By Anubhav Srivastava ( Register for his Workshop – Build Super Confidence For Super Success!)
How to build a legacy you are proud of? Have you ever wondered what you will be remembered for, when you are gone? Now there are indeed some people who just want to live life on their terms and couldn’t care less about how they will be remembered once they are gone, but for the majority of us, we do want to leave behind something that will make us worth remembering, at least for some time. If really want a legacy you are proud of and want to be remembered by people long after you are gone, there are three key steps to building one.
Determine who you want to impact.
Not everyone can become a famous scientist or entrepreneur or achieve the kind of success that impacts millions of people. A lot of us dream of changing the whole world and while that maybe a great ideal, most people are not going to attain that kind of influence. However, if you are still determined for that kind of legacy then take things one step at a time instead of building castles in the air.
The right strategy is to decide upon your circle of influence. Who is it that you want to and can impact? You may only want to impact people in your family, maybe your children. That is perfectly fine. Or you may want to impact a specific group of people in your society, maybe youngsters. Whoever it is you truly want to impact and can realistically impact, zero in on that group and from that point on wards, always ensure that most of your actions are in alignment with your goal.
For example if it is your children you want to impact, make sure all your actions that they observe are the ones from which they will get the lessons that you want them to learn. If you don’t want them to pick up bad habits when they grow up, desist from those habits yourself. Children learn what they observe and if they see you doing something negative, don’t blame them if they too start behaving the same way very soon.
If it is a larger group you wish to impact, your action have to be in alignment with the values of that group.
Create or Do Something you will be remembered for.
The most important element for creating a legacy is to leave behind something that will remind people of you. No I am not talking about getting your own statues built. I am not even talking about accumulating a huge amount of money and then leaving a will to your children. Things like money are not permanent. In the wrong hands, a huge amount of money can be spent or lost in a single minute.
I am talking about creating something that will continue to impact the people you always wanted to influence long after you are gone. It can be in the form of things you create that can last several generations or it can even be through your actions through which you can give your children or others immensely precious and valuable advice. Obviously the latter is lost, the moment the next generation passes.
If that is ok with you , so be it but if you want to have a legacy that lasts longer, you will have to create something that lasts. If you are interested in business, create a valuable business brand that people will remember you for. If you are into social work, create an organization (that actually works) that will continue to be dedicated towards the causes you were passionate about.
If you love music, try to create timeless musical compositions that will be appreciated instead of just the “in thing” that will fizzle out. If you are interested in art, try and create your best art, something you will be proud of . If you like writing, write a book. If you are into science, try to do something will be of considerable significance to the scientific community and play a role in the advancement of humanity.
My goals may change in the future as life is unpredictable, however I would ideally liked to be remembered as someone who helped others achieve their goals and dreams. My mission has been in alignment with this dream. This is why I spent over 6 years creating my inspirational movie Carve Your Destiny, which has been seen by over a million people already and will be seen by millions of more people in the future. It will continue to inspire people for a long time.
This is why I am now focusing on this website and constantly creating and giving away valuable information and lessons I have learnt in life because whatever I have created will continue to inspire people. I would also like to write a book in the future that would help people even further. My legacy would in the form of the gratitude of people who succeeded after being inspired by my work.
Commit to changing, if you are not proud of what you do today.
If you want to build a respectable legacy, first ask yourself, if you died today what will your obituary say? Will you be proud of how the world will remember you based on the things you have been doing till now? If not, then change.
There is an amazing real life instance of how a change actually happened after reading an obituary! Alfred Nobel, the inventor of the explosive dynamite made a fortune after patenting and selling it. The explosive was used for mining but also in war. Nobel himself was a weapons manufacturer.
A chance event in 1888 however, changed his life. Nobel’s brother Ludwig died but a newspaper thought that it was Alred who had died. So they published an obituary which Alfred happened to read. When he got over the shock of reading his own obituary while he was still alive, he became extremely sad at what he had read
The newspaper described him as the “merchant of death.” He was called a man whose inventions caused more deaths than ever before in history.
At that moment, Alfred Nobel realized that what the newspaper had written was exactly what his legacy was going to be based on his past. The second thing he realized was that there was no way he wanted to be remembered like that and was determined to do whatever he could to change it.
He wrote a will that entrusted most of his money (200 million dollars today when adjusted for inflation) to a fund where all of it would be invested in safe securities. The income from the investments would then be used to fund a Prize titled the Nobel Prize and was “to be distributed annually in the form of prizes to those who during the preceding year have conferred the greatest benefit to mankind.”
Today, many more people know Alfred Nobel for the Nobel prize than they know him as the inventor of dynamite. Nobel proved that one’s legacy can be changed. It is never too late!
Now it may look like you need money to build or change your legacy but that is not necessarily true at all. Not all of us will be remembered for a long time like Alfred Nobel and frankly that is okay. At the very least, however, we should strive to leave a positive impact on those who knew us while we still lived.
Do you care about having a legacy? If you don’t, not even for your children you can ignore everything mentioned in this article. But if you do, then ensure the following.
Determine clearly who you want to impact. Even though impacting the whole world maybe a great ideal, it may not be realistic. Begin by identifying who you want to influence and who you can influence. Once you have identified that clearly then ensure that every action you take is in alignment with that goal. For example if you want your legacy to be that of a great health activist, take every step in that direction by actually practising healthy activities and keeping your weight in check. Please don’t smoke or eat regularly at McDonalds!
Then, Create something valuable that will stand the test of time and continue to remind people of you by actually positively impacting their lives. You don’t do that by creating statues. You do that by finding what you are passionate about, what you are really good at and then creating it, especially keeping in mind the kind of people who really want to impact. Focus on creating timeless work, instead of just the “in things” if you truly want to be remembered for long.
Finally if you are doing something today that you are not particularly proud of, come to the realization that this is going to be your legacy. If you are ashamed by it then also realize that it is never too late to change. King Asoka who was involved in some of the bloodiest wars in history reformed himself to promote peace through Buddhism. Today, he is known as Asoka the Great.
A bandit named Valmiki reformed himself and became a sage and the author of Ramayana, one of the greatest Epics in Indian history. In the process he changed his legacy from being an unknown bandit to one of the greatest authors in history. It is never too late to change, as long as you have the burning desire to change! and the will to win.
About the Author
Anubhav Srivastava is an author, speaker and the director of Carve Your Destiny, a first of its kind inspirational documentary featuring some of the most famous personalities from diverse fields. It has been seen by over 1 Million People on Youtube. Anubhav has also been featured in numerous International and India Media outlets such as BBC , The Times of India, Hindustan Times, Rediff.com, Leicester Mercury and many others.
For one on one consulting or a motivational workshop at your organization please email firstname.lastname@example.org . If you would like to write a guest blog post on Anubhavsrivastava.com you contact me on the same email address.
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