A new year is the time to create your legacy

A+new+year+is+the+time+to+create+your+legacy

By Carl Hendrickson, For the Call

Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, was reading the newspaper after his brother died and was shocked by the obituary: The story was mistakenly about Nobel himself and read, “The merchant of death is dead.” He had the unique experience of finding out while he was still alive how people would remember him.

As the story goes, this led Nobel to set aside the bulk of his estate to establish the Nobel Foundation that annually bestows international awards in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. Today he is not recognized as the merchant of death, but as the creator of the Nobel Prizes and consequently as a great humanitarian.   

How will you be remembered? What legacy will you leave for future generations?  This new year is the time to work on your legacy.

A legacy is a gift passed on to future generations. A legacy cements your life’s work as something that will benefit future generations. It is like a farmer who plants an apple tree. He will not enjoy the fruit, but his children and their children will.

A legacy comes in different shapes and forms. It can be something tangible such as money or something intangible in knowledge, kindness or love. Some can leave a legacy of favorite recipes. Others a love of gardening. Still others can leave a legacy by advocating to change an injustice.      

Decide what contribution you want to make to future generations. Think about what you want in your obituary and what you want people to say at your funeral.

Start today in creating your legacy.  Remind yourself that you may have limited time to create your legacy.

Focus on how you want to be remembered by your children and grandchildren. What you want them to say if they speak at your funeral.

Identify your strengths. We all have them. Build on these strengths to create your lasting impact. Knowing your strengths will help you decide your legacy.

It may be necessary to align yourself with people who can assist you in creating your legacy. Martin Luther King. Jr. created a legacy for racial justice. Others who aligned themselves with him also created their legacies for the same thing.

To make a meaningful contribution takes dedication and hard work. If you are not dedicated to leaving a legacy for future generations or willing to spend the time and work required, you will not be able to leave a lasting dedication.

You have a new year. A year in which you can work on creating your legacy.  The best of luck and good fortune in creating your legacy for future generations.