What Legacy Will You Leave Behind?
No matter what course our lives take, we are all inevitably destined to die.
The day of our death has been said to be the most important day of our life because this critical day is one where our entire life is measured.
That said, this article is not about death. Although thinking about our legacy may remind us of death, it is really about life and living. It is about putting our life into perspective—making conscious choices about the kind of life we want to live and the legacy we wish to leave behind.
What will your personal legacy be?
As we go through our journey of life, we continuously create a personal legacy. Our legacy is the part of ourselves that will be left in the hearts and minds of others we will leave behind.
As we learn from our past, go through life in the present and foster our potential future, these experiences create our unique legacy. Our morals, values, the examples we set, the paths we choose, the decisions we make, and the way we conduct our life, create our unique signature in this world.
Most humans find the idea of “leaving a legacy behind” intriguing. It is a natural human thought to want to feel as though we have an identity and that our place on this earth truly matters.
How Do You Want to Be Remembered
Every human on this earth will leave behind a unique legacy. The question is what legacy will you leave? Do you hope to be remembered in a positive way? Most of us do. So then we must ask ourselves:
Are we living our lives to reflect the legacy we want to leave behind?
It does not matter what our current age or our state of health, since we do not know how long we will live for sure. Young, middle age or elderly, it is important to think of our legacy at all stages of our life.
Are your footprints headed in the right direction?
What Will People Think of Me If I Died Today
As I am writing this article, of course I must ask myself this same personal question. I thought long and hard about my life and my journey thus far. I happily come up with things about myself that I am very proud will be part of my legacy. Yet, on the other hand, there are things I would like to change.
Allow me to explain...
Although some people will include leaving an inheritance as part of their legacy, I am not thinking of the financial aspect here. I feel it is important to focus on personal character and uniqueness.
5 Things That Describe How I Will Be Remembered
I will use my life as an example. I decided that using the total of five things is a good place to start. I asked a couple of people close to me to help me with my list, I felt it was important for me to know how others perceive my life and the legacy I am creating.
I hope that by sharing so much of myself here, it will prompt and assist others to take a look at their lives, and possibly change what you don't like about your legacy as is stands today.
Here is the list we came up with for me.
"How Sharon Will Be Remembered if She Died Today"
1. Sharon will be remembered for her kind and loving nature. She had a passion for working with the elderly and also fostering dogs in need, enhancing their quality of life. She was always giving to others, going out of her way to help someone in need.
I am proud to say that this will be part of my legacy.
2. Sharon was passionate about her writing. She wanted everyone close to her to read everything that she ever wrote, but that wasn't possible. Yet she kept pushing on and worked hard to make a name for herself in the "writing world." Sharon was very creative in many ways and always loved to brainstorm. She got her creativity from her wonderful mother.
I am also proud that my writing and creativity will be part of my legacy. Although, I know in my heart, there is so much more I want to accomplish with my writing. I have a lot to say!
3. Sharon was a smoker and no doubt, that shortened her life.
I really want to do something about this one. I would much rather be remembered for kicking the habit. When thinking about what legacy I will leave behind, this is one that is important to me that I change as soon as possible.
4. Sharon was a loving daughter/granddaughter, sister, aunt, partner and friend. Although she never had children of her own, she was like a “mom” to her nieces and nephews, and a caregiver to anyone who needed her, including all her four-legged "kids."
There is nothing I want to change about this one.
5. Sharon had a tendency to remain in long-term relationships that were unhealthy. This part of her, although commendable in some ways, was also detrimental to her well being. In her recent years, this meant that she lost everything including her home, etc., in an effort to help her partner. She lost herself in the relationship, and in turn, lost everything that she had gained throughout her entire life. Too bad she didn’t have a better self esteem and see that she needed to take care of herself first and foremost.
Well, this is a huge one, and something that I am continuously working on changing in the time that I have left on this earth.
My Favorite Quotes About Leaving a Legacy
Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you. ~ Shannon L. Alder
A writer doesn't dream of riches and fame, though those things are nice. A true writer longs to leave behind a piece of themselves, something that withstands the test of time and is passed down for generations. ~ C.K. Webb
No legacy is so rich as honesty. ~ William Shakespeare
While it is well enough to leave footprints on the sands of time, it is even more important to make sure they point in a commendable direction. ~ James Cabell
We all die. The goal isn't to live forever, the goal is to create something that will. ~ Chuck Palahniuk
What 5 Things Describe How You Will Be Remembered
Take some time to think about what people will remember about you if you were gone today. Simply list five things. Here are some statements that may help you to begin creating your list:
- What do my family members think of me and what will they remember most about me?
- Have I learned from past mistakes and changed my life accordingly?
- Do I need to make amends to anyone?
- Have I made a positive impact on my children and grandchildren?
- What is unique about me that will be remembered in a positive light?
- Do I want to be remembered for a life that was lived to its fullest extent or one that simply happened?
- What are my morals, values, and beliefs? Would I want others to follow in my footsteps?
- Was I a good friend? How will my friends remember me?
- Did I live a respectable life that others would use as an example to follow?
- Is it time to revise certain parts of my life to create the legacy I hope to leave?
It's Important to Think About Our Legacy At All Stages of Our Life
Our legacy is a “side-effect” of every single thing we do in our life. Don’t let life pass you by without considering the legacy you will leave behind.
Every human life is a work of art, a unique self portrait. After we take our final curtsy, our story will live on. Will you leave behind a meaningful legacy?