Midlife Legacy - Making it Last Beyond You.
Why do some things in life seem to last forever? Some songs transit generations and remain fresh every time you play the track. Some patterns of fashion or clothes seem to transit generations. Recently, I read about the death of an American rapper at the age of 59. I did not recognize his name, or his face but when I played the first 5 hit songs, I immediately had strong flashbacks into the 90’s and I said, 'Wow!' but yet many younger people are still using his songs for events, shows, soundtrack, and ringtones.
The old James Bond Movie - From Russia with Love (1963). Starring: Sean Connery. Was the The second Bond film and it is a classic today.
Why should a song or movie last so long?
When should we start creating a piece of work, ideas and art that will outlive us and create a lasting legacy? How do we go about creating works of legacy?
What is the mindset that inspires lasting legacy?
How do I sustain the growth and speed of my work when I am gone?
Should we be thinking about this at all?
If we take a look across every sphere of life you will find different things representing lasting legacy- from music, art, books, poems, literature, ideologies, culture, and so on that suggest that we can build a legacy around anything no matter how small or simple.
That means it is possible and anyone can do it.
We need to find purpose beyond ourselves and our immediate family, set on a course, a mission to inspire, bless or change our community or a people, to better the living standards of children, boys, girls, and women, doing something with a mind to improve the life of another person.
We should teach our children about legacy and help them think beyond themselves and see far into the generations ahead. Thinking long term and thinking legacy needs to be taught or learnt. What legacy should you develop at midlife? How will you balance the need for living in the moment and creating legacy?
Firstly, look around you, what challenges can I solve for my community? What are the needs that I can create solutions for? Who am I called or designed to help?
These set of questions, will help you funnel your skills, passions, and resources towards a need with immediate or long term impact. Start doing it immediately, start small, start now. It might be just drawing, designing, or writing your ideas or talking to someone about it. Whatever you do, do it with a heart of gold and with enduring standards as your mindset.
Secondly, assess your skills, experiences, passion, contacts, exposures, education and beliefs. What do you find yourself naturally drawn towards, regardless of benefits you still do it and you want to continue to do it after your active career/ work life.
Express your thoughts to your partner about your legacy, passions and seek feedback, create something or a project out of your thinking. Start investing your time and effort into this new idea. Create schedules and resources around the project, and spend at least 45 minutes daily on your legacy project.
Thirdly, as you gain traction and a few results, gradually gain a new identity with your legacy project. Think, develop a new mindset, that you are called to serve, see beyond success, see impact and significance of your life on many generations ahead of you.
Begin to re-inspire and improve yourself.
“Don't be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life.” -Natalie Babbitt.
Decide that “I am a gift to future generations”. You need to become intentional about your purpose, focus, and build a legacy. Make each day count towards a bigger future and impact. Life is to be enjoyed, shared and lived. It's less about what you have and keep, but what you can share to impact other people around you.
Fourthly, rebrand yourself, become known for your kindness, support for others, look at everyone you meet as an opportunity to share your daily legacy and to push little drops of impact.
Do not allow bitterness, anger, fear, sense of lack, perfectionism, criticism and defeatism stop you from creating daily value. Eliminate thoughts, actions or behaviors that dilute your impact. Become truly happy with yourself, life and people around you, in spite of the imperfections. Start approaching everyone you come in contact with like they matter. Someone you meet today may just become the next big link to a different world you might have never experienced.
Midlife legacy is a wake up call to life and the beauty of living with purpose and great vision. Make your midlife count.
Please Read our post on Midlife Dilemma to see another view of midlife legacy.