To reach out to people who we’ll never meet. It’s the single greatest legacy you could ever leave to your children or your loved ones: The history of how you felt in your biggest moments.”
Christine Gregoire: “It is up to us to live based on the legacy that was left behind for us, and to leave our own that is worthy of our children, their children, and their children’s children.”
Naveen Jain: ”Our legacy will be defined by the victories and boldness by which our daughters and sons take on the challenges the world faces. I also wonder if perhaps the most important and long-lasting demonstration of one’s humility lies in our ability to teach and mentor our children.”
Aristotle: "Children are the legacy we leave behind for the age we will not live to see."
Mark Batterson: “You'll never be the ideal parent, but you can be a parent who prays. Prayer is your highest honor as a parent. Prayer turns regular parents into prophets who change the destinies of their children, grandchildren, and every future generation. The prayers you pray for your children are the greatest legacy you can leave.”
Ole Hallesby: “Pray for your children, night and day. Then you will leave them a great inheritance of answers to prayer, which will go with them as long as they live. Then you may calmly depart from them in good conscience, even if you do not have material wealth to leave behind.”
Paul Tsongas: “We are a continuum. In the same way that we reach back to our ancestors for our core values, so we, as guardians of our legacy, must reach ahead to future generations that come after us. And we do so with an awareness of sacredness in that reaching.”
Andre Leon Talley: “I want to be remembered as someone who made an impact in the lives of young people. I want people to remember that I nurtured someone and taught them to pursue their dreams and their careers, to leave a legacy.”
George Foreman: “It's very important that everyone knows that I really enjoy the things that have happened in my life. And I say to my kids... you're not going to be the biggest, fastest, prettiest, the best athlete, but you can be the nicest person that anyone has ever met in their life. And I want to leave the legacy that being kind is a true treasure.”
Inspirational Legacy Quotes
These inspirational quotes about leaving a legacy are a powerful challenge for us to make every day count. They call us to consider the ways we are currently living our life and whether or not we need to reorient our priorities.
These quotes may help inspire you to consider the impact of your life and to live each day with immense intentionality and purpose:
Peter Strople: “Legacy is not leaving something behind for other people. It’s leaving something behind in other people.”
Gary Vaynerchuk: “Think about your legacy because you are adding to it every day.”
Steve Saint: “Our stories are the greatest legacy we will leave to our friends. A life story longest-lasting legacy you will leave to future generations.”
Maya Angelou: “If you’re going to live, leave behind a legacy. Make an impact on the world that can never be erased.”
William James: “The greatest purpose of life is to live it for something that will last longer than you.”
Greg Plitt: “You only live once. But if you work it right, once is enough my friend.”
Shannon L. Alder: “It doesn’t really matter to me if people forget me. My life and impact weren’t about me. They were about everything I could do for someone else. When that sinks in, you start to try a little harder. Your dreams get bigger. Your heart stretches to a bigger size and you find that you can’t return to the old size and make your new heart fit. You become a person with ideas, and you seek out your own kind. And then it happens: One day you learn that staying the same is the scary part, and changing is now your new home.”
Rosa Parks: “I am leaving this legacy behind to all of you… to bring unity, equality, love, and a realization of how our lives should be. Without a vision, the people will fall, and without bravery and inspiration, dreams will die - the dream of freedom and peace.”
Tony Robbins: “It is your actions, and not your conditions, that determine your destiny.”
Robin Sharma: “The great and glorious legacy of a human being is to live with purpose.”
Tavis Smiley: “Our choices about the lives we live determine the kinds of legacies we leave.”
Myles Munroe: "Authentic leaders don't invest in buildings. Jesus never built any building. Real leaders invest in people. Why? Because achievements without a legacy means failure. So the legacy you leave behind should not be in buildings, programs, or projects; your legacy must be in people.”
Legacy as Impact Quotes
Some can argue that a legacy is the material assets we leave behind. However, items and possessions are fleeting but the way we choose to treat others and care for them leaves a lasting imprint.
For example, Shannon L. Alder explained that legacy is more about the impact you have on people: “Carve your name on hearts, not gravestones. A legacy is written into the minds of others and the tales they share about you.”
The quotes below discuss legacy in terms of impact on people. They inspire us to be present with loved ones and to care for them above ourselves.
Ray Bradbury: “Everyone should leave something behind when he dies, my grandpa said. A child or book or painting or house or wall built or pair of shoes made...It doesn't matter what a person does, he said, as long as you change something about the way it was before you made it into something that's like you after you take your hands away.”
Anonymous: “The deeds you do for yourself are gone when you pass away, but the deeds you do for others remain as your legacy.”
Anonymous: “What you leave as a legacy is not what is etched in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”
Patti Davis: “Your legacy on this planet when you leave is how many hearts you touched.”
Brandon Lee: "Immortality is living your life doing good things, and leaving your mark behind.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Death comes to everyone, but great acts build a monument which shall endure until the end of time.”
Taylor Swift: “No matter what happens in your life, be kind to people. Being kind to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind.”
Lionel Richie: “I think the whole planet is dying to hear another person say, ‘I love you.’ I think that if I can leave behind the impact and legacy of passion and love in the world, then I’ve done my job in a world that’s getting sadder by the day.”
Jim Rohn: “All good people must take responsibility to create legacies that will take the next generation to the next level.”
Ratan Tata: “Apart from ethics which I have lived by, the legacy I want to leave behind is very simple - that I always stood up for the right thing, and I have tried to be fair and equitable — as much as I could be.”
Jon Gordon: “The best impact you could leave is not some structure that is named after you or jewelry but rather a planet that has been affected and touched by your presence, joy, and positive actions.”
Art Garfunkel of the duo Simon and Garfunkel: “I think that at 19 or 20, a man is burning to be amazing at something. I was. You have vision beyond your neighborhood. You want to make an impact while you live. You don’t know your future, but you want to excel. And greatness is important."
Thomas Kinkade: “Our most important impact will be the contributions we make to the lives of other human beings.”
David Lowery: “We build our legacies piece by piece, and maybe the world will remember you or perhaps just a few people, but you do anything you can to make sure you’re still around after you leave.”
Dara Horn: “Every person has their own legacy. You may not know what your effect on the world is, and it may not be something that you can write on your grave, but everyone has an impact on the world.”
Emeasoba George: "Whenever you add value to the lives of other people, you are leaving footprints on the sands of time that live on that lives on, even after your demise.”
Legacy Quotes for Future Generations
Sometimes we do not get to see the fruit of our labor. These quotes are about leaving an impact for generations that will come after us.
Adam Silveira: “No one goes on [here on Earth], but what we leave behind keeps us alive for others.”
Warren Buffet: “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”
David Brower: “We need to begin thinking like a stream if we are to leave a legacy of goodness and life for future generations.”
Alan Woods: "One's ‘legacy’ and its future recipients are willfully purposed to benefit them on their journey through this life, a gift given to us by God.”
Lin-Manuel Miranda: “Legacy. What is legacy? It's planting seeds in the garden you won't get to see.”
George Orwell: “Planting a tree, especially one of the long-living trees, is a gift which you can make at almost no cost and with nearly no trouble, and if the tree puts down roots, it will far outlive the visible effect of any of your other actions, good or evil.”
Carlos Wallace: “Be a difference-maker, impact the game for the better, leave your legacy, be a guiding figure that someone can follow and make better, and then someone else will follow that and make that better.”
Albert Einstein: “Never think of study as work but as an enviable chance to learn to know the freeing influence of beauty in the spiritual realm for your own joy and to the profit of the community to which your later works belong.”
Stewart Udall: “Each generation has its own rendezvous with the land, for despite our fee titles and claims of ownership, we are all brief tenants on this planet. By choice, or by default, we will carve out a land legacy for our heirs.”
Financial Legacy Quotes
These quotes define legacy in terms of material possessions and wealth. They discuss the benefits of and the freedom that wealth provides us and our loved ones who will carry on after we pass.
Aristotle: “Money is a guarantee that we may have what we want in the future. Though we need nothing at the moment, it ensures the possibility of satisfying a new desire when it arises.”
Robert J. Shiller: “Finance is not merely about making money. It's about achieving our deep goals and protecting the fruits of our labor. It's about stewardship and, therefore, about achieving a good society.”
Stephen Covey: “Your economic security does not lie in your job; it lies in your own power to produce – to think, to learn, to create, to adapt. That’s true financial independence. It’s not having wealth; it’s having the power to produce wealth.”
Spiritual Legacy Quotes
For those who are spiritual, leaving a legacy of faith for their families is deeply important.
Stephen R. Covey: “The need to leave a legacy is our spiritual need to have a sense of meaning, purpose, personal congruence, and contribution.”
Anthon St. Maarten: “You are born with a spiritual life plan consisting of two primary goals. Your soul purpose, the growth, and expansion you hope to take away with you; and your life purpose, the legacy you hope to leave behind.”
Billy Graham: “The legacy we leave is not just in our possessions but in the quality of our lives. The greatest waste in all of our earth, which cannot be recycled or reclaimed, is our waste of the time that God has given us each day.”
Our legacy is what we leave behind after we die. It is much more than finances or material assets. It is about the way we impact those around us. It is the way we make others feel and how we care for people. The decisions we make today impact our tomorrow and leave an imprint for generations to come.
These quotes about legacy cause us to reflect on our own lives and consider the question: What do we want people to say about us when we pass on? Let’s ask ourselves if the life we are living now is how we want to be remembered. Let’s consider what it means to leave a legacy.