Create Your Legacy One Step at a Time

03/03/2015 12:07 pm ET | Updated May 03, 2015
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"Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you." ― Shannon L. Alder

We all reach a moment in our lives where we start searching for a purpose. A purpose that is greater than ourselves. A purpose where our life touches other lives in a meaningful way to the extent that they pass on the goodwill that they had received from us. The question is, as you move forward where you do see yourself or would like to see yourself ending up? Will you act to create a life of value and purpose with the days you have left? We all want to do this, how you want to accomplish this, is your choice.

When people think of a legacy they are always thinking about what possessions they want to leave behind. However, if we all decide to live a virtuous life, a life reflecting our values, we can be assured that will be our destiny in life and eventually our legacy. Write down the values that define you and what you stand for. In the book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, the second habit mentioned is 'to always start with the end in mind'. Once you know where you want to end up, you can start on how to get there. To begin with the end in mind, is to begin today with the image of the end of your life as a frame of reference. Everything else is examined in that context.

By keeping your purpose clearly in mind you can make certain that you are reaching this goal each day of your life in a meaningful way. You need to take action. In this case making every effort to live your values on a daily basis. What you do is, a reflection of what you value most and your actions will speak louder than your words. A life of purpose isn't something you envision and then that's the end of it. It's something you create by taking purposeful actions. If your desire is to be so, then make a list of virtues that you need to practice now, in order to reach your goals.

Develop a personal manifesto, a personal mission statement that drives your actions going forward. Our personal ethos is a way of being who we are and how we want others to be impacted by our actions. The basic idea is simple, everything is created twice once in your mind the plan, the blueprint and then in reality. Are you living in integrity with your deepest values today? To start it could be as simple as love all, serve all or living in a state of gratitude at all times. Likewise however, you can choose to bring forth these values of patience, kindness, humility and peace begin by practicing them today, as Aristotle said "We are what we repeatedly do."

What is the number one thing you could start doing now that would have the most positive impact on your life and the people around you? Let's start with that today. Practice your virtues daily and do it with conviction. Practice like they are rituals, rituals become habits and habits lead you to your destiny and your destiny is your legacy. By starting with the end in mind you know you will get there.