The Three Keys Behind Building a Legacy

What is it that builds legacy and makes someone memorable to the people they have had contact?

When the world loses a legend, we pay tribute and mourn. We mourn for people that have left a mark, we mourn for people we love, we mourn for those that made the world a better place. We mourn most for those close to us and for those that leave something within everyone they have touched. We celebrate their life and we hold them in our heart.

Recently, I heard the news that my old sports master had passed away. Johno was a doyen at my old high school where he mentored generations of students over three decades. To all of the students he was loved for one thing, his commitment, energy and enthusiasm for the dance program. Because of him, every student over a 30 year time span, can do the Jive, the Quickstep and a variety of foxtrots and barn dances. Fond memories for all, and no doubt, a dance or two in his memory over the last few weeks.

Which made me reflect on the concept of legacy. What is it that builds legacy and makes someone memorable to the people they have had contact? Reflecting on Johno and the impact he left, I have come to realise that legacy is built from these three key steps.

1: Your legacy is built from your daily actions. It’s how you live your life every-day is how you will be remembered.

I know with Johno, he attacked every day with energy and enthusiasm. He was a wiry, strong leader who walked with a quickness of step that many just don’t have. He was purposeful in his endevours. He knew what he wanted to achieve in life, and lived every-day in pursuit of it.

How you live your life every-day is how you will be remembered. Think about how you are currently living your life? Attack life with purpose, energy and enthusiasm and take the steps you need to live the impactful life you dream of.

2: Live unashamedly you. Be authentic and be genuine. Do what you do with commitment. Be who you are, and stop confirming to the ideal imposed by others.

This is so important. In the words of Dr Seuss;

“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is you-er than you.”

Authentic and genuine. That’s the way to live. Many would have considered Johno a dork and from another time, but he was Johno, authentic and genuine. He showed real commitment to teach us his passion. He lived his life and his legacy is fondly remembered. He lived his life, not the life others may have considered best for him. He did it his way, and so should you. Be unashamedly you.

3: Know what you want and chase it. Some deep conversations lately with close friends came with the realization that time is passing and that the “mythical” bucket list is forming. Stop being constricted. Know what you want and take action to get there.

The problem is, we think we have time. We believe our legacy can wait. We convince ourselves we can start tomorrow. That line of thinking just doesn’t cut it. We may not get tomorrow. The only thing guaranteed is now.

Everyone who has ever left an impact on me, has shown me the way. They have been a role model to aspire to, they lived with purpose, they supported others. They chose to live their life unashamedly, they chose to live authentically. They chose to live their life everyday chasing the key things they wanted. They didn’t choose to leave a legacy, but how they lived ensured they did. Live your life and chase your dream and purpose with passion, energy and commitment. How you live your life is how you will be remembered. Get out and build an amazing life and in doing so, leave an impact that won’t be forgotten.

And on behalf of the generations of students at Corinda High, Thanks Johno. For being a role model, for sharing your passion and importantly, thanks for the reminder.

About Author

Tony Curl

Tony Curl has been a successful corporate leader for 30 years. He now works alongside leaders in Australia to maintain clarity on their vision and purpose, and helps map their way around their roadblocks and obstacles. Unless you take action on your goals, they remain a dream.

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