How To Build Your Legacy

Before we dive into the meaning of Legacy and our options on how we can start building them, let’s meet the professionals who made this resource possible. 

Lisa Dvorin

Lisa is a lifestyle consultant with an amazing wellness company called Vfinity. They offer a program that is different from most diet plans out there, it's more of a lifestyle than a diet. It's also scientifically based and where small changes make a significant difference. Her goal is to help others lose weight, regain their basic wellness, and live their best lives so that they can leave a great legacy.

Learn more about Lisa: Find Your Wellness, Lose Weight, and Feel Great with Lisa Dvorin

Candido Rodriguez

Candido is a financial advisor with Norwegian Mutual working with businesses and individuals who would like to help their families and community to grow and improve by developing a personal plan. Using the resources they already have, Candido helps them make their dent in the universe and make changes that they can see towards the future.

Learn more about Candido: Achieve Your Long-Term Goals with Candido Rodriguez

Jill Sarkozi

Jill is the founder of Safekeeping Stories and creator of Storykeeping, a reflective writing method that makes it easy to create a legacy story. In this method, there are no special writing skills required. They have online workshops that teach people how to create a multi-generational family story in about a dozen pages.

Jill spent about a decade developing these storykeeping methods through research and feedback from workshop participants. She has developed a Facilitator Training Program and now, other people are leading storykeeping workshops on their own. She spends a lot of her time speaking with organizations interested in offering the program. She loves working with people, helping them preserve their story, or as to how Jill likes to say, connect the dots to the past in a way that leaves a legacy for the future. 

Learn more about Jill: safekeepingstories.com

 

Building our Legacy 

They say life is short, and with the current pandemic, it has never been more true. A lot of us created a list of the things we want to do before we die. However, have you also asked yourself what are the things you want to leave behind?

  1. Most often, when people think of legacy, the first thing they think of is wealth and passing on money.  And with that, you should keep in mind that “Health is Wealth” too.

Set an example and take control of your health. As you get older, you're sending a great message to your children and your loved ones. By having your health at the best level, having energy, and being able to live your best life, you are able to leave the beliefs and accomplishments you have.

It's great to be around and to be able to be multi-generational. You can sit around the table and be able to exchange that information with your loved ones. 

No matter what shape you're currently in, if you're looking in the mirror and not liking what you see, there's no time like the present to take control of your health.  Change your outlook in life for today and for the decades to come.

Lisa offers a free plan that takes small lifestyle changes that cut through all of the confusion. It is a plan that you can adapt to your everyday routine, with small changes that can make big differences.

2. Legacy is the impact of the actions we take today on our family and on the community after we're gone.

Usually, when we think about the word legacy, we see it as something that we don't have control of and we can’t plan for. However, you can define your legacy through Estate Planning. By introspection, you have to decide and make sure that you know what it takes on you and who you really want to benefit from it. 

Ask yourself these three questions from Candido:

  • What drives you? What are the forces inside you that move you?
  • Who do you want to impact? who do you want to help? 
  • What kind of mark do you want to make? What is that small change, that little hinge that moved that big door?

Answering these questions will help you figure out what changes you want to bring to the world. 

Do you need to have a lot of money to leave a legacy?

The answer is NO. Again, your legacy is the impact of how you lived your life. It is how your kids grow up and how they carry your name. Money can be a part of the legacy but the important thing is the intention that you have. Institutions like Rolling Thunder make it possible for your name to continue existing even if you're not here anymore. Leaving even a small amount of money that can grow over time and pay for your grandkids or great-grandkids in college, can be part of your legacy.

3. We're all leaving a legacy story whether we know it or not. And the ultimate legacy gift that you can give is to know your ancestors. 

We want to preserve our parents' or our grandparents' story. But what we don't realize is that their story is our story, and our story is our kid's story. 

Making a legacy story consciously and intentionally can feel overwhelming. That is why Jill created the storykeeping program to provide an easy and clear path forward for people. They let people consider stories they've inherited and who they become from being in their family. Then, they show them how to impart bigger ideas about what it means to be in their family.

It's not about creating a perfect picture of a family. In fact, to have a healthy family narrative you actually need to have the pain and the joy. A really good example of this is the program that they designed for the holocaust and the human rights education center. It is where children of holocaust survivors were guided to preserve these very painful stories and they realized how the holocaust had impacted their own lives. They paint a full picture of the family story and capture the strengths too.

Studies show that how we tell our family stories actually matters a great deal to our health. Also, kids who know multi-generational stories have less anxiety and greater well-being. 

People this day and age are not sitting around the table like they used to. We don't have close proximity and the kinds of exchanges that we used to have. People are finding themselves on ancestry.com trying to find out about their ancestors. Therefore, if you know something about your grandparents, you have to write that down in a few pages and give it to your kids. With that, your grandchildren are in touch with a hundred years of your personal history and they don't have to go around looking in the public records to try and find out who they are and where they come from.

In their own words, know firsthand how they face their own difficulties, what brought them joy, and what are the life lessons they learned. No matter what kind of family you come from you don't have to be a Rockefeller to bequeath emotional wealth to your family.

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