Your time on earth is limited. But leaving a legacy is not something most of us consciously consider. And those who do, think of it as a financial gift. Such as leaving the family cottage to their kids or leaving assets to a university upon their death. But what about leaving a nonfinancial legacy?
Can you recall someone who made a life-changing impression on your life? Such as a teacher that recognized your potential, your grandparent who loved you unconditionally, a kind boss who gave you an unexpected promotion.
Or maybe it’s someone you see daily, such as a colleague who consistently sees the good in others. Or an assistant that bends over backward for your clients.
And what about that classmate at university? The one who passionately fights the small injustice in the system to change the rules for the better? That is legacy!
We’re Leaving One Whether We Know It or Not
When individuals imprint their deeds in the hearts and minds of those around them, they leave behind a legacy. What do people recall when they think of you right now? Maybe folks around you don‟t recall you at all. How would you like them to remember you?
What could you do now to leave an imprint on someone’s life? We’re not all called to open a girls’ school in South Africa, like Oprah Winfrey. Nor are we all compelled to find a home for orphans in Calcutta as Mother Theresa did.
But whether we like it or not, we’re all making impressions on those around us; however, brief our interaction — the cheerful barista at Starbucks who adds more to your day than providing you your morning coffee.
My dad left a lasting legacy on me. He gave me a love and understanding of economics. And it was the one subject I was passionate about and excelled at in school. It provided me with a stepping stone to a fulfilling career in finance.
The legacy we leave is not just in our possessions but in the quality of our lives. Each day is an opportunity to add something to someone’s life.
Consider doing one thing each day, however insignificant it may seem. Who knows, you may be leaving a lasting legacy without even knowing it.