Steve Job’s death has made me consider even more deeply, what we mean when we talk about”your legacy”. If you want a starting point, ask yourself what you would like people to say about you after you’ve pass on.
Your Legacy is More than Your Material Wealth
For a long time, I, like many people, thought of a legacy in terms of a gift of money or an estate someone left for those who outlived them. I’ve come to understand that while this is definitely a part of your legacy, it is not the entire picture. A legacy will also include what you impart to the future generation, including things like your ideas, philosophy, your accomplishments, as well as your money and material possessions.
Your Legacy is Your Influence On Others
While great leaders like Steve Jobs have left behind a legacy that continues to influence the future generations and inspires them every day, you cannot imagine everyone leaving a rich legacy that is influential to an entire community or the entire world. But, your legacy can be something that talks about you and influences as many people as is possible.
Ensuring Your Legacy Inspires
In order to leave a legacy that inspires and influences the lives of the future generations, it is essential to start planning for it as early as possible and sharing your thoughts and viewpoints to the benefit of the future generations. But, how do you plan a legacy?
Your Legacy Step #1: Learn the Purpose of Your Life
Everyone has a purpose in their lives. It is essential to listen to your mind and heart and get to know what the purpose of your life is. Once you do this, you can work a lifetime enjoying each day trying to get closer to this purpose in life.
Document this purpose of your life and mention your achievements as you draw every step closer to this goal. This itself will speak volumes about your achievements and thinking and speak of your legacy when people read through what you have left behind.
Your Legacy Step #2: Identify your Thoughts and Document Them
Everyone has their viewpoints on every aspect of life. You too will have your own. Identify your thought process and give in depth thinking to core aspects of life including family, love, philosophy, spirituality, community, etc.
Write down your thoughts and read through them again. You might want to visit them over time and refine your writing depending on your thought process. Enrich your writing with your thoughts and be honest. You will never know how and whom you will inspire with your legacy of ideas and thinking.
One of the most moving legacies I ever witnessed was in Oprah’s last season. She interviewed a young woman who had been raised by her father after her mother died. Her mother knew she was dying of cancer and had a very short time to live. She knew she would not be there to give her daughter the advice mothers are meant to share with their girls.
So she recorded them on video, her legacy to her daughter and often , to her husband. These videos guided the girl through her teenage years and into her twenties… what a gift!
Your Legacy Step #3: Think Wide
Everyone thinks about improving their family and making them wealthy and rich. By doing so, your legacy might not be a rich one. Think even about the broader perspective, for example, you community or your city. Think about how your thought process and work can help in the betterment of many people.
Steve Jobs’ Legacy
Most of all, Steve Jobs showed us that being wealthy and passing it on to your near and dear ones will not help you create a legacy like the one you can create by working for the betterment of other people.
It is never late to start working towards leaving a legacy. But, when you are starting early you have more time to put your efforts and thoughts into action and ensure that your legacy will inspire many people for a long time to come.