International Women’s Day is more than just a significant date to celebrate during March. It’s a time to celebrate how far women have come while acknowledging that there is still work to be done. However, this year is a good time to reflect on what impact women should be leaving for the new generation. After all, the global pandemic has not stopped all the wonderful work that women do as mothers, teachers, creators, and mentors. It seems that many women have thrived or learned to be kinder to themselves and others throughout the past year as well.
But in this strange age of self-discovery and actualization, perhaps it is apt that we ask ourselves about the significance of all that we’re doing. What are we building through our lives now that can be left for future generations?
Why It Matters
Leaving behind a legacy is part of living a purpose-driven life. It gives our existence direction and pushes us to be considerate as we realize that in some small way, people’s lives have been touched by ours. Whether we raised wonderful children, taught and mentored innovation-driven professionals, or created beautiful projects, leaving behind something that endures long after we are gone is an essential part of living a meaningful life.
It is human nature to hope that your life matters. There is nothing arrogant about wanting to leave a footprint that lasts longer than your mortality, no matter what your role in society is. While you might not be able to alter the universe, you can still make a difference in your own small way. There are different ways to forge a legacy, whether you do it through your career or as part of another cause. The goal is to touch lives and enrich them in whatever way you can, as long as you live truthfully and meaningfully to bring out the best in people.
How to Start Building Your Own Legacy
Perhaps one of the most rewarding ways to leave a legacy is to be a mentor to others. As women, people often go to us for counsel or advice as we offer a different perspective on the world. Mentoring others does not require you to be a teacher by profession. It simply requires you to have more experience and wisdom than someone else when it comes to a certain subject or topic.
You can also learn a lot from mentoring someone. Your mentee can encourage the same amount of introspection and self-development in you that you do for them. The passing down of knowledge and support will also be appreciated and remembered by your mentees for years to come.
Pursue Your Passions
The things that you love the most in the world can also be your legacy. Chasing after your dreams and unapologetically doing what you love gives you a clearer picture of your destiny. It makes your life more colorful and meaningful, and you influence others to do the same thing. Seeing another woman pursue her passions is infectious and often encourages people to look for and pursue their own. Perhaps you make something out of your passions like a meaningful career, a business you can pass on to others, or something to remember you by. The point is, going after what you love makes a difference in your life and can inspire changes in others’ lives because they see you as an example, or a paragon worth following.
Support Causes You Believe In
One great way to leave a legacy behind is to dedicate your life to making the world a better place. Participating in movements that strive to uplift others and give voices to the voiceless can change things for the better, even if you don’t see them right away. The fact that you put in an effort and genuinely care for what you support already makes an impact. In a world where so many people blindly follow the crowd or only appear to be supportive, actually taking action can contribute more to society.
Whether you are using your own privilege as a way to bring more attention to these causes or support them because you have a personal stake in them, doing it genuinely will help people remember you. Your support may seem insignificant to you, but it can mean the whole world to the people that you’re trying to help.
This International Women’s Day, let’s remember to gather our stories, our beliefs, our standards, and our ethics. By doing so, we can leave behind positive stories that will inspire future generations. May we strive to live purposeful lives with enough foresight to remember that we need to give our next generation all resources and tools to manage the challenges ahead.
Are you still looking for your life’s purpose? Contact Mary Jo today.