What Will Your Legacy Be?

Once that final breath is taken, the legacy that one leaves begins to become known to others.  Perhaps it is a lifetime of hard work and saving to leave a healthy investment portfolio to surviving members of one’s family, or possibly the kindness bestowed upon others around in a time of need that will be remembered.  But… could there have been a greater and more lasting legacy benefitting others than immediate family and close contacts?  Oftentimes, a legacy is many years in the making, some intentional while others are merely coincidental.  However, it is never too late to start creating your legacy, whatever it may be!

Being famous or wealthy during one’s lifetime is not a prerequisite to leaving a great legacy.   Many have a great desire to benefit others during life in furtherance of the missions of various organizations and activities, but who says that such assistance must end with one’s death?   Hopefully, we all desire to leave the world in a better place than we found it, but what can we do to continue the growth of positivity once we are gone?  Sure, we can set a good example of kindness, generosity, and other favorable attributes to children, grandchildren, friends, nieces, nephews, and others, but perhaps more should be done.

What do you consider important enough in your life that you would want future generations to enjoy and treasure?  What about the park for special-needs individuals, historical preservation for future generations, advances in healthcare, humanitarian efforts, educational assistance, religious contributions, and the list goes on and on…. Without planning today for a healthy future, the continuation of many of our treasured institutions and things that make our communities and country so great may not be around for enjoyment by generations to come.

Our legacy may be merely a spark in starting a great movement by others, a financial contribution to an existing outreach, or it may include giving of one’s time, influence, and energy to a cause.  One is never fully aware of the impact that she or he can have on others and how such an impact can blossom into great things.  Consider those individuals that have made a positive impact on your life and those moments in your life that left a lasting positive impression – what could and should you do to benefit others in a similar manner?

I challenge you today to spend some time contemplating what you wish your legacy to be and then work on a plan to put the necessary steps in motion for that legacy to become a reality.  While it is important to help build character in others of whom we come into contact through the lives that we live, we can always do more to share the things that we consider important to us.  By including others that we may never meet, and possibly those that are not yet born, in the potential list of benefactors of our legacy, we can help to assure the great things in this life continue for generations to come.   So, what will your legacy be?  Let’s all get to work in furthering our legacy!


Article authored by:

JWm. Lee Horn, LL.M. 

Pinnacle Financial Partners


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