10 Ways to Leave a Legacy (And Make it a Great One)

What will happen if you’re gone tomorrow? How will people remember you? And will they remember you at all? In other words, will you leave a legacy?

These questions are scary, I know. And we avoid them as much as we can.

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Actually most people ask themselves that only once in a lifetime. And it’s often when it’s too late to do anything about it and make a change.

They come to the conclusion that there’s nothing left after all the years they spent here and, more sadly, it’s like they’ve never lived. What they do as a result of that enlightenment, is to spend their last years in regret and disappointment.

I know that’s too negative for a young person to think about.

But putting these questions earlier will remind everyone of how precious each day is, how easy it is to forget to live for others and do things for them. It will help us realize that we need to make our own life meaningful. And we can still live life to the fullest throughout the process of leaving a legacy.

It’s amazing to enjoy life and try everything you want. But it won’t hurt if you start contributing earlier, so that when you turn back, you’ll be able to see that what you’ve done matters. That will also prevent us from feeling the deepest regret and desperation once we realize we’ve done nothing for so many decades. I believe that’s a terrible feeling.

It’s one thing to improve yourself daily, to be grateful, happy and live for the moment. But it’s completely another to make all that with a purpose, meaning and desire to make the world a better place.

To be remembered, to have lived with a mission and not to have wasted your limited time on earth – this is what leaving a legacy is all about.

It’s important to do it without that egoistic intention everyone has these days – just for the idea of being remembered, not to feel guilty when you’re older or else. It must be done for others so that after your staying here, you will have left a positive influence on people, you will have helped, inspired, contributed and changed lives.

I don’t believe that we’re on this planet just to live unconsciously day after day, consume, earn and spend money, do our daily routines, have jobs we don’t like, stay at home, deal with small personal dilemmas and so on. But there are many distractions to keep us focused on all that, to entertain us and to prevent us from seeing the bigger picture.

Big corporations have done their job well and made us strive for mediocrity, fight with each other. They also gave us money to play with, alcohol and drugs to get addicted to, and enough work, events and commitments to keep us busy and make us feel in control.

This way it’s easier than ever before to spend a lifetime without seeing the true meaning of life, without asking yourself questions beyond average, without awakening, reaching our true potential and speaking up.

But if you have looked deep inside yourself and seek meaning and direction, then you can try doing a few of the things listed below. They are also what your legacy will look like and the way to make everything you’ve done and will do matter.

How to Leave a Great Legacy

1. Contribute beyond yourself.

Find and take part in activities connected with making the world a better place to live in. The point is to make your life for something more than yourself. This way your actions will speak for you even when you’re gone.

2. Create.

If you can write, then write. If you love singing, sing. If you feel like drawing, draw. Design, build. Create what you can and convey your message through art.

3. Be a role model.

A great way to leave a legacy is to be a good role model for everyone around you. Not only for your kids, but also friends, acquaintances and even people you’ve recently met.

Behave as you think everyone should, be good, do great things with your own life and teach others to do it too, grow spiritually and set an example for the next generations.

4. Raise your children well.

Often the only legacy people leave is their children. But if you didn’t make them honorable people who are willing to help others and have morals, you haven’t done your job well.

So do your best to teach them everything they need to know to become the next successful leaders.

5. Love.

Loving every human being and showing it will create a peaceful world. Express your love on a daily basis to your family and friends and treat with love even strangers or those who aren’t good to you.
By doing this you make them believe they are worth it, you remind them we’re all humans and together in good and bad times. And soon they will also share this newly found feeling with others.

6. Give.

That’s the ultimate law of the universe. No matter what the situation is or the person in front of you, be ready to give him what you have, to share what’s given to you and go beyond your egoistic nature.

You may give things, money (donate), advice, help, time, effort and whatever it is that you can. Don’t expect anything in return. Just give and when you least expect it, you’ll receive twice as much.

7. Do good.

Good deeds are always remembered. Let yours show other people that we can all do something nice today and make someone happy.

Smile to strangers, help when you can, make compromises, be kind to everyone. Things like that can change someone’s day without you even realizing it.

Kindness is the universal language that can make everyone smile and forget his problems for a while. Here are 10 random acts of kindness you can do today that can make a big difference.

8. Inspire.

If you’ve found your passion, have what you want, achieved some of your goals and are contented and happy, don’t forget to stop every now and then and share your secrets with others.

Today people need to be reminded of their potential and all the possibilities around them more than ever.

So share with them your steps and what you did to get where you are, give advice, motivate, make them believe in themselves and find a direction.

This way you’ll be remembered as the inspiring person who probably helped at least a few people do something about their life.

9. Volunteer.

This is beneficial to your mental health, society, the community and the world in general. There are tens of ways to do it. Just do what you’re good at, but do it for others and don’t charge.
Search for organizations that help an area you’re interested in and join it. Give your time, skills and energy and help old people, the environment, animals, orphans, the poor, the disabled, etc.

You’ll feel amazing after doing it for some time. It’s proven that it affects your confidence, physical health, happiness, social skills, lowers depression and you meet new amazing people.

Even if you want to do it from home, there are multiple options. Just find what works best for you and contribute.

10. Make a family history.

Research your ancestors and make a family tree. Include photos. Write a book about that if you want. Or make a will.
Put your history into words – journal, autobiography, memoir. There are many ways to help your family be remembered.

So now you know how easy it is to leave a legacy and to make it a great one. No excuses accepted as you can do it from home, practice it daily and in small steps.

Make your life meaningful and let your actions help and inspire others.

The only thing you take with you when you’re gone is what you leave behind.
John Allston

Lidiya K

Lidiya K

Author, blogger and podcaster in the fields of self-improvement and life hacking. Creator of Let's Reach Success.
Full-time freelance writer. Lifestyle designer.
Lidiya K

34 Comments

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  1. Under “Inspire”:
    “Today people need to be reminded of their potential and all the possibilities around them more than ever…”
    In my own experience doing this, I have found it effective to observe what my friends are interested in; I look for the things that make their eyes light up. One friend in particular is studying History, which did not use to be my cup of tea; after seeing his eyes brighten over discussing his studies, it sparked an interest in me. I let him know how it inspired my interest, and I found that showing people where they inspire others, is a form of inspiration for them.

      1. Yes, it is the means to the end and, if the motivation is negative, e.g. selfish in any way, what we are is diminished.

  2. This is my absolute favorite blog post of the day!!! I have thought about death and the purpose of life since I was a tiny girl, and I have always felt that if I had only a year left to live I would have tried as much as I could to make a difference in someone else’s life. I mean, there is nothing that makes me happier than when someone tells me, that because of me, something I did or said, their life is now better! It’s funny actually, because it is when I have those thrilling experiences of exhilarating happiness that I feel that now it would be okay to die… So I live my life like that every day. Thank you for a wonderful post! I hope lots and lots of people read this!!

    1. Thank you so much for the great comment. I can’t agree with you more and have definitely felt the same way many times. I’m still looking for ways to contribute, but first I need to get to know myself better and work on some areas of my life. It’s a long journey and a wonderful one too.

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