As part of the ReFIRE process I write about leaving a legacy. In response to one of those articles someone commented that they had no interest in what their legacy might be. They went on to inform me that when they were dead nothing mattered to them. How selfish.
Selfish people have no interest on the subject of how to make your mark on the next generations. But if you are reading this article, I hope you get it. I hope you realize how important it is to leave behind a positive legacy for those who follow you.
The purpose of this article is to give you a quick introduction to five practical ways to make your mark on the next generations.
You Can Make Your Mark on the Next Generations by Writing Your Autobiography.
All of my grandparents are now gone. At this point in life I find myself wishing I had sat down and asked them questions about their life. But now, it’s too late, and all of their untold stories and adventures are gone.
Consider writing your autobiography so the future generations will not feel that same sense of unrecoverable loss. Your life IS a story. It is a story unique to you. Whether it is long or short doesn’t really matter. Write down what you consider to be the important highlights of your life. It is your opportunity to pass on your life lessons to the future generations.
If you want to read a few tips on how to get started I suggest you check out Writing Your Autobiography Has Never Been Easier by Margaret Manning.
You Can Make Your Mark on the Next Generations by Investing in Their Lives.
Too often we spend our lives investing in careers and assets while ignoring children and grandchildren. Remind yourself that careers and assets falls into the category of stuff. But it is through the lives of our descendants where we can best leave a legacy.
Find ways to invest in the lives of your kids and grandkids. Spend time with them. Watch for teachable moments and make the most of them. Let them see how you live you life. Lead by example.
Focus on the Family has a helpful article called Family Legacies which explains how your mark on the generation falls into five categories.
You Can Make Your Mark on the Next Generations by Finishing Well.
I once knew a man who lived an exemplary life. He had respect in the community and love from his family. But later in life he had an affair. Everything came crashing down. He failed to finish well.
If you want to make your mark on the next generation plan on finishing well. Get your own life in order. Climb out from under your debt. Make amends with people who are at odds with you. Focus on ways to be a positive example.
Bob Buford has written a great book on the subject which will give you many ideas on how to finish well. Clicking Finishing Well: The Adventure of Life Beyond Halftime will take you to the Amazon product page.
You Can Make Your Mark on the Next Generations by Refusing to Give Up on Your Dreams.
Quitters leave behind the wrong kind of legacy. I cringe at the thought of my kids and grandkids remembering me as the one who gave up. This is not the legacy I want to leave behind.
Determine to keep on dreaming, keep on fighting, keep on believing. Too many people, as they near the retirement chapter of life, decide it’s time to coast. They give up on life. From their perspective life now becomes about them. Making a difference in their world no longer interests them.
If you read many of my articles you know I am passionate about this. Check out this article which sums up a never give up attitude. It’s called Don’t Resign for Less of Life, ReSIGN for More of Life.
You Can Make Your Mark on the Next Generations by Making the Most of Each Moment.
You know this but let me remind you of an important truth: time is running out. No one wants to think about it but if you’re of Baby Boomer age the click is ticking. We used to think we had all the time in the world. Like a line from the Rolling Stones we thought, “Time is on our side.” This is no longer true; time is no longer on our side.
“The trouble is, you think you have time.” Buddha
What it is you want to accomplish before your last breath. You will not want to do this but force yourself. Ask this important question, “If I died next week what would be the one thing I wished I had accomplished?” Go and do that one thing. Find the time, the money, and obliterate all excuses. Make every moment count.
If you are going to make your mark in a positive way in the lives of your kids and grandkids it will take effort. But the payoff is huge. You will leave behind a positive impact which will guide your kids and grandkids for years to come. Love will find a way to make it happen.
When you think about how to make your mark on the next generations, what is the biggest challenge you face?