If you dislike being the center of attention, not only thinking about legacy, but acting on it as well, can be challenging and difficult to do. Thinking about what we might want to leave behind for others, whether it is material or non-tangible (e.g. words of wisdom, belief system) forces us to highlight what is important to us and it shines a spotlight on our values. To share that with others can be quite a vulnerable thing to do.
So, of course, taking action towards our legacy can seem daunting as well, especially when we start to compare ourselves. “I have nothing of value”, “No one is going to care”, “I am not exceptional…nor do I have great advice to share”...and on the list of thoughts go…
Along with other end of life work, not only putting thought into, but acting on what you would like your legacy to be is a gift. It’s part of your story and it strengthens that part of the invisible web that connects us all.
Don’t know where to start? Think of what matters to you most, what brings a smile to your face. Pull out some old photo albums or a picture and write on the back - who it is, what you were doing and any other notes you might want to add. It doesn’t have to be complicated. And it doesn’t have to be done all at once.
Small words and actions can hold a lot of weight. Who has impacted you? I'll give you an example: my high school drama teacher choose me to be in a play - ME. Although I was involved in drama, trying out for the play is not something I would have ever done. This choice, this small act, has stuck with me my entire life. The impact my drama teacher had on me is part of his legacy. I have condensed the details here, but I often tell people about this life event. Mr Paton will always be a part of my story.
Perhaps part of your legacy is a material object, a handwritten letter or note, or maybe even a rock or shell that holds a memory of a great time shared. Legacy is not always a financial gift. In fact, legacy is love. Consider putting thought into and acting on your legacy while you are still alive. By doing so, you create even greater memories to cherish, which is more valuable than any monetary gift.