How will you leave a legacy in 2022? It sounds like an impossible question, but if we look at what many people leave behind as their legacy, it’s actually pretty easy to answer the question – if you know how to give back and make an impact on society. In the new year, consider these ways to give back and positively impact the world.
In our busy lives, social impact matters. It is an easy way to give back to society and those less fortunate than us. While it may seem simple, millions of people make social impact part of their daily lives; they do their best to be good citizens of humanity. So, how can we each leave our mark on social progress while making sure we’re also advancing our careers and personal development? Here are five ways to make your mark on history and leave a lasting legacy:
1. Be present
Be present. Reflect on what has happened, what is happening, and what is yet to come.
Being present is often easier said than done. We’re human; we like to fixate on bad news or past regrets and forget about the good things going on around us. Instead of doing that, take time each day (and year) to recognize what you have been blessed with and then use that as fuel for positive change around you.
Focus on gratitude, on being grateful for your spouse and family, your health, your education—all things many do not have.
Be present: Take time each day (and year) to recognize what you have been blessed with and then use that as fuel for positive change around you. Your future self will thank you.
2. Put others first
How can you put others first while addressing everyday challenges, such as paying off debt or setting and achieving career goals? There are simple ways to give back.
Which of the following resonates with you:
donating money, volunteering time, or providing product and/or services
Consider how best to incorporate giving into your daily life by discovering and reflecting on what resonate with you.
3. Ask yourself
When faced with decisions at work or home, ask yourself if any of your actions could negatively affect other people. If so, adjust accordingly.
If I do X, how would that affect Y?
Would it really matter if I did X or Y?
If my boss wanted me to do X and/or Y, what would they say about my decision not to do them?
What are all of my options here, and what is most valuable for me and other people in these scenarios?
It’s okay to have your own interests at heart—but remember that your actions may have negative consequences for others, so make sure you can justify them.
Ask yourself: How am I leaving my mark on humanity? How can I leave a positive impact during every waking moment? It’s one thing to care about what others think—and another entirely to view your daily decisions through an altruistic lens.
4. Watch your language
Do you find yourself referring to the poor when talking about those less fortunate than yourself?
Make a conscious effort to stop saying things like they have nothing or their house burned down—these statements perpetuate the poverty mentality.
It’s time to question your thinking on poverty.
If you make it a point to refer to those who are less fortunate as the poor, then your subconscious biases are shaping how you think about them, even if they don’t always translate into action.
Let’s start by dropping poor. Or better yet, let’s use all our words and say that many people live in poverty — and we can help lift them out of it.
So please join my colleagues and me. Don’t say: The U.S. has more poor people than ever before.
5. Stay humble and grateful
This might be one of the most challenging but most important parts for most people—stay humble when things go well but don't forget where you came from by staying grateful for everything given to you and all that you were able to achieve!
We may never know what our little contributions to life have meant, but we can reflect on them with humility and gratitude. And, if it’s your goal to leave behind a legacy, don’t make a big deal about it; just live an extraordinary life.
Remember: If your family and friends don’t remember what you valued, are you really living out those beliefs?
If you would like your impact to include creating opportunities for those who have hit hard times, then join us! We're ending homelessness one person at a time.