What is a Family Legacy?
It is assumed that we all have a desire to leave something behind that implies that we had a purpose to being alive in our own time and place. For some, there is a desire for fame, or even infamy if necessary; while for others, it is to have been the foundation and bedrock of their family, to ensure that their children have the opportunity to do more and do better than they have done. For some, it is to accumulate wealth to pass forward and for others it is to have accomplished a mission to fix some part of the world. Of course, none of these are mutually exclusive. However, there is value in asking yourself what you want your legacy to be and then determine how you will go about creating it.
I have to admit, this is all a new idea to me. Growing up in the middle of the “me generation”, most of my decisions were based on what I wanted to do in the here and now. I often say, I did not have children because I was too selfish, and then at a late stage in life I did have a child because I am selfish. Until my son Patrick came along, I really didn’t have any ulterior motive or desire to make a lasting impression on anyone or anything.
Don’t get me wrong - I did have a value system. It was based on independence, accountability and reliability. But the reason was so that I could get ahead and achieve the money and time I needed to enjoy personal freedom. Ultimately, my most precious value is freedom.
Eventually I did become a mother and that changed my focus. But not so much as you might think. Independence and freedom are still my driving force. But now I do what I do so that I may pass it on to Patrick. I focus on teaching him:
- That freedom is precious and only belongs to those who work for it (you notice I didn't say "fight" for it).
- That if he applies self-discipline to his activities he will learn how to become more valuable to others.
- That if he is personally responsible and accountable to himself and to others he will become trustworthy.
- That if he is trustworthy, opportunities will come his way that will allow him the independence and freedom to live the life he chooses.
So my legacy is about ensuring that my son grows up to be independent, valuable and trustworthy. When this is done well, the financial part of the legacy is a by-product and one that will be enduring because he is not receiving a financial legacy, he is receiving a value legacy with the financial tools to pass it forward.
What is your Legacy and who it is for?
Original Article: What is Family Legacy|LinkedIn
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