A legacy is a long living, impactful memory that has left a positive effect. It is a universal gift that can be used by anyone at anytime. They can be small or larger than life. Being a legacy only requires you to step outside yourself and give your entire heart for one moment. Lifelong legacies have a string of these single moments that lead them to be known as one - like my dad. My dad has a dream to create a 500-year legacy past his own life. In my eyes he has already achieved this by touching other people’s hearts for the rest of their lives. For example: say he has touched 100 people. They would only have to remember something that touched them for 5 years, and there would be a 500-year legacy. So, how can we live the same way?
1. Be kind to someone
Kindness hits us in a deep, unconditional and compassionate way that large gestures or presents sometimes can’t. Show unconditional kindness and warmth to someone today. I always remember the times where my dad softened and showed my mum the sweetest kindness and understanding.
2. Be There
Give someone the gift of your time. It is the only precious resource we have that is not replaceable in some way. Give those you love the joyous gift of your undivided time with love. My most precious moments with my father were when he gave me his unlimited, undivided time.
3. Show Resilience
Next time something gets you down or is an unforeseen challenge, instead of whining, venting or being down about this challenge, show your strength and positivity about what possible gifts this could hold. Be playful and find the gifts inside Pandora’s Box. You never know when someone around you is having their own inner struggle, and you could inspire them to take a new outlook. I loved the way my mum would find the joys when talking with others about the loss of her partner for life. It would inspire me to find new gifts in every situation.
Those that can open their hearts and souls most openly without fear leave the most honored impression. Be brave, and unbar your heart to someone. Feel the gift you are bestowing on them – how divine is that? I have a special group of women who repeatedly unbar their souls and everything in it, and it constantly has me in grateful awe of their beings.
Laugh in the face of adversity. The true challenge of laughter is to laugh when it is most appropriate – at your problems! My mum and I regularly go to laughter yoga classes, and one of the exercises is to heave all your problems into the middle and you point at them and laugh! So liberating and inspiring.
6. Have a vision
Legacies have a vision of something that they hold as ideal. What are you envisioning for a part of the world? It could be anything from more smiles to safer pets. Share that vision, and uphold it publicly through your actions. I loved seeing the different awe-inspired emotions on friends’ faces as my dad spoke about his passions.
7. Have Passion
An engaged person is the most inspiring. When my dad was truly inspired by something that was important to him his entire being would light up with energy. Those with passion in their lives can be a recharge for others.
Legacies know when to be giving and what to give. Sometimes there is nothing better you could give than an attentive ear with no other purpose than wanting to hear and think about what someone else’s thoughts are. I always appreciate how my parents would listen endlessly and actively to my conversations about dance and my brothers about trucks, like there was nothing else more important.
9. Above the line
Legacies live with integrity. My dad loved this concept of above and below the line, and as a teenager I hated it! Luckily, I appreciate and use it now. Living above the line means being Accountable, Responsible and taking Ownership for your actions, beliefs and choices. Acting below the line is Blaming, making Excuses and Denial of actions, responsibilities and choices.
Legacy makers are constantly headed towards their goals via action. What are you doing right now to get closer to your dreams? Action is like laughter – it’s contagious. Once one person starts, it doesn’t take long before you get a giant snowball.
Legacies have love for themselves as well as others. Love for self is an honorable gift that you deserve to have. It’s more important than anything else, because those that cannot love themselves cannot truly give quality love to others – it will not be unconditional. Unconditional love is love without any reasons except love itself. Love with love alone, and I believe you can change the world just like my Dad changed mine.
The ladder to a legacy is not a long one, and these are not rocket science steps. I challenge you to pick a couple of these steps and try them wholeheartedly for yourself. I would love to know your own personal legacies and insights, so post your intention and stories below!