What’s your legacy?

June 20, 2012 Katja Presnal


They say that integrity and reputation are what people say about you after you leave the room.

What about your legacy?

Legacy is “something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past” and what’s said about you after you leave this world. It can also be seen as parenting legacy – what we are leaving behind or teaching our children. I don’t know about you, but this parenting stuff has made me a heck of a better person.

I believe that you should not live life to the fullest in the moment without worrying about the future or future generations. You have a responsibility in this life, and you will be leaving your mark and your legacy when you leave. Living Skimbaco lifestyle is living in the moment responsibly and allowing you to leave a legacy you can be proud of.

Many of us would like to think that it’s those long conversations about life that we have with our children that teach them the most, you know, those where you sit down together after Sunday dinner and say “son/daughter, let’s have a talk” and you try to pour all of your learned wisdom to your mini-me. The learned “wisdom” about life you have acquired (from Oprah, Dr Phil, church, movies or reading..), and you know in theory, but in fact don’t really practice in every day life.

In theory you would really like to turn the other cheek when someone hits you, in reality you smack them right back (metaphorically speaking).

In theory you would like to be honest and trustworthy and treat people like you want to be treated, but it’s often easier to say a little white lie than tell the truth.

In theory you know a lot of ways we are supposed to do “the right thing” and as a parent you want to teach those to your children, and as a human being you want others to think of you and your life values the certain way.

In theory you also have a lot of excuses for not doing the right thing, after all sinning is part of being a human, everyone does it. It’s easy to speed on the highway, not to recycle, not to help someone in need or do bad choices in everyday life, because everyone else is doing it too. In fact, you can always find someone who is worse than you and you can say “at least I’m not doing… like such and such”. We love reading celebrity gossip and somebody failing – it makes us feel so much better about ourselves and the mistakes we make, doesn’t it?

Well, the fact is.. you don’t have to worry about what kind of legacy “such and such” are leaving behind, but you do have to think about what kind of legacy you are leaving behind you.

Newsflash: your legacy isn’t in the “life lessons” discussions.

I would like Skimbaco and my written word to be my legacy – and it probably will be to people who don’t know me, but for my children it will be what they learned from me in everyday life and from my everyday actions. The things that I truly practiced and not just preached. Your legacy isn’t written in a few blog posts, even books, or said in a few talks or even speeches. Yes, they are part of what you can leave behind, but your legacy is much more.

Your legacy builds from the small everyday things you do and practice.
Your legacy builds from the courageous and brave things you do in life.
Your legacy is tied closely in with your integrity and your integrity is what you do when you think nobody is watching.
Your legacy comes from your actions, not just from your words.
Your legacy isn’t always what you want it to be – your legacy builds from your entire being and doing, it is not just the “best highlights” of you.

We can not control which are the things people remember of us from. Some people only enter our lives shortly, yet we can make a lifelong impact on those people and they will see our legacy based on a very narrow view of us. Some people are with us for a long time, and they see what we practice on everyday basis, and what kind of values we truly have, they will see our legacy based on a more holistic view. Are these two legacies you leave behind similar – or light years apart?

I want you to be happy, and enjoy life in the moment – but do so in a way that your happiness and the good things you do, accomplish and learn in life will transfer to others via your legacy. Think how you want to be remembered, and what life lessons you want to teach others. Good things in life multiply when shared, and your positive legacy will insure generations after you will continue the positive impact you are making into this world.

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Katja Presnal

Katja Presnal shows how to live globally inspired life to the fullest and plan your dream life. Katja owns Presnal5 strategic marketing intelligence agency and wants to help marketing professionals to combine a dream career and dream life via freelance work.Katja is an award-winning marketing strategist, and a well-known speaker. Katja has lived in five different countries, and seven states in the USA. Her three children were all born in different countries within three years. When not working or jet-setting the world, Katja is at home cooking big family dinners.She has been featured in NY Times, Glamour, Redbook, Fodor's, Forbes and Woman's Day magazines among many other national and international publications and written for MTV3 and Lifetime TV networks.

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