“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.”¹ Shannon L. Alder
The desire to leave a legacy may be the height of altruism, for it is a gift to the future; you may never witness the benefits of it nor feel the appreciation of others.
Creating your legacy does not happen overnight, and it doesn’t come without a strategy and hard work.
You should have an end in mind before you begin. Start by reflecting on what you value and about what you care the most. Consider your passions and the unique skills you have. Your career and hobbies are good places to start. Be sure to ask your friends and family to weigh in. They may offer insights you don’t see about yourself.
Think about the legacy you wish to leave and the impact you want to make. A legacy can come in many colors. It can be financial, institutional, instructional or wish fulfillment, or the passing on of values and life lessons.
A legacy will not happen without a blueprint and the persistent pursuit of your objective. A strategy can help you organize your efforts and keep you on the path that leads to success.
A legacy is not only what you leave behind, but the impact you make on others while alive. Be sure to live your values with your family, at work and in your community. Nothing is more likely to survive you than your impact on the lives you touch today.
1. Goodreads, 2016