Everyone wants to make their mark in the world. It could be lofty dreams of becoming a politician or activist, or small yet just as important goals like raising good kids or doing your part to save the planet. At the end of the day, size doesn’t matter. What does matter is making the effort to actively make positive contributions, regardless of how big or small they are?
So, how can you create a powerful legacy that spans beyond your lifetime?
View life as a gift
Life is a gift, and some people see it as a responsibility to use their time on the planet to carve a better future for the next generations. When you realise just how precious life is, the importance of leaving a legacy really starts to hit home.
A family legacy
You might not be the Prime Minister of New Zealand or a UN Goodwill Ambassador, but you never know where your kids, your grandkids or even your great grandkids will end up. One of the easiest and most meaningful ways to leave a legacy is to start with your family. Think about what you value, and make an effort to pass these beliefs down from generation to generation. Chat to your loved ones about what’s close to your heart, and actively encourage them to practice what you believe in. For example, if you’re taking care of the grandkids for the day and you want to teach them the value of kindness and generosity, why not swap an indulgent day of movies and ice cream for a morning of volunteering at your local homeless shelter? This could help to spark a lifelong passion for helping others, which they’ll then pass down to their kids, their
grandkids and so on.
Act on your beliefs
Are you a passionate eco-advocate who never forgets their reusable bags and religiously recycles? Maybe you’ve always loved orangutans, or believe that every child deserves an education. One of the most exciting ways to create a legacy is by acting on your beliefs, no matter what they might be. Whether it’s making an effort to run a waste-free home or setting up a recycling initiative in your neighbourhood, the scope of your legacy is entirely up to you.
Close to home
It’s fantastic to want to change the world, but ‘close to home’ legacies are just as important. Do you love the library and harbour a lifelong obsession with books? Why not set up a book trust that helps give underprivileged kids access to the likes of Harry Potter, Roald Dahl, and other classics. If you’re an avid believer in the value of organic produce you could think about founding a fresh veg co-op, or running weekly gardening lessons. The key is to get creative, and have a little fun with your legacy!
Simplify, focus and reflect
Creating a powerful legacy isn’t always straightforward. That’s why a big part of your journey should be simplifying your goals, and focussing on one contribution at a time. Keeping a journal is a great way to reflect on your beliefs, and refine your legacy goals.
Simple acts of kindness
Leaving a legacy doesn’t have to be a tangible act. In fact, it’s often the smallest contributions that spark the biggest change. One of the most meaningful legacies you could possibly leave is the simple act of treating everyone you meet with kindness. Even the smallest gestures can change lives, and create amazing domino effects. This means that every time you react with love and kindness, you could inspire someone else to do the same. You’ll then create positive ripples, that flow through society and leave on the ongoing legacy of love.
The next generation
The world is full of surprises, but one thing is guaranteed. The kids of today are the leaders of tomorrow. This means that if you really want to create a lasting legacy, kids are a fantastic place to start. The early years play such an important role in shaping a child’s personality, which means that if you start early you can inspire little ones to live and breathe your legacy. There are so many ways to make a mark, from nationwide campaigns to simple chats with the grandkids.
Do your best
The sheer thought of legacies can be overwhelming, so keep things simple. Remember, you don’t have to aim sky-high or attempt to garner worldwide fame. Instead, simply commit to serving the world to the best of your ability. Nobody can do it all, and nobody is perfect. So, instead of feeling overwhelmed by the fact that you can’t spark global change, simply embrace what you can do. At the end of the day everybody makes some for or change, and this creates a much more powerful legacy than doing nothing at all.
Life is precious, and we only have so much time to make a mark. Yet so often, we live our lives as though time is unlimited. You never know what’s around the corner, so there’s no time like the present to start carving a powerful legacy that makes an impact. Whether you want to go big, small or somewhere in between, why not start forging your legacy today?
Are you forging a legacy? We’d love to hear your tips and experiences, so reach out and share your stories!