How do you want to be remembered?
When I think of leaving a legacy behind, I don’t think of the tangibles like a business, money, or your assets. Leaving a legacy can take on several forms that also include one’s faith, wisdom, and core values or even just the way a person led their life, guiding others and setting an example for all.
My Grandmother modeled this beautifully. Several years after she passed, I found this letter. I thought to myself, “Wow, God certainly gave her the gift of faith, wisdom, and teaching.”
Having faith and wisdom is not a legacy. Doing something with it that you will be remembered by is… such as teaching others or simply leaving an imprint on someone’s heart.
For example, my grandmother’s faith was unwavering. It shined through in everything she did. She always prayed with and for others. She never missed church even if she was sick. In times of need, she always found a deep, inner strength she pulled from. Her legacy was modeling her gifts from God and teaching me how to use mine.
Today (March 19th) is her birthday. I have read this many times over the years, but this is the first time reading it since my stroke and for some reason, it took on a whole new meaning.
My story is my legacy.
Life has thrown so many challenges my way… family, friends, finances, health, business, and so much more. My faith has been tested and life certainly has not been easy. However, this was the path chosen for me. Perhaps I am to lead by example. God knew I would power through with strength, and mental fortitude, leaning on my faith, and modeling it for others so they too can be inspired and encouraged to have hope.
So you see, leaving a legacy is so much more than we think. Identify your gifts and talents and then use them to change the world one person at a time. Write letters for your loved ones as my grandmother did. Create photo albums with memories to last a lifetime. Be present now in the lives of your loved ones.
We all have a legacy. What’s yours?
Do you wish to do great things that profoundly impact the lives of others? It’s nice to know that you can have such an effect even if you don’t consider yourself wealthy or influential. Simply open your eyes to the possibilities floating around you!
Here are some ways to bring light to the lives of others:
- Notice others. It can be a challenge to actually see those who are right in front of you. We all offer something of value to the world. Focus on who is around you and acknowledge their presence.
- Make a personal comment. A kind word, funny statement, or short conversation can make a positive impact on another person’s day – or sometimes, even their life. Just yesterday at church there was an elderly lady walking by. I told her the color pink she was wearing looked great on her. She smiled brightly and thanked me. My daughter asked why I did it. I said, ” did you see the look on her face? Her smile? That may be the only smile she gets all day.”
- Exhibit positivity. No matter where you are, nothing has a greater effect than a positive person in the crowd. Be that person.
- Keep your eyes and ears open to the needs of others. Perhaps there is someone sick you can bring soup to.
- Be willing to give your time to something worthwhile. Consider volunteering at your favorite charity.
- Be brave. Whenever you reach outside your comfort zone to affect others, it will feel different, awkward or a bit uncomfortable at first. Embrace the idea of doing something to affect another person in ways you might not even understand or realize right now. Be confident
- Think of the long-term effects of your contributions. When evaluating situations to determine whether to help, consider the long-term consequences.