One of the things I’ve learned having worked with amazing individuals building lives and businesses around their passions over the last few years, is that pretty much everyone wants to make an impact in the world. They want to contribute, change lives, give back, leave their mark, and help others create amazing lives in their own ways.
And yet, so many of us never stop to think about our legacy.
Legacy is simply about contribution, in whatever way is meaningful and important to you. For some people that’s big, lasting companies or movements. Products, services, or creations that alter the way we live, or the direction of humanity. For others, that’s being known for something, even simply touching the lives of others in a very specific way. And for some, it’s about creating and growing a family, passing down values, memories, and traditions from generation to generation.
There’s no “right” way to create your legacy.
While there are certainly people who are happy to simply grace the world with their presence in this lifetime, there are so many of us who care about the legacy we leave behind. The impact, change, world, message, and contribution that only we can give. Yet so many also feel completely lost on what their legacy is, because we live with the misconception that it’s either a huge undertaking or creation, or it’s simply our family and family name. Legacy is more than that, and it’s easy to figure out what you want yours to be.
How to Create Your Legacy
This process is best worked through by taking some time and sitting with the questions below. Grab a journal, find a quiet place for at least 3o minutes, and just sit with each step. Get real and honest with yourself. This is for you, no one else. If you’re not sure, just do some free writing or meditation and see what surfaces. For some, it may come immediately, and for others it may take some time. Whichever pace you move at, it’s perfect, so allow yourself to just lean into the exercise and see where it leads you.
1) Know Yourself
The most important piece of creating a legacy is knowing who you are. Knowing who you are beyond the roles you play… spouse, parent, manager, employee, child, sibling, etc. Who are you really at your core? What makes you so amazingly unique and different from everyone else? What do you believe, desire, and feel? What does your intuition have to say about you, what you want, and how you want to contribute? Knowing yourself isn’t as easy as it sounds, unless you’ve been working on uncovering your truth, reconnecting with your intuition, and honoring yourself and your needs. We often get so wrapped up in the day to day that we lose sight of ourselves in the process. Don’t beat yourself up if this step is hard, just take the time to really tune in and see what’s true for you.
2) Know Your Highest Values
In order to create a legacy, you have to know what’s most important to you. Not to anyone else, just to you. What do you value most in this life and world? What’s important to you? Is it the environment or giving back? Is it being generous and kind? Is it freedom, innovation, creativity, expression, or something else? There’s no right or wrong answer, so don’t try to choose values that seem like ones you “should” choose. It’s so incredibly important that we all stay true to ourselves and what we truly value. That’s what makes this world so magical, everyone is here with their own personality, style, values, and beliefs, and each and every one is needed.
3) Know How You Want to Contribute
There are so many ways to contribute and create a legacy, and it’s important to choose what makes the most sense for you, your lifestyle, and your values. Is it creating a company, product, or service? Is it raising a family and instilling your knowledge, traditions, and values? Is it being known for your generous and giving spirit by everyone who interacts with you? Is it your art, whether words, visual, photography, or even your style? Is it something totally different and unique? When people think of you, what do you want them to say? How do you want them to feel? How do you want to be remembered by the people who cross paths with you in this life?
4) Create Alignment in Your Life and Work
Once you’re clear on who you are, what you value, and how you want to contribute, you have to start creating alignment. If generosity is important to you, how can you bring more of that value into your life, relationships, and work? If raising a family is important, how can you create the space to find the right person, build a family, and pass on the values and traditions that matter? If it’s starting a business or movement, or creating something, what needs to happen for you to do this? What do you need to learn, create, or get started on? Where do you need to create space, or make some big shifts and changes? Who needs to be in your life, and who needs to go?
Take action now!
Work through the steps above at a pace that feels good for you. Share with me your biggest aha moment and what you’ve discovered from this exercise.
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