31 Mar 7 Essential Questions to Nurture Your Legacy
Primary Outcome of Living is Your Legacy
One could argue that the primary outcome of living is an increase in self-knowledge and the learning that grows from that knowledge is what nurture your legacy. Asking effective questions helps to nurture your growth and personal development over a lifetime. An insightful question is one that provides a useful answer. On the other hand, poor questions provide limitations not insight.
Let’s get started with the questions to nurture your legacy. While pondering the questions, keep in mind the following elements: your strengths; how you identify and manage opportunity; your aspirations; and how often you review your life.
1. What do I appreciate most about myself?
You might be asking yourself, “Do I really need to be thankful for myself and what does that even imply?” Most of us are more familiar with appreciating the people around us for what they have done on our behalf. In doing so, it’s very common to reciprocate by showering them with kind words, telling them how much we appreciate them, and how thankful we are for their kindhearted generosity.
Self-appreciation is more about turning the kindness and compassion you give to others inwards. It’s not about enhancing your self-image, it’s more about just being thankful and directing genuine expressions of gratitude toward yourself.
Think about it, when was the last time you said “I appreciate you” to yourself? It’s not a very common practice for human beings to do and most of us may think that it would be awkward and even a little weird. But, in actuality it’s very beneficial in promoting your overall physical and mental well-being by cultivating a healthy self-esteem!
When we learn to love ourselves, we strive for a better life, happier relationships, and even more fulfilling careers. You don’t necessarily have to achieve anything to appreciate yourself and you certainly don’t have to wait for others to appreciate you. Just start by changing how you speak to yourself with kind words, instead of continually scolding yourself. Appreciate who you are as a person and be confident in what you have to offer to those around you. Be nice to yourself and just be you!
2. Do I live to thrive or survive?
Positive habits build your legacy
We all have moments during our lives where we encounter obstacles, discomfort, misfortune, adversity and suffering, but how do you overcome it? Why do some people seem to be thriving while others are barely surviving? There are a myriad of positive habits that people can practice in order to thrive instead of just survive.
Remain purpose-driven. You can do this by pursuing your passions. Pursuing your passion makes a life worth living. It will give you a sense of purpose and will add meaning to your life. Whenever you spend time on accomplishing something that you’re passionate about, it will add joy and a sense of fulfillment to your life as you nurture your legacy along the way.
Encourage creativity. How do you accomplish this? You can do this by rewarding your curiosity and taking some risks. Reward yourself when you are curious about something by giving yourself the opportunity to explore and try new things in your life. By doing so, you may have to be willing to take some risks. Your efforts may not lead to success every time, but you will still be developing your creative talents and building skills that will serve you well in the future.
Explore more than one solution. The next time you approach a problem, try looking for many solutions, instead of simply going with the first idea you have. Take the time to think of other possible ways to approach the situation. This simple activity is a great way to build both your problem-solving and creative thinking skills.
Prioritize family and friends. Connecting with others will help contribute to a greater sense of meaning to your overall life. When you are close to your family and friends, you’ll enhance and strengthen your life’s meaning. Even if your relationships to your family and friends aren’t perfect, you can add a deeper sense of purpose to your life by maintaining and cherishing these bonds.
3. How does personal accountability and responsibility show up in my life?
Style and grace
Accountability is so much more than just admitting you’ve made a mistake. It means accepting the consequences and outcomes of your choices, actions, behaviors, and words. It also means you hold others accountable for the commitments and effort they put forth. Holding yourself accountable is really nothing more than following through with your own commitments and responsibilities. It’s doing what you know you should do, when you should do it, and accepting the consequences.
On the other side of the coin, responsibility is closely related to personal accountability. Who is ultimately responsible for your life? Easy answer – you are! Making choices, taking the required action, and meeting obligations is all wrapped up in responsibility. Don’t be the person who thinks everything is someone else’s fault. Or the person who believes every problem can be explained away with reasons why they can’t affect the situation or the outcome.
The key to taking responsibility for your life is doing it with style and grace, with no blame or counter reality designed to justify your irresponsibility. You must be willing to take full responsibility for your choices, actions, behaviors, and words. Then hold yourself accountable for the consequences and outcomes, whether intended or unintended.
4. What are my greatest strengths and how do I develop and improve them?
Happiness and fulfillment
We all are unique human beings. We all possess unique gifts, talents, and abilities that contribute to who we are. Your unique gifts, talents, and abilities also inform your strengths. Discovering your strengths and learning to use them is not only important for greatly improving your life, but also the lives of those around us.
There are many good reasons why you should take the time to discover your strengths. Doing so can help give you an overall sense of direction in life and generate a sense of happiness and fulfillment. It encourages you to grow more, to build self-confidence, and achieve your goals.
Here are some relevant questions to ask yourself to help determine your strengths:
- What are my top three qualities? A good way to discover them is to ask your family and friends.
- What have been some of the biggest challenges in your life? Think about how you overcame them.
- Name something that would not be the way it is, had you not been a part of it. Consider the strengths you brought to the table to make it happen.
- What are you most proud of in your life? Consider how your strengths are the backbone of your accomplishments.
- What do you get complimented on the most? It tells you what others admire about you.
Once you have identified your strengths, you can start developing and improving them. First, you practice patience. Consider it a journey. It may take a while, but you’ll learn a lot along the way, and you’ll definitely reap the benefits at the end of the process.
Next, set SMART goals—specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based—for yourself and believe you can do it! People tend to be more successful when they set goals for themselves and display a high level of confidence in believing they can achieve it. That confidence fuels the action required to attain success.
5. What are the self-sabotaging thoughts, ideas, or beliefs that I hold?
There can be many forms of self-sabotage that can silently be making your life more difficult. The first step to avoiding self-sabotage is to identify what you are doing that’s working against you and causing friction. Here are a few common examples of what could be holding you back from your true potential.
A negative outlook on life. Negative thinking is any thought that diminishes your hopes, dreams, or aspirations. Negative thinking can be very destructive not only to you, but to the people around you. Your mind is extremely powerful. When fed negative thoughts, the mind seeks to make them a reality, even if it is bad for you. You can’t always control the thoughts that come into your mind, but you CAN control what you do with those thoughts.
Procrastination. Simply put, procrastination is the avoidance of doing a task that needs to be done. Procrastination is an obstacle. It’s one we’ve all encountered, and struggled with at some point in our lives. Procrastination can stem from many root causes such as low self-esteem, lack of confidence, and fear of failure. If you postpone taking action, you simply reinforce those thoughts in your mind and further question your abilities. Your mind continues to tell you that you are incapable of getting things done.
Comparing yourself to others. One of the most obvious types of self-sabotaging behavior is constantly comparing yourself to other people. Yet your wants and needs aren’t like anyone else’s. It’s not a competition. Focus on what YOU want and need. Then evaluate yourself based on the progress you’re making toward your goals.
6. What is the Greatest Limiting Belief That I Hold about Myself?
We all want to be happier and more successful in our personal lives and in our relationships. But, whether we realize it or not, we all unknowingly harbor self-limiting beliefs that can prevent that from happening.
Self-limiting beliefs are assumptions or perceptions that you have about yourself and about the way the world works. These assumptions are “self-limiting” because in some way they are holding you back from achieving what you are capable of. To overcome your self-limiting beliefs, you need to know what they are. See if any of these ring a bell.
Limiting beliefs about money:
I may never get my big break.
I have to protect what I’ve got because there just isn’t enough.
I’ll ever make enough money to support my family.
Money is the root of all evil
Making lots of money requires sacrificing who you are.
Limiting beliefs about relationships:
I am not worthy of being loved.
You just can’t trust anybody in a relationship.
Putting yourself out there only results in getting hurt.
Doing something besides what my family wants is betraying them.
I just have to put up with what I don’t like.
Limiting beliefs about work:
I have no special strengths.
Whenever I manage things, it just turns out awful.
My experience is lacking.
I don’t deserve to make money doing what I love.
I can’t handle the pressure and stress of trying something new.
Limiting beliefs about self-worth:
I can’t make things happen.
Who am I to have everything I have ever wanted?
People look right through me.
I don’t deserve a better life.
It’s all my parents’ fault.
Limiting beliefs about good health:
I don’t deserve to be healthy.
Everyone else in my family is overweight.
Losing weight is the biggest battle of my life.
Getting sick is unavoidable.
I am helpless to heal myself.
After reading through this list, see if you identify with any of them or write down any other limiting beliefs you may have that are not listed. Then, imagine mustering the courage to move past limiting beliefs and choose a different path forward.
It’s also important to forgive yourself and others for all the different events that may have caused the beliefs you have developed over your lifetime. Holding on to the hurt and emotions that can be tied into these limiting beliefs will only keep you playing small. Forgive yourself and get ready to rise above it, to accomplish even greater things in your life!
7. What legacy do I want to leave behind?
Cultivate change from the inside out
Your legacy is ultimately the person you become over a lifetime. I leave you with these words from my book, Cultivating Change from the Inside Out: The Power of Being Human.
“Creating an intergenerational legacy is a lifelong endeavor. The question to ask yourself is this: What will be my impact on future generations? The legacy we leave behind is a true reflection of the life we have led. The things you do for others, the lives you touch, your influence on those around you, and the impact you make is your legacy. Creating an intergenerational legacy is lifelong endeavor designed by the plans and the choices you make along the way.”