What is your legacy, and what are your thoughts when you think of building one? Perhaps you think of some famous person like Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, or President George Washington. Perhaps you think of a wealthy person like Grant Cardone, Michel Jackson, or Rihanna.
Many people associate leaving a meaningful heritage with wealth, but financial wealth is not necessary, but it can help. It was the late Dr. Miles Munroe who said, “True leaders don’t invest in buildings. Jesus never built a building. They invest in people.” Why? Because success without a successor is failure. “So your legacy should not be in buildings, programs, or projects; your legacy must be in people.”
Do you agree with Dr. Munroe? We sure do. Let’s talk about how you can leave a provision that will impact the world.
Building a Legacy
Before you can begin the intentional path to building your personal legacy, it is important that you understand its working definition. In this article, we will define legacy, discuss why it is important, and discuss different aspects of building one. We also want you to think about your own values and goals and how they can help you build a heritage. Then, you can make a plan for building a legacy that fits with your values and goals.
What is your legacy?
Our working definition of “legacy” is the lasting impact that one leaves behind after they are gone. It can be personal, professional, or cultural and can include contributions to the world, influence on others, or values passed down.
What is your definition of success? Who are some people that you consider to be successful, and why? What organizations come to mind when you think of a meaningful heritage? Is there an end goal for success, or is it a lifetime process? Building a heritage can be a lifelong process that involves constant self-reflection and goal-setting. One proven way to set goals is the “SMART” goals method. To set achievable goals, start by defining goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
Take some time to reflect on your personal values and goals and how they can contribute to building a legacy. Write them down. Share them with an accountability partner. Check-in with them often to discuss and celebrate your small wins. Take small steps and be consistent in working towards your goals. You will accomplish them one step at a time.
The Recipe for Building a Personal Legacy
Building your legacy is not just about achieving success or leaving a mark on the world. It’s also about being intentional about the impact you want to make and how you want to be remembered. There are several aspects to building an ongoing provision. Things for you to consider are personal growth, relationships, financial stability, community impact, and environmental impact.
Here are some tips for being intentional while building your legacy:
1. Personal growth.
Legacy building requires intentional personal growth. This is a life-long process of education. Formal education, masterminds, professional courses, and/or seminars could all be included. The idea is to become a sponge for knowledge that you then share with the world.
Relationships are the foundation of building a community. Meaningful relationships begin with a conscious choice to engage with others. Engagement is easy when there is commonality between you and the community you connect with. Your positive impact on your community will require commitment and consistency. Effective and candid communication will facilitate the meaningful relationships required for building your legacy.
3. Financial stability
Financial stability is a desired trait of legacy building, but it is not a must. When you are financially intelligent and able to use that intelligence to build stability for yourself and your family. This makes the task of building a legacy easier.
4. Community impact
Community impact is vital in the building process. Are you volunteering in your community? Would your community miss you if you were to disappear or die? See “Relationships” above. If you get the relationship part right, you should have no trouble making a lasting community impact.
5. Environmental impact
While issues like global warming and carbon footprints are factors in environmental impact, so are intrinsic factors such as attitude, mindfulness, optimism, and personal operating frequencies. These factors impact every environment you enter. You are either taking something away from the environment or making it better with your presence.
Takeaway: Building your legacy should be intentional.
You could accidentally become a legend after you die, but wouldn’t it be better for the world if you intentionally left a legacy? Chart out your course and adjust as required. After reading this article, you will identify your personal values and goals. You will develop a plan using those values and goals to contribute to building your legacy. Remember, your purpose is the key to identifying what your legacy entails.