Why would an individual choose to retain a legacy adviser to discuss their life’s legacy on a weekly basis? A client of mine offered the following thoughts today:
1. There is definitely an end: That’s right, an end is coming and it is just a matter of when. Yet, who will remember what you did? When that permanent end comes? There can and will be a stone somewhere and then, what if there is nothing more? Even with a multi-generational trust, what if you did not get to the aspirations that you wanted? … if I had just more time... but, the clock is gone. The end can have less remorse when the right values are exercised … what are the right values for you and your fulfillment?
2. As one gets older, there can be guilt regarding how you got to where they got: Perhaps you may not want to be known or remembered by how you arrived to your success and thus, maybe you leave something of help behind for another or others.
Perhaps you did your best with your belief system given knowing your internal intentions. What did you do and what was the purpose? Was it simply selfishness? Giving generates a lot of joy: is it more joyful to give or to receive? The act of giving can provide spiritual fullness.
3. To rest in peace: If your entire life or much of your life was in torment or stress, what needs to be done or completed prior to your exit? Perhaps you served your time and got your millions but what if you don’t want to be remembered by that alone or some scandal? What if creating a charity foundation can balance the scales in leaving something of value for the next generation? For their frame of reference? Perhaps this ability to finally find and be in peace will be deeper than any image of what will or could be left behind.
For instance, Tiger Woods used to say (paraphrased) in relationship to his wins: “if you are not here to win, you should not even enter the golf competition and waste your time. Second place is the first loser."
Now, years later and older, his mindset and attitude state “I am only a man hitting a little white ball around a golf course. Besides some athletic records, what will I be remembered for in the future? What can I leave here for future generations?" He appears to be focused on his foundation, as a second career after golf.
Perhaps there is a foundation you can start to help people read or to create summer camps. In the end, what you place your values in will show others the character you have. Even 'actor' John Wayne, who portrayed a hero, is remembered well for his legacy … given his timeless morals.