Many of us want to be remembered by those we love after we pass on. We want our lives to leave a lasting imprint on the world and to contribute to something greater than ourselves. The legacy we leave is a direct result of the decisions we make in the present. Each person’s legacy looks different and is dependent on our values in life.
What we cherish most is what we want to pass on to future generations. It is important that we consider the type of legacy we want to leave for our families, as this can determine the type of life we live.
Gary Vaynerchuk says, “Please think about your legacy because you’re writing it every day.”
It may seem superfluous to think about legacy while you’re still living. However, it can help you set and accomplish goals and live life with meaning and purpose. So, let’s take a look at a how-to guide for leaving a legacy.
What Is a Legacy?
Before laying out a guide for leaving a legacy, it is vital to define the term.
The dictionary will define legacy as “an amount of money or property left behind to someone in a will.”
This is the most concrete way to define the term legacy.
In the abstract sense of the word, legacy refers to a life of impact that outlasts a person. It is planting seeds for future generations to reap the harvest. This type of legacy is the way in which you will be celebrated and what others will say about your life.
Take some time to ask yourself how you want to be remembered and consider what type of impact you want to leave when you pass.
Leaving Your Mark
The mark we leave on this earth will be unique to us. Our legacy will represent our dreams, values, and desires. Follow this how-to guide to determine the type of legacy you hope to leave and start living for your tomorrow.
Step 1: What Does Legacy Mean To You?
Before you can build a legacy for yourself, you can start by determining what legacy means to you. How you define this word will impact your goal-setting and future choices.
If you desire to leave a legacy of monetary value for your loved ones to provide financial security, then you may decide to prioritize career success and investment.
If you want to leave a legacy of impact, you may prioritize people and relationships and consider how to care for those around you. You’ll seek to treat people with kindness and strive to make everyone feel seen and known.
Perhaps your legacy will be something you create. Benjamin Franklin says, “If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” If you desire your life’s legacy to be a collection of writings or artistic pieces, you may spend much of your life laboring to make this a reality.
So, how we define legacy will determine how we live our lives. It will drive our decisions and where we choose to give our time and attention.
Step 2: Write Your Obituary
Writing your own obituary is just a unique way to determine how you would like to be remembered. As you write about your life, include things you hope to accomplish in life as well as what you hope would be said about your character after you pass. Treat this obituary as your guide for future goal-setting.
This is a creative exercise that is thought-provoking and helpful in understanding legacy. It causes us to ask ourselves questions we may not otherwise ponder. It also helps us understand and come to terms with our own mortality.
Step 3: Understand Your Place in the World
Each one of us brings unique skills and talents to the world. Taking time to learn about ourselves and our giftings will help us understand our contribution to society. It will allow us to live our lives with purpose and meaning. Finding and living out our passions will also allow us to live more fulfilled lives.
Finding where our passion and skill sets collide is a great way to live life to the fullest. It allows us to grow in confidence as we experience our potential.
Step 4: Start Living Your Legacy
Once you have determined how you would like to be remembered, start living your life this way. Remember to live each day with great intention, understanding each moment to be a part of a greater story. The legacy you leave for future generations will be created in every decision you make and every person you impact.
Living out the legacy you hope to leave will impact those around you, including your family members. It will set an example for your children and inspire them to live a life that matters.
Step 5: Plan for the Future
Leaving the legacy you want for your family may require some future planning and decision-making. Perhaps you hope to leave a trust fund for your children or grandchildren. Or invest in stocks for your family to access later. Maybe you want to open a college savings account for future grandchildren or other relatives.
These things require some planning, so you will want to take the necessary first steps to invest in your family’s future.
This may also be the best time to write your will, determining who will be the beneficiaries of your assets.
Step 6: Pass on Your Experience
Part of leaving your mark on the world is to share the knowledge and experiences you’ve gained throughout your life. One way to do this is by keeping a journal. Journaling is a great way to recount stories and memorable life experiences. Journals are also a place to share wisdom and knowledge that you desire to impart to future generations.
Another way to pass on your experience is by sharing stories with your children. This is a valuable way to share with your children about past generations and about memories that made you who you are. Your story is an important part of the legacy you leave, so make sure to share it.
Share precious memories and stories with pictures and videos. When we pass, our loved ones can keep our memory close and celebrate our remarkable lives using these keepsakes.
We all crave meaning and purpose in our lives. We want to impact those around us and leave a lasting name for ourselves. Our legacies will outlast us, living on in the hearts and lives of the people we impacted.
Our family members are directly impacted by our lives and the legacy we leave. There are many different things to consider when it comes to leaving a lasting legacy for our loved ones. Our legacy should be unique to our lives, representative of our values and goals, and guide how we’d like to be celebrated by future generations.
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