Your life can encourage, equip and inspire generations for years to come. What are the most important things that you want to pass on?
What is a legacy? It is something left or handed down by a predecessor. You will recognise the beliefs, attitudes and habits that you have inherited from your parents, these are part of their legacy to you. Leaving a legacy is all about knowing what you do and don’t want to pass down. We often think about money as the most important thing that we can leave behind for our families but how about:
How to have a great family
Incredible self belief
How to help others
How to do something really well
How to be healthy
A great work ethic
One day you will be gone but your legacy never dies. I know that is a disconcerting thought but one day, you will not be here anymore. But your legacy will, living on through your children and their children. Your legacy will live forever, going from generation to generation like a nugget of gold, silver or concrete passed from old hand to young hand. Whatever you do in this life will continue on and this is the incredible thing, that you can choose your legacy.
Your legacy can have a massive impact on the world even if you are the quietest person.
Sociologists say even the most introverted person effects 1000 people in their lifetime. Your legacy in your kids lives will impact thousands in their lifetime and 10,000’s in their children's lifetime. It's incredible, the impact that one person can have. Your attitude and your empowerment of others can positively affect the future of so many people.
Picture of FergArt heads being slapped and then stopped at the Dad - legacy - what are you passing on?”
What do you want your legacy to be?
Write your eulogy now, it will change your life.
Have a think now of what you would want your eulogy to say, the paragraph that gets printed in a newspaper about you when you die.
This is a summary of your life and writing down what you would want it to say is one of the most powerful things you can do now, to decide what kind of life that you want to live. I was really surprised when I wrote down how I wanted to be remembered with what was on the list and what wasn’t, like money.
Think about the words that your kids would say at your funeral:
Dad was a great guy, he worked a lot and we never really saw him but we know he loved us.
Dad spent so much time with us, we had so much fun together and he taught me so much, I wouldn’t be what I am today without my Dad.
Take 10 minutes, think about this and write it down.
2 Questions to help you identify your legacy:
1/ What are three things you want pass on as a blessing to the next generation?
Naturally people will want to give money, property and possessions, but what about beliefs, mindsets and emotional skills. What if the number one skill you passed on would be: Great self belief, How to dig deep, how to have a great marriage or wisdom?
2/ What are three things have you inherited that you want to stop at you and not pass on?
As much as passing on good attitudes and attributes is great, just as powerful is not passing on the bad or destructive bits. What are the top three things that you want to stop with you and not be passed on?
Being intentional will give you the life that you want.
I just love these deep soul searching questions. Asking and answering them now can save a lifetime of regret. We have the ability to determine what is important to us. Ask other people what their three things are that they want to pass on.
A great source of wisdom is questioning elderly people on what the most important thing is in life and those things that they wish they had done or not done if they could do it all over again.
When you have formed your picture of how you want your life to be, write it down and remind yourself of it daily. I love a statement of confession/vision, hung in a place you see often like your bathroom mirror or on your screensaver to be read out daily. Your words are powerful and the words we say create our future.
Check out this example confession/vision statement below. Feel free to take any of these sentences and add it to your own one.
My Life Vision/Legacy statement
I have an amazing life
I love my wife and my kids, I am the Family First Dad
I have an amazing future which I am planning and preparing for now
I am thankful for all these things: think of 10 things right now
I am a unique individual, like no-one else, I be my best me and don’t compare myself to others, I run my race to the best of my ability
I am great at - write 5 thing here
I am great at prioritising, I choose my most important things first
I love doing fun things that me and my family enjoy
I fall but I always get back up again
I dig deep, I have got incredible resilience and I push through
My words are powerful and I speak powerful loving words over my family and myself
I am a great help, people’s lives are better because of me giving into their lives
I put my relationship with my wife first and looking after my family
I forgive and move on
I turn away from negative influence and seek positive education and input
I have excellent friends who take me to a higher place
I am a hard worker and do my best in my job
I am solution focused and am a problem solver
I am smart with money and seek ways to educate myself to be better and better in this area
I never stop growing, I always keep learning
I daily seek connection and understanding with my family
I am the love language master and know what love languages my family are
I will hug and kiss my loved ones and let them know how precious they are to me
I am an incredible Dad
I am a blessing and I will give my kids, family and community a great now and future.
So Dads, create a legacy that will impact 000’s of people. You changing your world will affect the World.