Legacy – Leaving your mark on the world

Why does one leave a legacy?

For some, its simply leaving their mark/stamp on this world/ or the future, and providing some form of contribution to future generations to come. Most regard leaving a legacy as a way to show that their life mattered.

When it comes to thinking about why to have a legacy, knowing what you want to be remembered for goes a long way in shaping the way you live a life that will leave the right mark.

  • Once you know what you want your legacy to be, you can start building it.
  • You can start living in the way you want to be remembered.
  • It will allow you to start doing what matters, now.
  • Knowing what you want your legacy to be will allow you to make better use of your time and other resources.
  • It will influence your day-to-day decisions in a positive way.
  • Gaining clarity on what you want your legacy to be can give your life meaning and purpose.
  • It will enable you to allow the legacy that you’re building to determine how you show up in the world each day.
  • You will live your life as if you matter.

Below you’ll find seven ways to identify the legacy that you want to leave behind after you’re no longer here.

Identifying your legacy

Seeing the bigger picture/Seeing Yourself As a Relay Runner of a team

Within a relay race, members of a team take turns running while they hold a baton in their fist. Each team member runs a portion of the race, and then they hand the baton over to the next runner. One way to think of your life is to see it as a relay race. It takes a team and working together to complete the race as oppose being dependant on only oneself.

Think about your dying days

7 habits by Stephen Covey has an obituary exercise. Covey indicates that you should imagine your funeral. Then, you should ask yourself questions like the following:

  • Who would give a eulogy at your funeral?
  • What will they miss about you?
  • What positive attributes will they associate you with?
  • How are they describing you?


Think about Everyone you’ve had an impact on, or have influenced in some way, is there. As they get up to toast you on your birthday, what would you like them to say about you? That’s what you want your life to stand for.

Leave a Legacy/Mark – Questions to Ask Oneself

These 10 questions will help you to identify the legacy that you wish you leave:

  • What do you want your life to stand for?
  • How do you want to be remembered by your family and friends?
  • What will those beyond your circle of family and friends remember you for?
  • What kind of an impact do you want to have on your community?
  • How will the world be a better place because you were in it?
  • What contributions do you want to make to your field?
  • Whose lives will you have touched?
  • What lessons would you like to pass on to future generations?
  • What do you want to leave behind?
  • How can you serve?

Ways to actually Leave a Legacy

Brainstorm ways in which you can leave a legacy by using the following ideas as a jumping off point:

  1. Add knowledge to your field.
  2. Leave a legacy through your body of work.
  3. Write a book.
  4. Leave money for your descendants that serves as a foundation on which they can build their financial futures.
  5. Bequeath money to charities that are near and dear to your heart.
  6. Write down family recipes and family traditions.
  7. Serve as a good role model.
  8. Pass down an heirloom.
  9. Be a mentor.
  10. Start a business or a non-profit organization.
  11. Write your memoir. You can also record video messages for your loved ones, create a scrapbook for them, or create a web site dedicated to your legacy.
  12. Endow a scholarship to your alma mater for future students.
  13. Write a legacy letter — write down everything you’d want to tell your loved ones if you knew you didn’t have long to live. Be sure to capture the essence of who you are by writing about your life lessons, values, accomplishments and hopes. Think of it as an emotional heirloom.
  14. Pass down handmade items, such as quilts, cedar hope chests, or wooden crafts.
  15. Start a new program in your community, such as starting a recycling program; planting a community garden; or constructing a playground.
  16. Pass down skills and know-how.
  17. Right a wrong.
  18. Identify your strengths, develop your skills, and be true to who you are.

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