4 Essential Factors To Leaving A Lasting Legacy

I have been thinking about the topic of legacy for several months. I’m convinced most people want to live a significant life which allows them to leave a lasting legacy after they die. A person’s legacy might not be on the same scale as the legendary Steve Jobs, John Wooden, or Thomas Kinkade.

However each person has the potential to make a difference and leave a legacy. Fiction novelist and freelance journalist Chuck Palahniuk said, We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.” That’s what leaving a legacy is about. Here are 4 things a person can do so they can position themselves to make a difference and leave a lasting legacy:

1. Start- This might sound very simple but I have noticed many people who have not made the choice to start making a difference. The impact and difference you make on a daily basis will add up to the legacy you leave behind. The legacy you leave is determined by your daily choices.

2. Run your race- It’s important to find and then focus on your personal vision and life purpose then determine to daily move toward your purpose and potential. This only happens when your comfortable being yourself and by making sure you’re not trying to be like anyone else.

3. Find strengths- The people who leave a legacy have found and maximized their strengths. A person’s life purpose and strengths are closely connected and are both important when it comes to leaving a lasting legacy.

4. Serve and add value- Starting, running your race, and finding your strengths all should be to serve and add value to others. The people who leave a legacy have done things that have positively impacted and added value to others. William James said, “The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.”

Questions: What are some other essential factors a person needs to leave a legacy? And what are you doing today so your in a position to leave a lasting legacy?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • I think some of the people who have left great legacy’s didn’t even realize they were doing it- it was part of who they were. They invested in others lives, they gave of themselves and the fruit of the Spirit flowed out of them.

    • TC Avey,

      I agree, I have seen both people who had the intention to leave a legacy and those who did not intentionally try and still left a lasting legacy. It’s a persons heart that really counts when it comes to leaving a legacy. Thank you for reading and sharing.

  • I think to have a lasting legacy, at least one the world, even the lost are in respect of, is a true passion for others. The greatest legacies are the ones who’s focus was on others.

    One small thing I’m doing again is coaching, it is taxing, but it is gratifying.

    Those are some great quotes by the way!

    • Floyd,

      Totally agree those who have a passion to serve and add value to others always leave a legacy. It’s not about our self but others.

      Coaching, that’s really cool!!! I know your hard work will pay off.

      Thank you for adding to the discussion.

  • I’m investing in others. At our youth group, in my family, and with my friends. Pouring knowledge and love into their lives. And trying to encourage them to grow.

    By doing this, I’m creating influence with them and creating a legacy…

    • Great job Joe!!! Keep doing what your doing because your already making a difference in so many people’s life.

  • Do what you love, and love what you do! A legacy isn’t so much about ‘things’ as it is about rememberance… How will people remember you? Fondly? With Contempt? My Dad’s legacy wasn’t material. He left us with his integrity and honesty. I pray that I will be able to do the same.
    This is a great thought provoker, Dan. Especially today (see my post, and you’ll know what I mean). God bless you!

    • Susan,

      What great things to leave behind. It sounds like your dad was a great man!!! I think we should ask the question, “How will people remember me” right now so we can daily be thinking about it.

      I’ll be reading your post after I finish replying to the comments. Looking forward to reading it. Thanks for reading and sharing.

  • This post makes me thinking, Dan. And it moves me to take few specific commitments. Thanks!

    • Joe,

      I’m glad it helped you. Thanks for reading.

  • I think Susan touched on the key factor: Integrity. How you act when no one is watching you. One of the doctors I worked with years ago said it like this (when describing another doctor that was less-than-friendly)– “The way you treat people when you DON’T need something from them says everything about your character.”

    It’s hard to create a legacy when you lack character. Or, strong character, at least.

    • Scott,

      I totally agree about integrity. Those who lack character don’t usually leave much behind. I love what the doctor said, I’m going to save it in my files.

      Thank you for reading and adding value to the discussion.

  • Bryan Ridenour

    I love the quote in parargraph two! yes, I think we get so busy making a life now that we aren’t focusing on impacting the generations to follow. Thanks for sharing this challenging article!

    • Bryan,

      I agree, life has it’s way of causing us to forget about the future or the legacy we want to leave behind.

      Thank you for reading and sharing.

      ps. Do you have a blog URL? I’m looking forward to connecting more. Glad you stopped by.

  • Great thoughts today Dan. Right now I’m working on being debt-free, If I die, I want to leave a legacy of financial freedom (plus I have life insurance). I’m also working to create a business that my wife or kids could step into with out too much work, kind of passive income.

    • Kimanzi,

      That’s a great goal. Being debt-free is something my wife and I have been working on. Have you read Scott’s blog In Due Season yet? If not I highly recommend it. Here’s the URL http://indueseason.net/

      Thanks for sharing bro.

  • I agree with you Dan.

    After all is said and done, it comes down to serving others and adding value.

    Love that quote by Chuck.

    Awesome thoughts today, as always.

    • Ngina,

      Glad you like the post and quote. Thank you for reading and sharing. Let’s keep serving and adding value to others.

  • Love these! Helping others make a difference may be another good one or investing into others.

    • Glad you liked the post Becky. Great addition points.

      Keep writing and posting because your making a difference.

  • Dan, I think leaving a legacy means serving without wanting anything in return. To me a legacy is your voice that people remember, your brand, your vision as you mentioned. I am working on helping as many people as I can come to Christ, and help them in many other ways through my vision and message.

    • Lincoln Parks,

      Amen about your points! True servants serve without wanting or needing recognition. Your doing a great job at making a difference and doing things that will leave a lasting legacy.

      Let’s keep serving, adding value, and moving forward!!!

  • The biggest thing for me is to understand that I don’t leave a legacy, I start one. It’s not about how people see me as I’m dead that helps me make an impact now, it’s what I’m doing today, right now, that impacts my legacy.

    • Jason,

      So true, everyone has the choice to daily start doing things that will leave a legacy. Thank you for pointing that out.

  • Well, here I am again defacing your beautiful website with more of my blasphemy. I guess you have come to expect this sort of thing from me by now, but hey at least you can always rely on me for honest feedback 😉

    I really like your essential factors. Especially 1-3 and most especially 1. Sometimes, the hardest part is just opening the book. Once you get that part out of the way, the rest of it should unfold if it was meant to be.

    I think #4 could be considered relative although I see where you are heading with that, this being a primarily Christian audience. You might not want to hear this but it doesn’t always have to add value in order to be a legacy. When I think of people like Hitler, they have certainly left their legacy and I think it is safe to say that there was no positive value attached..

    It may be knit-picking, but I would say that the goal is to bring something “different” to the plate. Show the world something that they have never seen before. In order to do that you have to open your own mind to see things differently as well, and allow for infinite possibilities that are available to you, or “Think outside the box” to coin a popular phrase. These are the people that create an impact. These are the people that change the world. In short..

    ..Be a trendsetter..

    Cool post.

    • Nowhere man,

      I always enjoy reading your thoughts and insights. Glad to hear honest feedback:)

      I do have many Christians who read my blog but also a lot of non Christians who read as well. My goal is that no matter you faith you can learn and become a better leader and person.

      You bring up a good point about Hitler, he left a legacy but not a good one. I guess I did not clearly mention the legacy primary being a positive/good one. Great point about “bringing something different” and something “the world has not yet seen.” The goal for us should be to be a “trendsetter” very true. Thank you for your honest feedback and insights.

  • Awesome post Dan! I think one of the important factors that can help with legacy is surrounding yourself with those that will encourage and support what you are trying to accomplish. I try my best make sure there are those in my life that I can lean on when I may grow weary or discouraged. We all need a helping “hand” along the way. Thanks Dan.

    • Thank you Darin:) I totally agree, we have to make sure to be around the right people who support and encourage us. Thank you for adding to the discussion.