When we think of ‘legacy,’ we often associate it with something that will be there after we pass away. We think of wills, wealth, assets, possessions and reputation. We look at legacy as being the posthumous mark that we leave on the world – a footprint that will still be there when we are long gone.
This couldn’t be more wrong. Legacy can be much more than just the material things we leave behind to those who follow us. With a living legacy, we can shape the lives of those around us and create something that will echo through time for generations to come.
Here’s the lowdown on what a living legacy is and how you can create one.
What is a living legacy?
A ‘living legacy’ is about life, not death. It’s there in the life that you’re leading right now, in your actions, your words, your wisdom, the positive changes that you drive and the influence you have on those around you. It’s in the meaningful connections and lasting impressions you make. And it’s a dynamic, evolving process in which you impart your values and contribute to the community you exist within.
At its heart, a living legacy is about living a life that inspires and guides others. It’s about making positive memories that resonate now and ripple through into future times. When you focus on creating a living legacy, you see and feel the profound impact of your actions while you’re still here. This can make it a life-affirming, transformative process.
How to create a living legacy
Here are six ways to craft a living legacy of your own.
Living your life through your values and passions
A key part of your living legacy is the way in which you live your life. How you live should always reflect your deepest-held values, beliefs and passions.
Think about what matters most to you. Is it family, community, charity, social justice, art or the environment? Or is it all of these things? Whatever the case, you can build your living legacy by engaging in these areas and living them as part of your daily life. Actively pursuing your passions in a way that contributes – for example, by volunteering, working in the community or advocating for your chosen causes – will build your living legacy, and you’ll be living and enjoying a deeply fulfilling life too.
Building deep connections
Think about your memories of those you have known who’ve had an influence on your life. It’s often not what they did or what they achieved that lingers but the depth of the relationships you had with them.
Building strong connections with those around you is a vital part of your living legacy. Investing time in nurturing your relationships and being present for people will foster bonds that will carry and amplify the impact of your actions and values. And, importantly, it’s not the number of relationships you have that matters; it’s the depth of those relationships.
Sharing your story
To create a living legacy, you need to share your experiences and the lessons that you’ve learned on your journey through life. Sharing your story is a powerful way to provide guidance, insight and inspiration to your loved ones and friends.
A perfect way to document your memories, by telling and preserving your story, is to write a memoir. This will give your friends and family an intimate and authentic glimpse into the experiences that have shaped your journey.
If you decide to write a private memoir, the skilled LifeBook Memoirs team can help. They will capture your story in your own voice and create a timeless and beautiful book that you and your family will treasure, now and for many years to come.
Living and learning
Learning is a lifelong, evolving experience, and we live in a world that is changing at breakneck speed. Being open to new experiences and embracing opportunities to learn is an excellent way of building a living legacy. It shows a strong commitment to growth and adaptability, and acquiring new knowledge will enable you to share your newfound wisdom and skills with others.
Pursue creativity as much as you can and encourage it in those around you. It will enrich your lives, and your local community will benefit.
Embracing the power of small acts
Building a living legacy doesn’t have to be about grand gestures. Small acts can have a more lasting and profound impact on those around us. A sympathetic ear at the right time, a kind word or a thoughtful deed can touch people deeply.
The way you make people feel is very important in how they view you, and expressing your own gratitude and appreciation when you’re shown kindness will have a big effect on how you are thought of. The power of simple and small acts should never be underestimated.
Living your legacy
By treating legacy as something to be created and experienced in the ‘here and now,’ you’ll not only live a life full of purpose, but you’ll make an enormous impact on those around you. And, you’ll do so while you’re here to see it and enjoy it! So, start building your living legacy today.
Are you interested in having someone write a book about your life? If so, do get in touch with us. The LifeBook Memoirs team is here to help you at every stage of your memoir project. Whether you are ready to commission a project or you have questions, just use the form or schedule a call below, or call us today.
Written by the LifeBook Memoirs editorial team