Developing Your Legacy: How Do You Want to be Remembered?
You are the architect of your life’s story. Legacies are made up of a combination of successes, failures, contributions, life lessons, actions, and the many other ways we can leave a lasting impression on others.
When we pass on, we are remembered by the imprint we have etched on peoples’ hearts and minds. Here are some considerations for developing a meaningful legacy that reflects who you are and how you live your life each day.
Do you often give to those in need or assist others without expectation? If so, you will likely be remembered as a generous and kind person. And you don’t have to give money or other treasures to be charitable: giving of yourself is one of the greatest measures of generosity. When you make time for others and offer them your love and attention, it can be far more valuable than any amount of money. In the long term, what people will most remember about you is the way you treated them and how you added value to their lives.
If you are committed to helping your community, it’s an important part of your legacy that affects so many others in positive ways. For example, if you were instrumental in building a community center, cleaned up the local park, or devoted time to feeding the homeless, note these activities in your end-of-life planning documents. It will enable your family members, friends, and neighbors to appreciate your efforts and contributions in the years to come.
Members of the armed forces and military veterans leave lasting legacies on our nation’s freedom and security. If you are a current or previous member of the U.S. military, you can extend that legacy to future generations by documenting the most memorable events during your time of service. Heroic deeds and other acts of bravery are best told by those who experienced them, so put pen to paper, gather old photos and artifacts, and begin compiling your personal story of military service.
Business or Career
If you have worked hard to succeed in your vocation or put in endless hours to build your own business, you probably take tremendous pride in these professional accomplishments. Consider sharing details of your successes, what setbacks you encountered along the way, and any special words of wisdom to help those who want to follow in your footsteps.
Many people consider their most important life accomplishments be their contributions to family and home. It is indeed honorable to be the primary caregiver, a nurturing parent, or a staunch protector of those you love. If your family contributions are a key part of how you wish to be remembered, detail what has motivated you and the ways you have accomplished your goals.
People choose to be remembered for many different things. When developing your legacy, take stock of all the things in your life that make it uniquely yours. Curate a lifetime of memories that reflect your personal motivators and accomplishments to help others appreciate your special qualities for many years to come.