How do you create a legacy to be proud of?

TRANSCRIPT

[Brent]
Welcome to the Intentional Family Moment. Take a moment with us as we discuss our thoughts on your family questions, then join us in our weekly challenge as we work together to be more intentional in our families.
This is episode 8, hosted by married Coriaria founders Brent and Michelle. This episode is brought to you by Quilted Memoir – Stitching together memories of your loved ones. Learn more at QuiltedMemoir.com.
[Michelle]
Today’s question is “How do you create a legacy to be proud of?”
[Brent]
A lot of that is going to depend on what the legacy is that you’re wanting to create in the first place. I think for some people, the word “legacy” might bring to mind the contributions that they’ve made to society with their work, or how much money they might have in a bank. That’s not really what we’re going for when talking about a legacy with ones’ family.
[Michelle]
So what would you say we are going for?
[Brent]
I’d say we’re going for creating a lasting memory that is imprinted upon your family that lasts for generations. When I think about a legacy, I think about ancestors that I have whose stories are still told and talked about. They make a difference when we think about the sacrifices and the risks that they took to bring our family to where we are today. Those are the types of legacies that are most firm in my mind.
[Michelle]
Fortunately or unfortunately, a lot of those legacies that stand out the most are people who went through incredibly difficult things. If you’re aiming to create a legacy, you should expect to have to face everything and get through it, and stick with your family. That’s what stands out.
[Brent]
Isn’t that what intentionality is all about, though? It’s not going with the flow, but doing something on principle, it’s doing things because of a specific choice – because of an intentional choice.
[Michelle]
Back to one of your earlier questions, “What kind of legacy do you want to create?” What do you want to leave behind?
[Brent]
I would want to leave behind an example of what it looks like to try to make the world a little bit better every day, and to do so in whatever way that looks like. I don’t think I’m perfect at doing that yet, but I am always working on that. I hope that inspires other people to do the same. What about you?
[Michelle]
When I think about legacy, I think a lot of people correlate a legacy with being well-known. I don’t care to be well-known. I care that my kids felt like I loved other people and served other people. I don’t think I can get there if I care about being known for those things.
[Brent]
For sure – you almost have to back into it. So what’s one way that we can challenge ourselves to create a legacy this week and moving forward that we can be proud of?
[Michelle]
In one of our first podcasts we talked about creating a family motto. You can do that for yourself too. Write down what you want to stand for, what you want your family to recognize you for, and then work towards those qualities.
[Brent]
I agree. When we have a stated mission that we are trying to accomplish, and when we take the time to write it down and to refine it, that exercise helps us to better understand our motivation and to better understand what we are trying to accomplish. It reminds me of other exercises in life where you take the time to formally write things down that, you may not necessarily look at that thing every day – you may not frame it on the wall and, even if you did, it doesn’t have to be something that you recite every day in front of the mirror. Although I’m sure that would help, a lot of it comes down to the effort you put into preparing that written statement that goes into deciding which words matter and where they should be, and why that’s important to you.
[Michelle]
One thing you can do to start that process is to take some time to look at your family members – alive or ancestors, or otherwise – and figure out what does stand out to you about them and what you admire about them. Study their lives, and figure out what it is you want to emulate. It’s hard to know who you want to be if you don’t know who you came from.
[Brent]
Absolutely. There are a lot of ways to get started in that vein of family history. There are a lot of companies out there (unaffiliated) that aggregate those stories. Family Search is one, Ancestry is another one that comes to mind. There’s also myHeritage.com that aggregates that type of information. Getting started doesn’t require going to a website. Ideally, it would involve going to a family member and talking with them about those stories, taking the time to listen and to ask questions, and then to come up with what the significance is of those stories is to you.
Thank you for joining us, now go home and change the world by being more intentional with your family.

Challenge: Study the life of your ancestors and make a personal mission statement

Check out this article to get ideas on how to get started.
If you have a question you would like us to discuss in a future episode, submit them here.

 

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