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Is Your Legacy Half Full or Half Empty?

Is Your Legacy Half Full or Half Empty?

By Richard Weijo  

We often have heard the phrase – is your glass-half-full or half-empty?

This often refers to whether we are optimistic or pessimistic. But there is a different interpretation when we consider our legacy to future generations.

Our legacy includes all of the gifts – whether it is money, property, knowledge, traditions, experiences, or values— we want to pass forward to future generations.

Many of us think of legacy only as involving what we have already achieved. However, it can also include all of the wishes and dreams that we are still working on to gift to the future.

So when you think of your legacy – your glass can be both half-full and half-empty.

For example, let’s consider what is half full in your glass already. You undoubtedly have already begun to consider the gifts you want to give to future generations.

But let’s not forget about the generations that came before us! Have their legacies been shared forward to future generations?

Start with the elders within your family.

Like many individuals, they may not have thought much about the legacy they want to share with you. More important, they may have information or knowledge from earlier generations that have not yet been passed on to you. This could include traditions they learned from their parents or grandparents.

Find out if they have family stories & folklore they can share. Write them down to share with your children.

Don’t forget to also engage in a discussion with your friends and family.

While this could be awkward at first; building a legacy is probably not something many have spent time thinking about. You might begin by saying: “I have recently been considering what my (our family) legacy will be to future generations. Have you thought much about the legacy you want to share?” .

Your legacy is more than just what you have created during your lifetime.

It encompasses all of those stories and traditions and values passed forward from prior generations. Make sure to incorporate them in your legacy. But this is only part of your legacy.

Turn around and look to the future…. (and I will cover how to do that in my next post!)

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Richard O. Weijo, PhD, received an undergraduate degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, and went on to receive his MBA and PhD degrees from the University of Minnesota. He was an Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Richard was also a Senior Analyst at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and his most recent corporate position was as a Manager of market research and Director of customer channels at Portland General Electric. Currently, he is a consultant and a writer. He adores his young granddaughter Elsie, whose birth inspired his book, Our Dreams For Our Children: Creating Legacies That Inspire Each New Generation To Achieve A Brighter Future.

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