What Is Your Legacy?
“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
When most people are asked, “what is your legacy?”, they immediately think of something they leave behind once they die — money, a business, a strong stock portfolio, or even a benefactor’s name on a hospital’s wing. Their focus is on leaving something as a legacy, but very few people think deeply about building a legacy.
What is your legacy?
Your legacy includes how you’ll be remembered and what you’re doing right now to influence the future of others. Whether you know it or not, you’re already building your legacy. Each word, action, value, priority, and choice is forming your legacy. So what kind of legacy, or gift, are you giving to your community and the world?
Not all legacies are desirable…some notorious people have left a legacy of destruction, like Typhoid Mary or Adolph Hitler. On the other hand, some people have left legacies that continue to improve our lives today, like Louis Pasteur, Jonas Salk, or Albert Einstein.
You don’t have to be famous or a rocket scientist to leave a valuable legacy. Daily our lives intersect with others and we can choose to encourage, strengthen and build up each person we meet. This creates a snowball effect that continues to spread your positivity.
Each small, intentional step will add up to something brilliant in the future, even if it’s only changing one person’s life for the better. We can all be leaders, being role models that influence others’ futures. This reminds me of what William James said, “The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.” Your legacy is the part of you that lives on in others.
Therefore, our own personal legacy has already begun as we live an intentional life, being mindful about the impact we have, and want to have, in the world. I call this an embodied practice — living so that there’s a congruency between your intellectual thoughts, emotional state and your body organization that shines out into the world. This happens as you develop a deep understanding of how you embody experiences and how these can become either supportive or limiting in important life situations. Wouldn’t you say these are invaluable skills to pass on to the next generation?
We all have the need for significance — to know that we matter. Many of us fill this need by being of service to others. And when we think of the future with hope, even during the dark times we’re going through, we can still thrive by looking for the things we CAN DO in each moment we live.
How will you create your legacy?
What value can you pass on and whom within your circle of influence will benefit from it? It may be as simple as grandma’s prized recipes that bring back family memories and stories. It may be your life’s experience distilled into systems for life that really make a difference. It might be your business acumen for creating processes and procedures that simplify the work. It might be your ability to always say and do the kind thing that others want to imitate.
When you intentionally build a legacy, you see greater opportunities for living an extraordinary life right now, because you embody your purpose. To practice embodiment, as you build your legacy, strengthen the collaboration between your body, mind and spirit.
Model well-being and fitness. A practice of mindfulness allows you to hear what your body is saying to you and to others. When your body is congruent with your mind and spirit, you show others how to control responses to stress, even under the most trying situations.
Developing emotional intelligence and mental discipline to increase your ability to concentrate and focus, observe and release negative self-talk, calm your emotions, see the possibilities as you visualize positive outcomes, and be fully present in and accepting of difficult situations. These are skills people sorely need today.
Let your passion shine. When you’re firmly grounded in your own spirit, you remain open and accepting. You’re able to hold onto your own values, while helping your clients achieve what is most important to them.
When you embody or truly live what you believe, people can see that you’re balanced and centered, and they want that for themselves. It gives them a pattern, a story, to imitate.
“Your story is the greatest legacy that you will leave to your friends. It’s the longest-lasting legacy you will leave to your heirs.” ~ Steve Saint
When you practice embodiment, you value, motivate, and bring out the best in yourself and the people around you, which can leave a lasting impact. So what is your legacy? What kind of impact will you make? If you’d like to explore this further, download my free report, 10 Steps to an Embodied Practice. Even if you don’t plan on becoming a coach, the principles can be applied to both your life and your business.