If you were to be asked who you believe has left the greatest legacy in this world, in this life, whose name would you share? If you were to then be asked who has personally made a great impact in your life, who would you say?
For the first question, I am sure that some of the names that would come up, amongst others, would be Jesus the Christ, would be Nelson Mandela, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Luther King Jr. and possibly Mother Teresa.
And for the second one, since it hits a little closer to home, I am sure most of you would share something along the lines of mother or father, grandparent, a godparent, a mentor somewhere or a teacher.
It is unfortunate that we have been engineered to think of legacy in terms of grand and famous gestures of change. We often conceive of a legacy as something that can only be left by those who have “changed” the world, and those who through their purpose, work and passions, managed to affect the lives of millions of individuals.
The truth of the matter though is that legacy is simply and truly about creating a meaningful life that comes alive through what we have learned from the past, how we are living and learning in the present, and what we are building and hoping for the future. Legacy is about our desire to have who we are and what we done in this life, remembered and built upon in some way.
Legacy is about our ability as individuals, or groups of individuals, to significantly make a difference in the lives of others; a difference that will be carried on and built upon for generations to come. As such, one does not need to make a famous or world re-known impact on the millions of people to leave a legacy. Each one of us has the ability to leave a legacy, through the way that we lead our lives everyday.
As Susan V. Bosak of The Legacy Project so rightly shares, “A legacy may take many forms – children, grandchildren, a business, an ideal, a book, a community, a home, some piece of ourselves. Our legacy naturally intrigues us. It’s perfectly understandable that we would want to know how the world will remember us after we’re gone. How many of us will be surprised? How many of us are living our lives so that our legacy reflects all that we truly hold most near and dear? How many of us are living with integrity and courage?”
Live your life with integrity, courage and a commitment to your purpose, and I am sure that your legacy will as such come alive through that. Make a commitment to live your truth, to live according to your purpose and to share the best of who you are to the world. As you walk along that pure and authentic path that is reflective of who you are as a person, you will along the way leave a trail that will inspire others to do the same, and as such, allow you you build something that will be remembered.
Make a commitment to give back to the world, and to fight injustice at its very core, and the world will remember you for your commitment to humanity. Make a commitment to be a good parent, to be a good friend, a good coworker, a good spouse, and people will remember you for the beauty that you brought into their lives. Legacy is about the human spirit, it’s about human relationships and experience, and is about finding meaning in life. Since our desire as people is to have meaning in life, looking towards what we want to leave behind, gives us the objective to do our best, with what we have been given; it reminds to always live in the moment.
Try to think about how you want to be remembered, not necessary in history books, but how do you want to be remembered in your own family, with your friends, with strangers you have encountered. Also think about what you want future generations to say about how you lived your life? Also try to think about how what you do everyday is going to affect the lives of generations to come. We can’t be perfect, but we absolutely can do the best that we can, to ensure that we make the difference that we were born to make.
Tomorrow is not promised, as such, we must think, if today is our last day, what is our world going to say about how we lived? What are we doing today, to ensure that today is the best and most impactful day that we ever lived? It’s so true that if we don’t “pass on [our] life experience by leaving a legacy, the wisdom [we have] gained through decades of difficult learning will disappear as [our] physical body wears out.”
Would love to hear your thoughts on what we just shared today! What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?
-Unravel Away Artist-