Have You Defined Your Legacy?

When You Look Back, What Do You Want To See?

Your Personal Legacy is more than simply a statement of how TomPatersonyou wish to be remembered. It IS something! It is something that enriches your life and reveals you and what your life is about to your family, friends, and your community.

My wife and I traveled to Boulder, Colorado last week and completed our Life Planning Certifications. Having the option to do something like this with the one you love was an awesome experience. We have always loved helping and mentoring our daughters, our daughters’ friends, our friends, and couples and now we have a proven process for individuals and couples to live a life they were meant to live.

The Paterson Center was founded by Tom Paterson and we had the opportunity to meet Tom on our final day. It was an awesome experience to meet a person who had a vision and used his God-given talents to help others know their gifts and develop their life plans to live an intentional and exceptional life on purpose. The coolest part of this training was to see our class of 16 that was made up of pastors, successful CEO’s, and entrepreneurs carry on a legacy that has an awesome purpose.

So back to the question.  Will your Personal Legacy reflect your core values, your standards of excellence and your deep beliefs? Will your actions impact the future of your family and friends and will they remember you as part of their life? We should want our life to matter in this world and be an example of how to live our life for future generations, right?

Jim Rohn & Chris Widener summarize the concept of leaving a Personal Legacy in their book the “Twelve Pillars”.

  • “Live a life that will help others spiritually, intellectually, physically, financially, and relationally.
  • Live a life that serves as an example of what an exceptional life can look like.
  • Let others lead small lives, but not you. Let others argue over small things, but not you. Let others cry over small hurts, but not you. Let others leave their future in someone else’s hands, but not you.
  • Leaving a legacy is like planting a tree. As that seed grows into a tree, it will provide seeds, so that future generations can then plant their own.”

Don’t let years, decades, even an entire lifetime go by without offering the best of you to those you love most! Help others by being intentional about knowing your gifts, talents, and desires.

So how do you go about designing a Personal Legacy that you can leave behind for generation to come?

There are a couple ways to define your Personal Legacy that you can leave for others. One method is visualization. Fast forward to the end of your days, imagine you are on your death bed. When you look back on the life you have lived, what do you want to see?

  • Do you want to see the life that was carefully designed and lived to the full extent or a life that just happened?
  • What kind of a family did you nurture? What do your family members think of you? What do they remember the most about you?
  • What kind of contribution have made to your community and society? Are you satisfied with the donations you made to charities?
  • What kind of values did you cultivate and live by?
  • How many friends did you make? Are you proud of your friends and their achievements? How would they remember you?
  • Would the people be quoting your life as an example to follow?
  • Finally, if you had the opportunity to live again, would the life you just lived be an inspiration and an example for your new life?

Action Items

  • Work on your legacy by creating a document with the answers from the visualization questions above.
  • Do a professional life plan to gain clarity about yourself and plan a strategic operating plan for yourself.

It’s your life, be strategic about you first, then the other things in life. Good Luck.