When you pass on from this life, what do you want to leave behind for your children, grandchildren, family, and friends? It’s a question that many people do not really ask themselves until they have reached their golden years. However, no one knows how many days are left in their lives, so it is best that if you want to leave behind a good life legacy to start today.
Here are 10 ways you can start your journey to leave behind something that those who remember you can cherish.
Be a Mentor
Helping others with your knowledge and experience means that you are becoming mentor to that individual. Everyone has knowledge that can help others in ways that you may not fully understand at first, but remember that you once started without the knowledge needed to achieve a particular task or goal and someone helped you. Whether that was a teacher, family member, or friend, you can benefit others with your knowledge by helping them achieve their goals.
“Each person has an ideal, a hope, a dream which represents the soul. We must give to it the warmth of love, the light of understanding and the essence of encouragement.” – Colby Dorr Dam
Find Your Smile
It may seem a little strange that being happy most of the time is part of your life legacy, but putting on a smile has effects that go well beyond how you feel that day. While it may seem that people remember the negative events in their lives as strongly as the positive, what your life legacy can demonstrate is how people who lived life happily have a very strong influence on those who knew them. It brings a little comfort and joy to know that you managed to go through life with a smile and that will be most infectious to those whom you know.
Focus on What is Important to You
When you look back at the journey you have taken through your life, ask yourself if you helped make positive changes in the lives of others. What may seemingly be innocuous may actually be quite profound when you consider all the things that you have done in your life. For the most part, touching people’s lives is not about making great, well publicized achievements, but rather in how you supporting those that you care about, educated others to help them lead better lives, or supported causes that help people that you might never have met. In the end, your legacy will be defined in large part by those you have helped, so focus on what is important to you and to them.
Follow Your Passions
What you are passionate about is the life legacy that you leave behind. So, find your passion in life and pursue it to the fullest. You will not only create a very strong life legacy you will also inspire others to pursue their dreams as well. It will also create new happiness in your life by living out what you love. Life is not much fun if you do not pursue what you love, so use every opportunity to follow your passions and let that be part of your life legacy.
Honesty is Always the Best Policy
Being honest with yourself and others does not mean being rude or inconsiderate. What it does mean is that you are not hiding behind a veil of falsehoods that may mislead or even confuse those that are a part of your life. There is something about being authentic that lasts well beyond your time on Earth, so be honest with yourself and share your triumphs and failures with others so that they can learn and benefit from them.
No legacy is so rich as honesty.” – William Shakespeare
When you love your spouse and children unconditionally, it shows your commitment and enthusiasm in ways that they will cherish. Loving unconditionally also offers the wonderful side effect of living a more open, honest life as conflicts become less personal and more open to understanding. When things go wrong, you can pull together with your loved ones and get through. That is the type of legacy that you can pass on to your children which they will cherish and remember.
“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
Make a Journal
One way to pass on your life to your friends and family is creating a journal of all the important events. You do not need to write a full novel, just jot down things like births, weddings, and achievements that you want others to know about. Keeping a journal like that with a comment or two is priceless to your family when you pass on.
“When you write down your life, every page should contain something no one has ever heard about.” – Elias Canetti
Share your Blessings
There are times when you need to stop and reflect on just how fortunate you are to be alive and walking on this Earth. This means that you will want to look at sharing the blessing that you have been given to those who may be less fortunate than you. When you think about how many others have helped you or you have seen helped when they share their blessings, you can benefit your life legacy by spreading the wealth that you have earned over time. Remember, do not go overboard at first, just start sharing a little at a time and let that grow so that your life can bring happiness to others.
Every family member has stories that are shared with others. This is very important because this is most often how we are remembered. By sharing events, funny situations, and the little moments, you help to carve out your life legacy for the enjoyment of others. It also helps in describing you to family members born after you have passed on. They will know more about you through the stories told by your family, so be thoughtful and share what you know.
“Time is a companion that goes with us on a journey. It reminds us to cherish each moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we have lived.” – Anon
Support Your Beliefs
It pays great dividends to support the people and causes that you believe in. By demonstrating loyalty to your friends and the causes that affect people’s lives, you are making a contribution to better everyone including yourself. When your friends or family members are running for office, supporting a cause, or going through tough times you need to be loyal and supportive as that is the memories that truly last.
“The only thing you take with you when you’re gone is what you leave behind.” – John Allston