People who know what legacy they want to leave behind usually know the answer to these 7 questions

Ethan Sterling by Ethan Sterling | February 25, 2024, 12:47 pm

You may have a clear picture of your present and even some plans for your immediate future, but have you ever stopped to ponder what legacy you want to leave behind?

It’s not just about material possessions or the financial wealth you’d like to pass on.

It goes deeper, touching on the values, impact and the memories you want to be remembered for.

After thoughtful introspection and conversations with individuals who have successfully carved out their legacy, I have identified 7 crucial questions that could guide you in shaping your own legacy.

If these questions provoke deep thought, it might be time to start carving out the lasting impressions you wish to leave behind.

1) What is your definition of success?

The first step towards shaping your legacy is defining what success means to you personally.

Some people might equate success with wealth or material possessions, while others might find it in the intangible aspects like love, happiness, or impact on others’ lives.

It’s not about the societal norms or expectations but about your own personal beliefs and values.

This definition will guide your actions and choices, shaping the legacy you will leave behind.

Remember, there’s no right or wrong definition of success. It’s highly personal and subjective.

It might even evolve and change over time as you grow and gain more life experience.

So, it’s essential to ask yourself: “What does success mean to me?” The answer will start to illuminate the path towards the legacy you want to leave behind.

2) Are you prepared to embrace failure?

This might sound counterintuitive, but embracing failure is a key part of creating a lasting legacy.

It’s easy to consider success as the only stepping stone towards your legacy, but failure plays an equally, if not more important role.

Every failure you encounter holds valuable lessons that can help you grow and develop. These lessons can refine your journey and lead you towards a more fulfilling and impactful legacy.

People who have left remarkable legacies have often failed numerous times before they succeeded.

Yet, they didn’t let their failures define them. Instead, they learned from them, adapted and continued with their journey.

 If your answer to this question is  yes, then you’re already on the path of creating an enduring legacy.

3) What values do you want to be remembered for?

When it comes to leaving a lasting legacy, it’s not just about what you achieved, but also about how you lived your life and the values you upheld.

Your values are the guiding principles that drive your actions and decisions. They are the core of who you are as a person.

Whether it’s honesty, integrity, kindness, or perseverance, these values will form a critical part of the legacy you leave behind.

Those who knew you will remember not just what you did, but who you were as a person.

They will remember the values you stood for and how those values influenced their lives.

4) Whose lives do you want to impact?

An interesting fact about legacies is that they’re not just about the person leaving them behind, they’re also very much about the people who are touched by them.

Your legacy will be carried on by the people whose lives you’ve affected in some way.

It could be your family, friends, colleagues, or even people you’ve never met personally but who have been influenced by your actions or deeds.

This influence is not always measured in grand gestures or monumental achievements.

Sometimes, it’s the small acts of kindness, a word of encouragement, or a helping hand that can make a significant impact on someone’s life.

The answer to this question can help shape your actions and ultimately, the legacy you leave behind.

5) Are you living authentically?

In the grand scheme of life and legacy, authenticity plays a crucial role. Your legacy isn’t about the facade you display to the world, but the real, authentic person you are at your core.

Living authentically means staying true to yourself, your beliefs, and your values, even when it’s challenging or inconvenient.

It means not shying away from your uniqueness and allowing that to shine through in all you do.

Those who leave a lasting legacy are often those who aren’t afraid to be themselves.

They embrace their strengths and weaknesses, their successes and failures, their hopes and fears.

They live their truth.

6) Can you let go of control?

It might seem odd, but part of shaping a legacy involves letting go of control.

We often believe that to leave a substantial legacy, we need to control every aspect of our lives, plan each step meticulously, and leave nothing to chance.

But life is inherently unpredictable, and sometimes, our most significant impacts arise from unforeseen circumstances or events we didn’t plan.

These unplanned moments can lead to profound lessons and experiences that shape us and the legacy we leave.

Moreover, once we pass on, our legacy is no longer in our hands. It’s carried forward by those who remember us, in the way they choose to remember us.

This lack of control can be unsettling but it’s also a part of the process.

7) Are you making the most of the present?

While shaping your legacy involves looking forward, it also requires a strong focus on the present.

The actions, decisions, and interactions you have today directly contribute to the legacy you’re building.

It’s easy to get caught up in future plans and miss out on the opportunities presented in the here and now. Yet, it’s these moments that often hold the most potential for growth and impact.

Living fully in the present allows you to engage deeply with life, to learn from your experiences, and to make meaningful connections with others.

All these contribute significantly to your legacy..

Reflecting on your legacy

It’s important to remember that shaping a legacy is an ongoing process, not a one-time event. It’s a journey of self-discovery, growth, and impact that unfolds over a lifetime.

As you contemplate your legacy, it’s beneficial to periodically revisit these questions and reflect on your answers.

Over time, your perspectives may shift, your goals might evolve, and your values could deepen.

This evolution is not just natural, but it’s also necessary for personal growth and for shaping a meaningful legacy.

Don’t be disheartened if your current actions don’t seem grand enough or if you feel like you’re far away from the legacy you aspire to leave.

Remember that impactful legacies aren’t always about grandeur or fame. They’re about authenticity, influence, and living true to oneself.

Also, it’s never too late to start thinking about your legacy.

Whether you’re in your 20s or in your 60s, each day presents an opportunity to shape your narrative and impact others in meaningful ways.

Lastly, while it’s crucial to focus on the legacy you want to leave behind, don’t forget to live fully in the present.

After all, it’s the journey that shapes the destination. It’s the choices you make today that will echo into the future.

Embracing your true nature

Your legacy is not a separate entity that you create outside of yourself. Rather, it’s an extension of who you are at your core. It’s the footprint of your true self on this world.

So, the journey towards shaping your legacy is really a journey towards understanding yourself.

Each experience you have, each person you meet, each success, and each failure are opportunities to learn about yourself.

They’re stepping stones on your path towards self-discovery. Embrace these opportunities. Learn from them. Grow with them.

As you move forward, remember to be kind to yourself.

There will be moments of doubt and uncertainty. There will be times when you feel like you’re not making enough progress or when things don’t go as planned. But that’s okay. That’s part of the journey.

Embrace these moments. They’re not obstacles but opportunities for growth. They’re not setbacks but steps towards the legacy you aspire to leave.

So as you continue this journey towards shaping your legacy, remember to embrace your true self. It’s the most powerful tool you have.

And it’s the foundation upon which your legacy will be built.