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We often use the expression, “leave a legacy.”

Usually, the emphasis is on the word legacy. But the first word is just as important: leave. You have to actually depart at some point. That is when you leave a legacy.

While you’re alive, you can influence your legacy, but eventually it goes on without you. Other people will be the ones to define it.

Imparting a legacy starts with defining your values. If your values aren’t written down, you don’t have values. I’m serious. That statement might offend you if you believe you have values, but unless you can articulate them, all you have is a warm, fuzzy feeling. Most of us want to believe we are people of values, but if you don’t have those values written down, they are not actually tangible.

Once you have your values defined, take those values and turn them into principles. Principles are like sayings or expressions that are based on your values. Principles can be shared and passed on and referenced by others without your being there.

We talk about what to do from this point to communicate your values to others and give them the resources to carry them on without you. We also talk about the difference between mere influence and true legacy.

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