Do you want to leave a legacy? No one lasts forever and all we have when we are gone is our legacy. What are you going to leave for the people that you have influence over and care for?
What is a Legacy?
A legacy is what you leave behind when you are gone. It doesn’t necessarily mean gone from this earth. It might mean when you move on from the position you currently work in. Maybe it means when your children get old enough to move out on their own.
We all leave our mark on others and organizations we cross paths with. The question is how positive is your legacy going to be? How many people’s lives are you going to make better for coming in contact with you? Follow these tips to leave you lasting impact on others.
How to Leave a Legacy
- Walk the Talk
Nobody likes a hypocrite. Do the things that you say you’re going to do. The most respectable people are the ones that say “Do as I say because I’ll be right there doing it with you.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done something that many believe is below my pay grade and had someone who worked for me offer to take over out of respect. I rarely let them because I’m not too good to do anything that I would expect them to do.
Always promote a positive professional image. To learn how to build a positive professional image check out this article.
- It’s a Marathon Not a Sprint
When it comes to building a legacy it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and is something you should be working toward every day. Don’t try to rush it or you may hurt your legacy. If you want to leave a legacy, it’s something you build up over your whole lifetime.
- Add Value to Those Around You
An easy way to be remembered is by adding value to those around you. Focus on making those around you more valuable. Be the one that people go to for answers and advice. You can do this by actually caring for and listening to people.
- Add Value to the Place You Work
Look for ways to add value to the place you work at. The more value you add to your employer the more they will do to keep you. Including put you in better positions to make more of a difference.
- Know Your Mission and Vision
What are your mission and vision? What are you trying to achieve and how do you want the future to be? Answer these questions to yourself. Your mission and vision guide you in all that you do. Let others in on your mission and vision. If others believe in your mission and vision they will do what they can to help you achieve it. With a good enough mission and vision, people will continue to pursue your goals even if you are not around continuing and building on your legacy.
A great way to understand your vision is with a vision statement. Learn how to make a vision statement that inspires and motivates others in this article. Click here to learn how to easily create a vision board to keep your eyes on the prize.
- Be a Mentor
Being a mentor to others is extremely rewarding. You get to push others to reach their full potential. Also, these others will pass on your legacy. A lot of your legacy is what you pass on to others. Look for opportunities to take others under your wing and make them great. To learn the art of mentoring check out this article.
- Be a Leader
Being a leader is not about telling people what to do. It’s about setting the example and being the type of person people will look up to. Being a great leader requires building a certain set of qualities and skills. Build these qualities in yourself and others will follow you. Even if you are already in a position of power like being a supervisor or manager it doesn’t mean you are a leader. Managing and leading are very different things.
- Continue to Learn and Develop
Strive to always get better and achieve personal growth. The more you learn the better more value you will provide to others. The more others will come to you for advice and wisdom. Reading blogs like this one are a great start. There are many things you can do to increase your personal and professional development. Click here for a list of 15 great personal and professional development sites that are free.
- Pass Skills and Knowledge on to Others
You have a lot to offer to others. Take every opportunity you can to train others. We have a saying in my line of work “Always train your replacement”. This means you want others to be able to step up and take on your job when the time comes. This gives you the freedom to move up and not have to worry about who is going to fill your spot. Even if these people never take your job they get a better understanding of what you do and will take some things off your plate giving you more time to spread your vision and leave a legacy.
Volunteering is a great way to not only build your legacy but also help people out. There are so many things you can do to volunteer that you can enjoy doing. You can tutor kids at your local high school. You can help build a house with your local Habitat for Humanity. Your local children’s hospitals are always looking for toys and donations so you can start a toy drive. I listed just a few of the many ways you can volunteer and give back to your community while you leave a legacy. For more great volunteer opportunities check out Volunteer Match.
- Make a Difference
I’ve already gone over a few ways you can make a difference like mentoring or volunteering but there are many ways you can make a difference. Look for things in your work center or your community that need to be fixed or could be done better. Everything that you improve on leaves an everlasting footprint.
- Tell Your Story
You have an awesome story to tell. Let others know about your successes and failures along your journey called life. Teach people the lessons you’ve learned. Don’t just tell people when they are making a mistake, use your story to show them why they are making a mistake. Don’t just tell somebody how to do something you’ve done before, use your story to help show them how. Your story is something nobody else has and can be a great way to teach others.
- Share Your Passion
Have a passion for what you do. Share your motivation and passion with others. You will be surprised by how much others are motivated and inspired by your passion. This will help you connect with others that may have the same passions but are too afraid to share theirs with the world. Imagine what kind of world we would have if Walt Disney didn’t share his passion for entertaining with the world.
- Be Ready for Setbacks
Setbacks are bound to happen. We can’t always make the right decision. When setbacks happen in your journey to leave a legacy, don’t let them stop you. Get right back up and keep going. The best leaders are forged in times of adversity.
Legacy Quotes to Inspire
“The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.” – Billy Graham
“All good men and women must take responsibility to create legacies that will take the next generation to a level we could only imagine.” – Jim Rohn
“Please think about your legacy because you are writing it every day.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” – Shannon L. Alder
“Legacy is not leaving something for people. It’s leaving something in people.” – Peter Strople
“If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” – Benjamin Franklin
“Even though your time on the job is temporary, if you do a good enough job, your work there will last forever.” – Idowu Koyenikan
“The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.” – Benjamin Disraeli
“A friend of mine said something powerful at his grandfather’s funeral. He said that the greatest lesson from his grandfather’s life was that he died empty, because he accomplished everything he wanted, with no regrets. I think that, along with leaving a legacy, would be the greatest sign of success.” – Marvin Sapp
Wrapping It Up
We all leave an imprint on our children, our friends, our family, our communities, our jobs, and many other people and places we cross paths with. It’s up to you to make that legacy a positive one. Follow these tips and look for opportunities to make everyone and everything around you better and you will leave a legacy.
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