What is legacy?

How will you leave your mark

To paraphrase YACCer Steve Webster, young adults affected by cancer are forced to face the ends of their lives when they’re just getting started. Thoughts on life and mortality differ from your peers’ and “legacy projects” can be both overwhelming and invigorating at the same time.

Around here, legacy isn’t only something you leave behind; it’s something you work on and create throughout your life, no matter if you’re stage 1 or stage 4, a cancer survivor or a supporter. Your health history doesn’t determine the impact you can leave on the world.

At Survivor Conference 2014, Mike Lang said the word “legacy” has roots in the 14th century as “a body of persons sent on a mission.” If you look at it that way, it’s about bringing a community of people together to make a change. You may hope to be celebrated and remembered as someone who was kind and compassionate, someone who inspired someone else to take action, someone who was a great community leader, or someone who established an international committee dedicated to improving lives of millions of refugees.

Sometimes you may not get a say in our legacy lives outside of you in the people you leave an impression with, and regardless of the scale, the road to achievement is quite simple:

1. Decide what you’re passionate about.

It doesn’t matter if this is making sure others are comfortable, protecting the environment, or keeping your politicians accountable.

2. Make decisions that support your ambition.

Don’t just be someone who talks about their plans; be someone who is too busy making it happen to worry about it. Others will take notice.

Your friends, family, and communities will all have different perspectives based on their relationships with you. So, how will you leave your mark?

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