What does legacy mean to you? Do you think about your legacy? Do you stress about it or is it something so far off in the distance it hasn’t entered you mind? Legacy has been defined as something you create during your life solely to benefit future generations, something you may never see come to fruition.
As this definition shows, most people relate legacy with something that kicks in after you die. Well, I believe it is about making a positive impact on the world around you, dead or alive. Some people horde their time and money to have a “lasting” legacy after they pass on. I don’t see the point in this. Why not, as Debbie Allen says “live your legacy now” while you can have a greater impact on the world around you and even enjoy some of the fruits of your labor.
People often donate money in their will and have ‘things’ named after them, be it a building in a university or a park bench, in the hope that their name will live on. I am sure they would also want their building and benches to be put to good use. The sad part is no one is going to remember them and all the good they did for the world other than their family and friends, even if their name is on a plaque. When was the last time you really stopped to read the dedication plaque inside the door of a building? Does the name of a building mean anything to you?
People before Things
In discussing why not to leave your legacy in ‘things’, leadership expert and bestselling author John C. Maxwell states in The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, “Too often, leaders put their energy into organizations, buildings, systems or other lifeless objects. But only people live on after we are gone. Everything else is temporary.” Often, the greatest legacy you can live and leave is from coaching, mentoring, loving and ultimately making a lasting positive impact through giving your TIME.
If you wonder what kind of legacy you can offer, identify your core values, interests, and skills. Reflect on how you can use these assets to create meaningful projects that make a difference locally or globally. Share these experiences with family, colleagues, and friends to create cultures of caring at home, at work, and in your community
How are you living your legacy now? Let me know in the comments below.
Embrace the adventure!