Many of us live our day to day lives without thinking much about our impact. But Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk reminds us:
“Please think about your legacy, because you're writing it every day.”
Someday when we pass away, those who mourn will not be sitting around talking about how we died, but instead, they will be telling stories of how we lived!
Throughout our lives, we leave our mark on people during every interaction. Some marks brush against the skin — quickly forgotten — while others penetrate deeper. The ones that go deep enough to leave a scar are the ones remembered.
With a scar comes a story to tell. Some stories are tragic and pain us to retell while others tell of bravery and lessons learned.
Whether or not we are leaving a legacy is not the right question to ask ourselves because we all are! The right question is whether we are pleased with the legacy we are leaving.
So, what kind of scars are you leaving?
My husband is a financial specialist and says that in his line of work, they measure your legacy by the amount of wealth left behind. For some, financial security is everything, and that's great! But it's important not to work so hard to set yourself up for success that you forget about your soul's legacy. Your loved ones want to know who you are and learn from your life, not just gain from your wealth.
“In the end, we'll all become stories.” –Margaret Atwood
Think of this world as one big garden. Your soul is what plants the seeds to feed and nourish those yet to come. Not the kind of nourishment found in food, but instead, sustenance found from your knowledge and character. Some seeds will produce a hard work ethic, loyalty, or compassion. Other seeds will teach how to take over the family business, how to cook Italian meatballs like grandma, or how to overcome unfortunate circumstances you can't expect. We all have something to offer the world; we find our legacy when we accept that we play a role in planting the garden of life, and our stories matter!
Designing a will with a generous inheritance, creating a scholarship in your family's name, or planning to give a large charitable donation following your death are all honorable acts. But don't forget about the daily legacy you are writing through your words and deeds. So, take an extra hour or two to teach your grandson to throw a baseball. Invite your daughter into the kitchen to learn how to cook a few special recipes. And offer words of encouraging advice whenever possible from the experiences you've earned in your lifetime. This is your soul's legacy.
Another idea is to write the legacy you want to leave. You may feel like it's too late or you don't know exactly what to say, but the book below provides a question and answer lay-out so you can write your memoir. Not all questions apply to everyone, but this is an easy way to leave a part of yourself behind for years to come.
The Book Of Me: A Do-It-Yourself Memoir
Tell us in the comments, what will YOU leave behind?