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4 Ways to Ensure Your Influence Outlasts You

What kind of legacy will you leave behind?

Doesn’t life just fly by?

We live in a time where it’s easier than ever to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of day to day life. An era of neverending notifications during the day and endless leisure opportunities at night. 

If you’re not careful, it’s easy to plow through life without being proactive about the big picture. The vision you have for who you are. The legacy you want to follow you. 

If you want to live a life that leaves behind a meaningful influence, here are four ways to make it happen. 

Pursue constant improvement

One of the best ways to make sure your deeds live on far into the future is to never stand still.

The most influential people always pursue new ideas and ways of thinking about the world. They are not afraid to grow and evolve. They learn from their mistakes and constantly seek innovative and better ways of doing things.

No matter what you’re passionate about, you should always seek to move forward. A lifetime spent in constant pursuit of mastery leaves behind a shining example for others to follow.

But what practical steps can you take to constantly improve?

Set goals. The only way to keep your path to improvement focused and on track is to set goals. Know exactly how you want to progress in the areas that mean the most to you and pursue them relentlessly.

Journal and reflect. To know how to best improve, you need to have a clear idea of where you’ve come from and what your thought processes have been. Take the time to journal and reflect deeply on your successes, failures, and motivations.

Be a lifelong learner. You need to make a conscious choice to pursue knowledge formally and informally every day. Learn from the people around you as well as through courses and books.

A life of constant improvement is one that leaves behind an inspirational legacy.

Mentor the people around you

It’s not enough to constantly work on bettering yourself. You should also seek to serve the people around you and help them to learn and grow. 

Mentoring is one of the most valuable gifts you can give the world. The people you mentor can go on to teach and support others, causing a ripple effect of positive influence.

You can help adults pursue their deepest creative dreams, or guide young people who might otherwise go astray.

If the concept of mentoring appeals to you, here are three ways you can make a difference.

Within your organization. You can mentor people within your organization formally or informally. If a formal mentorship program doesn’t exist, advocate for starting one. You can also be an informal supportive and guiding presence to people on a day to day basis. 

Serve your community. Mentoring is as effective in the community as it is in the workplace. Check out opportunities to give back to your community by mentoring people who need it. 

Mentor online. Even after the pandemic is over, people will still be more likely to learn and work remotely than in times past. Online mentoring is a great way to serve people you might never encounter otherwise.

Mentoring has been proven to help the mentor as much as the mentee. A true example of win/win in action. Why not seek out a mentoring opportunity that excites and moves you?

Focus on the next generation

Passing your experience, wisdom, and values down to the next generation is a superb way to influence the future for the better. 

Sadly, some parts of society and the media are intent on creating gaps between generations. There’s a lot of hype around focusing on millennials and boomers and all the ways they are different. It’s important to look past that and focus on our shared humanity.

You can help the next generation on as large or as small of a scale as you want. So where should you start?

Teach your family. If you want to guide the younger generations, start close to home. Be a positive role model for those in your immediate and wider family. 

Volunteer your time. There are lots of organizations across the country that need people to donate their time. Try and find an organization that serves young people where you could make a real difference. 

Create a children’s book. People who become children’s book authors have a unique chance to educate, entertain, and share their values with the generations that are to come. 

As Hasso Platner said, “I believe that whoever is successful should help ensure that the next generation can be successful, too”. 

What will you do to help the next generation thrive?

Leave a lasting record of your wisdom

Ultimately, there’s only so much of a difference we can make by helping people directly, person to person. If you want to maximize your future impact, it’s a wise move to create a lasting record of the wisdom you want to share. 

How you choose to leave behind the lessons you’ve learned along your journey depends on your skills and preferences. Everyone is capable of finding a suitable format. Consider these ideas. 

Self-publish your book. Thanks to Amazon, it’s easier than ever before to release a high-quality book that not only benefits future generations of readers but gives you a viable source of passive income in the present day. Just be careful to avoid unjust companies like vanity presses.

Create a course. Does the idea of teaching appeal to you? There’s never been a better time to create an online learning program in a format that you’re comfortable with. You can go for a full video course or keep it simple with a short email program. 

Share your ideas online. You don’t have to make anything as long as a full book or course if you don’t want to. Shorter content formats, like blog posts or videos, are still valuable ways of preserving your ideas for the future. 

No matter how you choose to do it, find a way to share your ideas so they can benefit people for decades to come. 

Are you ready to get started?

Are you excited about the idea of leaving a positive influence behind?

If you’re ready to take action, here are four practical ways to start.

  1. What’s the most impactful way you could commit to a path of constant improvement? Is there something you want to learn, or could you start a journaling habit?
  2. Is there someone in your life you feel you could be a valuable mentor to? What would be the first steps to beginning a mentoring relationship with them?
  3. How can you make a meaningful difference to the next generation? Would you prefer to serve in-person or through an activity like writing a book?
  4. What’s the best way to preserve your ideas and wisdom? How can you map out a plan for going from an initial idea to something final?

Don’t let another year go by without building towards a lasting legacy!

We live in uncertain times. That’s more reason than ever to act with a sense of urgency and start making the world a better place.

None of us will be around forever, but our ideas and positive influence can be. Isn’t that beautiful and worth pursuing?

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Written by Chandler Bolt

Chandler is the founder / CEO of Self Publishing School (the #1 online resource for writing your first book) and the owner of selfpublishing.com. His most recent book is titled: Published.
Self Publishing School made the INC 5000 in 2018 (#2,699) and in 2019 (#1,483) as one of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the US.

Through his 6 books, podcast, TEDx talk, and Self-Publishing School, he’s helped thousands of people on their journey to writing their first book.

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