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3 Practical Ways to Leave Your Legacy When You’re Gone

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leave your legacy

Do you wish you could live forever, enjoy your life without a thought of dying? You can live a hundred years and more, fresh and sound – but, of course, in a different way – by being unforgettable.

By taking certain actions while we’re still alive, death would mean nothing other than two doors from which you pass through one and come out of the other. Your body won’t be physically available, though, everywhere your traces are found. You live in the hearts of people. How do you achieve that?

Below are the 3 practical ways you can leave your legacy when you’re gone:

1. Give more than you receive

Affecting the lives of people around you is a sure way to be unforgettable. When you make people happy by being responsible and responsive to them and their needs, you’re creating a timeless life for yourself.

Rather than turn on your heels anytime a friend asks a favour of you, why not show at least you care, even if you cannot render that assistant at that moment. Sometimes, only a little smile is worth more than gold you give as gifts. And you don’t have to be rich or influential to make an impact, you just have to develop a sense of giving. Often times, we give out what we value most to people not knowing that we’ve received manifolds in return.

Life is give and take. When you stretch a hand of goodness to others, tens of thousands of such hands will stretch towards you too. Even if you don’t live to receive it, your family one day will. To make an impact is indeed to live.

“When you love people and have the desire to make a profound, positive impact on the world, then will you have accomplished the meaning to live.” – Sasha Azevedo

2. Write a book

Books, the most powerful tool for positive change, can make you eternal. As you still read Shakespeare and Donne and Keats, even though they are long gone, so will you forever remain fresh and alive on the lips of people whom your ideas through books have impacted.

So, would you like to live forever? Write a book. Memories can fade away, but memories of authors remain indelible in the minds of their readers. Having your name imprinted on a book as the author can make you live longer than your time.

In classrooms, at intellectual workshops and in many places you could never have been to, your name is being pronounced, your ideas being discussed and your impact being felt by people who never met you but learned about you through your book. That’s the power of writing.

3. Teach what you know

No, I don’t mean you should be a professional teacher to do this. The truth is, believe it or not, you’re a teacher. It’s just that we don’t know that somehow somewhere people are watching our steps. They’re following our examples. We just might not realise it, but it’s happening.

For instance, has anyone ever opened up to you about how you inspired him or her? Told you of how following your steps has helped them achieve something? If that happens to you, congrats! You’re on your way to becoming timeless. This is because even when you are no more, people remember you for good things.

Let’s now take a look at the real deal – teaching people what you know. Ask teachers to tell you the amazing things about teaching, and you’d probably hear something like, you receive just as much as (or even more than) you give. And that is the plain truth. When we teach others what we know, we do not only help them grow, we’ve also helped boost our own confidence and printed our names in their hearts.

In the end, what matters isn’t why we lived, what matters most is how we lived. But between living and leaving this wonderful world, a thin line exists – impact. Impact lives now as you live, so that when you eventually leave, rest assured that your memories live on.

“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” – Audrey Hepburn

How are you trying to impact the world? Leave your thoughts below!

Sodiq Yusuf is a freelance writer and blogger out to make a difference. He is the founder of ComsoyHub, a resource of opportunities for all difference makers. He believes there is a genius in every man. Connect with Sodiq on Facebook.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. olaniyan liza olufunke

    Mar 1, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    This is a reminder about why we are here. Thanks Yusuph.

  2. Liza Olaniyan

    Feb 23, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    Really, this is inspiring and a great reminder. A friend sent this to me and it’s just so real to me. Good!

  3. Banke

    Sep 1, 2016 at 9:38 am

    Hmmm… Thought-provoking. True words there.

  4. Sodiq Yusuf

    Aug 31, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    Hi Yusuph,

    Glad you loved it. Thanks.

  5. Yusuph

    Aug 31, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    Nice write up that inspires. I love this

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3 Simple Hacks That Can Recharge Your Willpower and Help You Perform Better at Work

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How many times did you wake up feeling like you could conquer the world? You set ambitious goals for the day, you put on your best attire and walked out the door with a big smile on your face but eventually, life took over. Traffic, emails, work, family, and everything else you have around slowly but steadily started to drain your energy and made you feel exhausted.

You run out of battery, and the only solution that seemed viable was to rely on more caffeine. When that stopped working, all the temptations around you started to look much more appealing, and that sense of drive and commitment you had before slowly faded away. This is you running out of willpower.

Willpower: what is it? Why is it limited?

The American Psychology Association describes willpower as “the ability to resist short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals.” In the book “The Willpower Instinct”, Dr. Kelly McGonigal, explains how every person’s willpower is limited, and slowly depletes throughout the day. The more “willpower challenges” you face, the quicker your reserve drains. Dr. McGonigal divided the different types of willpower challenges you might encounter in three categories:

  • I will: We face this type of challenge whenever we should do something, but we simply don’t feel like getting it done right now.
  • I won’t: We face this challenge when we try to resist temptation, or we try to keep cool in stressful situations.
  • I want: This is a particular type of challenge where we keep track of our long term goals, dreams, and desires. In this instance, we feel like we should take action right now to come one step closer to the goal. 

It’s easy to recognize it when you face a willpower challenge because you literally “feel it in your body.” Imagine being really hungry and walking in front of a bakery. The sight and the smell of pastries quickly triggers an “I won’t” type of challenge, and it takes a severe amount of effort and energy to walk away.

Every time you manage to win one of those challenges, a little bit of your willpower reserve gets used. The more challenges you face daily, the harder it will be to stay true to your goals.

Can you train or recharge your willpower?

A growing body of research suggests that willpower should be considered a muscle. To strengthen it, you should exercise it regularly, but you should not overwork it. Therefore, we shouldn’t try to “be good” at all times. Instead, we should learn how to relax and recharge our willpower.

The general advice on how to improve willpower involves sleep, proper nutrition, and regular exercise. This broad and general recommendation is often not downright applicable by most, because it consists of changing various daily habits. Luckily, three very effective hacks have been discovered, that have an immediate effect on our willpower and take just a few minutes to apply.

Here are the 3 ways to refill your willpower reserves:

1. Focused breathing

Breathing, when done correctly, can stimulate the release of calming hormones while reducing the release of stress hormones like cortisol and catecholamines. To make this effective, you should deeply and slowly inhale through the nose for at least five seconds. Fill your belly with air first, then your chest, and when there’s no more space for air, still try to do tiny inhalations through the nose.

You should feel a pulling sensation around your neck and trapezius muscles. Once your lungs are full, try to hold the breath for five seconds, then slowly exhale through the mouth for at least five seconds. If you repeat this process ten to twenty times, you should feel dramatically more relaxed. Use this method several times a day, especially when you’re experiencing high levels of stress or anxiety.

2. Reward yourself when you accomplish a micro goal

According to a recent study, frequent instant rewards can boost motivation, and therefore, willpower. Creating your own reward system can help you to accomplish your to-do list, and also resist temptations. Since every individual has different tastes, you should come up with creative ideas about the small and frequent rewards you will give yourself upon winning any willpower challenge.

You can see this hack in practice in Apps like the popular Duolinguo, where after completing each lesson you get presented with a chance to open a treasure chest. This rewarding system seems to keep the users much more likely to keep learning new lessons.

3. Taking cold showers

Your body has an autonomic response to cold water. Getting into a cold shower is a difficult (but minor) willpower challenge on its own. As I previously mentioned, winning a willpower challenge strengthens your willpower muscle. Having a morning cold shower, on top of having multiple health benefits, will set you up for a positive winning streak of further challenges.

High performance is the sum of many small habits. Successful people don’t have an unlimited reserve of willpower, but they do have a set of daily rituals that made them succeed. These three hacks are some of the most effective techniques to develop willpower, but some of them may not fit every individual. You should try to find the perfect mix of daily practices that best fits your lifestyle and likes, so that you can strengthen your willpower muscle and perform better at work.

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