“I want to be remembered as…”
Have you ever taken the time to think about how you’ll be remembered someday or how to say farewell? Trying to answer this question can help you define your identity and find direction in life. While you can not control how other people think of you, you do have a certain amount of power in the matter. It all comes down to how you live your life, the plans you make, and the messages you choose to convey.
Glamour asked people of different ages (5-75) ‘What do you want to be remembered for?’ The differences between the age groups are interesting to see. Most of the kids didn’t have to think long and quickly gave answers such as ‘being famous’ or ‘rich’. The group between 16 and 35 were more pensive, taking longer for their answer and usually settled for ‘making some sort of change in the world’ or ‘having an impact’. The group above 40 mostly arrived at the same conclusion: ‘being kind’, ‘a good person’, or ‘having helped others’. Do you recognize yourself in any of these answers?
In essence, choosing how you want to be remembered is really all about the small life choices you make every single day. To help guide you in making those choices, we discuss three of the most popular ways people like to be remembered.
I want to be remembered as famous
The drive to live a life that resonates throughout history long after we’re gone, is only natural. Therefore, striving to ‘be famous’ or ‘leaving a legacy’, is not a bad idea in itself. The odds of becoming famous are low, however, and there are no guarantees. However, what you can focus on is your legacy. According to research, working on leaving a legacy – whether it is making art, passing on family history or helping others – turns out to be an important part of effectively dealing with the prospect of ageing and death. It helps lessen feelings of hopelessness and a lack of purpose. Your legacy does not only help the ones you leave behind to cope with the loss of you, it can also motivate you to accomplish more and be healthy.
So, if you want to be remembered as being famous, define what you want to leave behind and start working on the legacy you want to leave behind. You’ll most likely find a lot of joy along the way.
I want to be remembered as someone who changed the world
Although this might sound just as ambitious as becoming famous, it is actually more attainable than you think. You participate in the world every day with what you do. Whether you are going to work, talking to your kids or doing groceries – every action you undertake has an impact on someone or something else. And that someone or something goes on to influence another. It’s a chain reaction. Every day and night there are billions of chain reactions going on all around the world, even the universe. This might make you feel overwhelmed, if you are such a small part of everything, how are you going to be able to change the world?
The answer: start small. Start with yourself. Then try to see the potential reactions to your actions. That is how something you do can make a change in the world. What might be even more important than defining how much you can change it, is defining what you want to change. Think deeply about what the world needs, what positive traits you can bring to the table, set goals and (try to) achieve them. A good intention can already go a long way. And don’t forget to talk about it and take others along in your journey – the more chain reactions, the stronger your impact!
I want to be remembered as a kind person
Is it a coincidence that this was the most popular aspiration amongst people over 40? Or does it have to do with a certain amount of life experience and wisdom that gets built up over the years? We wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the latter. Achieving this is simple. In order to be remembered as someone who is kind, compassionate, and helps others, you have to actually BE someone who is kind, compassionate, and helps others. This means setting aside your ego and doing good because you feel motivated to, whether you will be remembered for it or not. You can help your family overcome challenges and obstacles, offer chances to strangers, and help friends pursue their passions.
Something kind you can do now
While you will never fully be able to control how other people will remember you once you are gone, there is something you can do. And you can do it now. The reason why Myend was founded is that oftentimes people don’t have things arranged for when they pass away. This can weigh very heavily on their family and loved ones. Having to deal with the stress of organizing a funeral, trying to access your online photo albums or feeling sad about not having had the chance to say goodbye, are only a few examples of how your demise could impact others. If you want to do something kind for others, make arrangements. At least the simplest ones. You can find them all in Myend and adapt them as you go.
You can write goodbye messages to ensure a last goodbye or to tell them how much you appreciate them and motivate them to live their life to the fullest. The message function can also be used to share wishes for how you would like your funeral to be. You can also offer access to a fund where you put some money for the funeral, so your family doesn’t have to worry about the financial side of it. Another kind gesture is sharing your social (and dating) accounts and passwords, so your loved ones don’t have to keep being confronted with your digital appearance. Last but not least, put items in your belongings list and assign beneficiaries. Your stuff could make someone very happy in the future.
Concluding – your legacy is in your hands. Why wait until it’s too late?