The last time I checked, the hashtag of #legacy was utilized four million times on Instagram. Compared to five years ago, this trend was just emerging in financial literature and ads.
This exponential pattern tells me that the concepts of creating change for the better as well as leaving something behind are entering more household conversations. With this year's pandemic and focus on healthcare, a new awareness is growing as well as misconceptions.
Below are the top seven legacy myths and the corresponding realities I, with my team, have observed in discernment in the past five years.
Myth # 1: If others approve of me enough, I will succeed by association. The reality: A foundation of positive self esteem combined with the good energy of self-care will sustain the spark or light within. Or, find at least one true friend who believes in your best potential. The association with successful people does not guarantee results equal to theirs. Therefore, following others only goes so far vs. being a self starter. Success does not rub off automatically. Hobnobbing will not work unless the basic principles are personally learned.
Myth # 2: Environment doesn’t matter. The reality. Environment can have more of an influence than genes and DNA. Most people will return to their source of inspiration for anchoring or insights because their current environment does not encourage or motivate them. Why not update all elements of your environment? Some people believe that marketing is the great equalizer – I believe money is the great equalizer when you “invest & use it wisely”. People need a positive environment because it requires more than money to garner lasting results as well as momentum with a legacy.
Myth # 3: With just the right tools, the avalanche will arrive to achieve success. The reality: Very few people will use the tools given by any guide, unless they also have the practice each day in repetition. The foundation is discipline. Good leaders understand and practice this discipline. People who have the mindset of “followers” rarely learn this discipline. Without it, individuals will keep attempting to relearn the tools or see any guide's attempts as entertainment.
Myth # 4: It must be magic that certain individuals receive results. The reality: Its takes more than magic to manifest breakthroughs of any level in developing as well as executing a legacy. Most people will not take their growth seriously and commit to their evolution to run on their own; they will return back to what they know because it meets a need for certainty. What is familiar becomes a habit or addictive comfort zone, unless there is enough leverage, interest or pain to break the pattern and elevate.
Myth # 5: You have to pay for education. The reality: The internet offers a platform for many content creators in their complimentary knowledge ... a library at your fingertips, when you focus on what can build your skills. Many credible individuals give information out for free. While the Ivy League schools have renowned professors and branding, access to information is becoming more accessible to those who will invest their time researching. This is where the ability to critically think separates truth from the illusions in allowing others to think for us vs. figuring it out ourselves. A self starter reads and studies. For those who are struggling, the route of university professors is not the only path - there are many resources.
Myth # 6: I can live my dreams through my children. The reality: While many parents live vicariously through their kin, the kids will be limited to the knowledge of the parents. If the parents don’t pass on all they know, the next generations will be at a disadvantage. Grandparents and parents need to teach their children to be motivated, to look "in curiosity" at life and to show first hand the value of more than just greed and money.
Myth #7: You need a perfect plan more than relationships and trust. The reality: Trial and error is the school of hard knocks. Unknown factors happen each year & decade from pandemics to economic changes. Thus, one relies on the currency of trust with relationships. Time spent building and maintaining relationships become a foundation in keeping strategic alliances. Legacy myths are the byproduct of entrenched blinders both consciously and unconsciously.
Other legacy myths include that one has to be a professional athlete, celebrity or in the wealthiest 1% to even think about or reach for a legacy. Yet, history has shown us time and again that creativity, new inventions and breakthroughs are not just for someone else. Remember that saying about the hand with the finger pointing outwards has three pointing back.
We, our next generations and our planet need us to step into our ability to shift both within as well as with the influence we can affect with others.
For assistance overcoming these myths, contact Legacy Planning.