In the wake of some high profile deaths in recent weeks including David Bowie, Alan Rickman and Glenn Frey, the reflections on their respective legacies have been well documented in the public domain.
How many re-runs of Bowie and Frey’s music and Rickman’s movies either online or on TV have you seen?
And then there are the replays of interviews over the years and the numerous commentaries celebrating their lives all within hours of their passing.
These guys have all left behind immensely creative, artistic, humanistic and political achievements. Their art, words, voices, characters and stories will survive the test of time.
There’s no doubt that their amazing hard work, dedication to their craft and huge talent are chiselled within our memories synonymous with various milestones in our lives.
They have literally influenced millions of people’s feelings, thoughts, choices made, careers, families and relationships.
Yet, the influence of a legacy is not just the domain of public figures.
Experiencing the loss of someone we have a strong connection to, famous or not, will naturally leave us reflecting on the impact of their lives but also the value of our own life.
This includes the choices we make and the kinds of values we live by.
Our own mortality can be confronting.
However, identifying our legacy, as we live our life today, is a wonderful opportunity for personal growth, not just for others to acknowledge when we die.
A legacy is often associated with money or property. However, it’s also more significantly about how we influence what’s in the minds and hearts of the people that matter most to us.
It’s very much about the way in which we live our life today.
A personal legacy is often associated with personal attitudes, beliefs, values, ideas, specific skills, behaviours and actions that leave their mark on people as well as a whole community.
The brainstorm below describes some of these features.
In developing a strong sense of your own legacy, try this simple exercise.
Spend a moment or three on this scenario.
Take the time to look at your responses to the questions above. Reflect for a moment on whether you are living out these values, skills, behaviours or qualities right now in your life today.