The Amazing Secret To Create A Legacy That Counts

Question: What would you like people to say about you after you’ve gone

Creating A Legacy “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

The dictionary defines a legacy as something that is handed down from an ancestor or a predecessor from the past. Our legacies will be much more than just an amount of money or property left to someone in a will. Our legacy is accumulated one day at a time. Our legacy is the final aggregate of the words we have said. A legacy is the accrual of the kindness and generosity we shared. Our true legacy will not be the sum of money passed on at the end of life, but the sum total of the impact we have had, positive or negative, on others during the years we lived.

There is an amazing secret action you can do today, that will help you create a legacy that counts tomorrow.

I visited Plymouth in England to see my son who is at University there and had a chance to wander the streets and capture something of the place. It is an interesting and historic city. On the harbour wall, in the Barbican area, there are many plaques celebrating the legacy of its maritime past. They mark the place where Sir Fancis Drake played bowls on Plymouth Hoe as the Spanish Armada approached. Another remembered the devoted believers who sailed from Plymouth heading for Santiago de Compostella in Spain, wearing a shell as they set off to walk “The Way” as pilgrims, something I hope to do one day. Yet another marks the place where in 1620 The Pilgrim Fathers left Plymouth on the “Mayflower” heading for the New World. Yet even more celebrate the brave sailors who set forth from Plymouth heading for distant lands such as Australia, New Zealand and Newfoundland.

5 Words That Speak Volumes

The plaque that caught my eye more than others was the poignant words that wrote the legacy of Chris “Yorkie” Welburn.

Leaving a legacyI would like to have met Chris Welburn. He sounds like the kind of man that significantly impacted the people he was around. I like being around being people who love and serve others. Chris obviously loved much and was much loved. He respected the skills of others as well as being respected by those he worked alongside. The five adjectives (well sort of five) give only a glimpse of the kind of man he was, but he sounds like he was fun to be around, a man who was courageous, confident, and fearless; ready to take risks. Anyone who choses a life on the seas needs those qualities in abundance. A short life, a significant legacy. I would like to have met Chris Welburn. I read further that he was fatally injured in an accident when a beam fell from the boat on to him and sadly, he died from these injuries. Of course the creation of a plaque on the wall is not the legacy he leaves, but man he was whose name is on the plaque created the legacy.

A 100% Certainty

One day, they will tell or write a legacy about us, what would you want them to say? “I would like them to say that I was ……” Whatever words filled in the blank won’t be said tomorrow, unless you make the choice to take action today to create your legacy.

“I would like them to say that I was ……”

  • “… a man who loved his family.” How can you show love to your family today through a specific action?
  • “… was a woman who cared and nurtured her friendships.” When was the last time you wrote an encouraging note to that friend going through a tough time at work?


  • “… the kind of man that never took longer than 20 seconds to return a text message, daily brought back work to do at home and would read to his kids once every three months.” What do you need to empty out of your briefcase?
  • “…. a woman who would always answer her mobile phone, no matter who she was talking to, the importance of her ring tone always overtook the priority of the person facing her.” Listening with your eyes creates trust.

It’s All About The Choices Today

Today, the choices we make will determine our legacies tomorrow. From the latest research undertaken, 100% of people finally reach a day when they don’t live. Someone, somewhere, will tell stories about the people we were. They may not erect a plaque in our memory, but for those who love us much, the memory is non the less as public. The amazing secret to create a legacy that counts is this – every day take one action that will fulfil the stories you want to be told about you. Day by day, choice by choice, action by action, the compound affect of all those myriad of choices become the legacy we leave.

Don’t expect the inaction of today to mysteriously transform into the legacy you want to leave tomorrow. (Tweet This) What choice do you need to make today to create your legacy tomorrow, please write and let me know, it would be great to start a conversation together and who knows, I may just be able to help you in those choices.


Posted on by Peter Billingham in Blog Posts, Legacy

About Peter Billingham

Leader, Learner, Speechwriter, Storyteller, Author. a.k.a. 'The Artful Speaker' Enjoy working on social action projects, Toastmasters, films & adventure travel.

2 Responses to The Amazing Secret To Create A Legacy That Counts

  1. Neill

    A SMILE IS THE SHORTEST DISTANCE BETWEEN ALL PEOLE, & A TRULY UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE — loved the chat, serendipity strikes again —

    • Peter Billingham

      HEY! What a great name – the “feralfogey” – I too loved the chat, made me smile all day – your ministry is certainly working!! See you on my trikke soon! Ha Ha

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