I have been thinking about this topic for quite some time now. In the beginning, I didn’t know how I would approach a topic typically reserved for those in the final third of their life. Some people avoid the topic and some wait until they have to. What I am proposing is something different. Many times we get caught up in the moment, often not thinking about how and why it can affect the future. What I’m proposing is that people start thinking about the future when we’re young adults. Every decision that we make, what we say, and what we do is not only shaping our future but shaping what will ultimately become our legacy.
A long time ago, I had read somewhere about people writing about how they wanted to be remembered. I find this to be a useful exercise because it makes a person take a hard look introspectively about their legacy. Are they doing what they need to now to be remembered that way? What changes need to be done now to achieve that legacy?
Whether we want to believe it or not, agree with it or not, and ascribe to it or not our legacy is directly correlated to the fact that we are role models. There are people of every age observing us. Learning from us. So what is it that we would like to teach them? How is it that we would like to be viewed by them?
What I’m not saying is that we have to be perfect. We’re all perfectly imperfect. But we should absolutely put forth the effort to be the best versions of ourselves that we could.
Each day that our eyes open and we’re able to face the day ahead of us is another opportunity to repeat things we did and said well, to improve what was “ok but not great”, and to correct what we did or said in the past. The most beautiful part of this is that it really doesn’t matter how much time has passed. If it was yesterday, last week, last month, last year, 10 years ago … so what?! Get started right now, where ever you are. Whether you’re alone or with someone. It doesn’t matter. Make the conscious decision to be the person that you want to be remembered as. It takes work. Sometimes a lot of work. When this happens, I encourage, support, and motivate you to push through the challenging times. The result will be better than you could have ever imagined.
Since I was young I’ve always lived by the idea that I want to leave the world better than I found it. So, whatever I need to do or say to make that happen, I will. And while I’m the absolute picture of imperfection, this has always been a heartfelt sentiment. A daily action I could take. Something I could strive for. Thankfully it doesn’t need to be perfect because it most likely won’t be. But it will be my legacy.