All over the world, there are people who have impacted the world in a significant way. Their achievements stand out because have made evolutionary advancements in their respective fields. From Bill Gates to Mother Theresa to Elon Musk, to Steve Jobs. They have each built meaningful legacies over their lifetime. Your legacy is the impact you make on the world. It is never about your wealth and property. In fact, some of the people who are greatly remembered did not leave much money.This proves that you don’t have to be a millionaire to leave a legacy.
Legacies come in all shapes and sizes and from all back grounds, industries, communities, age groups, genders, or ethnicity. Because of this, absolutely anyone, can leave a meaningful legacy. The beauty in focusing on building a legacy is that your career will not just benefit just those closest to you. Instead, you will benefit so many others in a significant way. As a result, this will unlock a feeling of greater achievement in life.
So, what are you going to do that not only benefits you but the whole world or at the very least, a small group of people? Read on to find out what to focus on as you build your legacy in the new year.
As you embark on building a meaningful legacy, you must accomplish so many things. But first, you have to narrow down what is important to you. It does not matter if it seems a little silly to other people. You will have to be passionate enough to dedicate yourself to your job, project, or company. When you have found what you want to focus on, cut out what does not matter. Clearly understand your goals and what it will take to achieve them. It is easy for you to get lost in useless things which do not contribute to your legacy.
Never before has it been possible to take advantage of opportunities all over the globe. You can learn anything on the internet using resources such as coursera, you tube, quora, blogs, podcasts if you put yourself up to it. We live in the information age. Put off watching another funny cat video and instead learn something new. In addition, It is very easy, like never before, to connect with like minded individuals. Opportunities are all over the place but they are only open to people who are willing to put in the time and the work. It does not matter who you know, where you went to school and where you live. If you apply yourself, you can do what others believe is impossible.
Change your mindset
Think about the things you want. Are they much bigger than you are? Do your dreams scare even you? Let go of any invisible scripts that have been handed down to you in the past. Create your own opportunities by changing the narrative of your story. Unfortunately, if you don’t take charge of writing your own story, someone else will. What you want to achieve should be greater than you and it has got to change the way the world works. Here is a great quote from Steve Jobs to get you started on changing your mindset…
“Life can be much broader, once you discover one simple fact, and that is everything around you that you call ‘life’ was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.”-Steve Jobs
Too many times, when we achieve a little success, we upgrade our lifestyles. We live “lifestyles”. We inhibit our opportunities by being overly focused on pleasing the jones. The people who leave meaningful legacies do not sell out when they experience a few successes. Making money is cool. No one can deny that. But if your aim is to change the game in your industry, money should be a means to an end, not the goal. So when that big deal comes through, do not go out and buy the latest posh car or that $12,000 Birkin bag. Instead, focus on your long term goals.
Do not stop putting in the work even when it seems like you have “made it”. The people who have built big admirable businesses did not bail out when they experienced a little success. Otherwise, they could not be where they are today. You will need something bigger than just lifestyle inflation if you want to leave a meaningful legacy.
You have probably heard of the good old advice to be authentic. Your legacy is built on who you are. It is deeply entrenched in your personality. So many times, we are afraid to let our personality shine through to others. If you look at people who have been able to build legacies, they did so because they were willing to live their own truth. They focused on building careers on their own terms.
Do not be afraid to raise your voice up, raise the bar for yourself and continue pushing your boundaries. Know your vision and share it. Do not be afraid of being authentic. Ever heard of this guy-Kanye West? He upset two presidents, embarrassed Taylor Swift but he fiercely speaks his mind no matter the situation. He does not fear being judged or ridiculed for standing up for what he believes in. Take a cue from him.
Almost all people who build long lasting legacies focus on how they can add value to other people through serving. If you look at people like Malala and even Bill Gates have focused on improving the welfare of others. To leave a legacy, you have to be willing to dig deeper into what you can offer the world, and then work harder than everyone else to add that value. Truly dedicate yourself to serving others through your idea, project, company or job.
As we close 2016, think about how you are going to build your legacy in the coming year. Do things that matter.