“The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.”
The word legacy is defined as a gift that is passed down from one generation to another. Tangible legacies can be proprietary; property, companies and finances. Legacies can also be more abstract. The way you live your life, inspire others or think about concepts similarly qualify as gifts that can be passed from generation to generation. Both concrete and philosophical legacies greatly impact the lives of those we leave behind. So, how should you go about building such a precious heirloom? Here are five tips to establish a lasting legacy.
- Focus on Your Passion
Your legacy should represent you. It should paint a story of who you are, what you value and your daily pursuit to achieve it. The best way to identify what your legacy should be centered around is to refer to your passion in life. What motivates you? What gives your life meaning? What do you feel you were put on earth to do? Wherever your deepest passion is, place your focus there.
- Don’t Wait
When it comes to solidifying your legacy, there is no age minimum. Most people think of their legacy as a late in life, retiree accomplishment that is only earned after decades of hard work. And even though it is true that legacies are typically associated with endings (whether it be in career or life), every ending has a beginning. When you start is up to you, so why wait?
- Be Consistent
After identifying your passion and initiating your pursuit, it’s time to get to work. Whether you are aware of it or not, you are authoring your legacy every single day. How profound your result is depends on the effort you invest. Be intentional about regularly planning and executing your next step toward greatness. Every step in the right direction strengthens the legacy you’ll leave.
- Study Worthy Models
Need guidance on how to go about your life’s work? Consider the following. Whose legacy do you admire? Who fuels your passion? Whose work motivates you to do more? Seek out those people. Research their stories, study their steps and use them as your blueprint. Adapt their outlines and make them fit your own. Originality is important, but there’s nothing wrong with finding sources of inspiration.
- Destroy Interference
Now that you’ve locked in on your mission, begun executing your plan and sought guidance, the last step is to stay the course. If your legacy is proprietary, be sure to tightly manage your savings, property or business to guarantee its continued growth and success. If your legacy is conceptual, make sure to live a life that matches the legacy you’ve chosen. Lastly, avoid any drama or controversy that could potentially tarnish or overshadow your end goal.
Maya Angelou famously said, “If you’re going to live, leave a legacy. Make a mark on the world that can’t be erased.” Through habitual dedication and discipline, you can perfect the gift that will represent who you are and what you stand for. And with these five tips, you can write your own story and leave a legacy to be proud of.