What Will Your Legacy Be?

Last week I attended another funeral. Between attending and officiating I’ve been to my share, and then some, maybe you have too. This one was a close friend’s dad. I knew him too and I’m grateful that I was able to spend time with him earlier this year. Sometimes the most precious memories are the simplest ones.

The service was a celebration of his life and having spoken at my own dad’s funeral, I empathized with my friend who was given the responsibility of representing the siblings, capturing who his dad was and why he meant so much to so many. He did a great job and I laughed and cried.

Perhaps like no other situation, a funeral gives us reason to pause and think about our own lives. Not just our mortality but to me something that is equally important…that is, how we want to be remembered.

How Do You Want To Be Remembered?

Like I said, at a funeral it’s easy to think about these things because we are naturally confronted with big, life questions.

  • Why am I here?
  • Does my life have meaning?
  • Am I making the most of my life?

The problem is, it’s just as easy to dismiss these topics as soon as we hit the refreshment table (and those sandwiches with the crust cut off). Also, these types of questions can seem more philosophical in nature than practical, but I think they are significant.

How we are remembered is really the legacy we leave behind.

Webster’s Dictionary defines legacy as, “a gift by will especially of money or other personal property: bequest…She left us a legacy of a million dollars.”

But a legacy is so much more than money…

  • It’s what people believe about us
  • It’s how we made them feel
  • It’s what we taught them
  • It’s the impact we had on their lives
  • It’s the values we lived by

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

Legacy is what we talk about at funerals but it’s worth considering long before the end of our lives. And legacy is more than putting in time, it’s about making the most of the time we have for the sake of others.

How Do You Want To Be Remembered?

Here are 3 easy steps you can take to get clarity about who you are, who you want to be and the legacy you want to leave.

Step 1

Consider the various roles you live out now

  • Parent
  • Spouse
  • Child
  • Co-worker
  • Boss
  • Friend
  • Teammate
  • Other

Step 2

Start with the end in mind. 

Write a brief paragraph detailing what you hope others will say about you for each of your roles. (Imagine you are sitting and listening in at your own funeral…it’s not as morbid as it may sound…honest.) What are people saying about you?

Step 3

Create a plan to get you there. 

Q. What kind of person do you have to be, to leave the legacy you want to leave?

Q. What things will you need to stop doing?

Q. What things will you need to begin to do, that you’re not doing now?

Q. What difference will these changes make for you and others in your life?

Q. What is hindering you from making the changes you want to make?


It’s been said, that our future is determined by our daily choices. Deciding ahead of time how you want to be remembered will determine the choices you make today.

Q. How do you want to be remembered and what are you doing to ensure you will be?

Feeling stuck? Not sure what to do next? Your life not where you want it to be? Life coaching can help. Contact me to arrange a free 45-minute discovery call. Let’s talk.


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