Achieve this through your highest self, because all you have to do is follow your heart, align your actions with your beliefs, and focus on one moment at a time. Your inner superhero will guide you as you navigate life, and with one act of kindness at a time, you’ll leave your mark.
This isn’t about pride, ego, or illusions of grandeur. It’s about legacy, because legacy is meaningful for:
The example we provide through action will be echoed for generations. How we treat those we love, the impact we make in their lives, and the kindness we show in the hardest of circumstances are the behaviors that repeat.
When people look back at photos of us, what will we be doing? Will you be socializing? Drinking? Active? The way we are remembered are the very same activities our loved ones will do when we are gone to connect with us. These will become the most special family activities for generations to come. So, you have a choice. Do you want your family to connect with a walk in the woods or on the beach? Or would you prefer your family spend time mindlessly watching television, annoyed at one another for not being able to put on everyone’s favorite show.
If you create shared experience through food, meal time will become an important family ritual. It will become an opportunity for connection and a chance to understand one another on a deeper level. The way you eat, the foods you choose, the pace, the mood, etc. all will be repeated. How you approach food and how you treat your body will make an impact. The choice is yours.
Part of your legacy may be the inheritance you leave behind, but more than likely, a large inheritance will create separation/contention amongst those you love, at least at first. Rather, think of your ‘career’ as how you spend your time and the impact you make. Demonstrate mission, diligence, and passion, and these qualities will survive time.
‘Where’ and ‘how’ you choose to live will impact future generations of your family. If your home is an unhealthy place to live, this will be the definition of ‘home’ for your family, and it will be how they find comfort. If you live in an environment full of allergies for everyone in your family — and you can hardly breathe — a strategic relocation of your family during your lifetime may be one of the kindest acts of legacy you consider.
You will be remembered, whether you like it or not. When your time is over, will people remember you for being kind, gentle, and loving? Or the reverse? Consider the impact of taking time to improve your own mindset and how this will create a family map for anyone else who’s looking to do the same. Self-improvement isn’t easy, but it’s worth it.
Your relationship with God, universe, etc. is one of the most wonderful gifts you can offer your family. By developing yourself spiritually, you will find inner peace. You will see others with a fresh perspective, and laugh at actions that used to annoy you. When you realize how connected you are, and you are able to show others how connected they are, they will live a higher quality of life. Even if they are not ready to discover spirituality for themselves, it will pique their curiosity. I remember feeling this way with my grandmother, as she always had a level of peace and happiness that was impossible to disturb. She had faith. Her faith led me on a path of finding my own, and revisiting questions I had as a child and adolescent.
Each category I’ve listed corresponds to improving your health, epigenetically. By making intelligent and compassionate choices, you have the ability to improve your family’s genes over time; perhaps the best legacy. Your children, grandchildren, and their grandchildren will thank you.
Help another human being. Set an example for your family. If you learn of a new and better way of doing things, do it. It’s not too late, and it’s not about pride. This is about love for your family, and the legacy you’ll leave behind.
I’m so grateful for you,
Originally published at drkareem.com on March 3, 2017.