You Don’t Have to Be Old to Build a Legacy

Legacy is something I hear students talking about regularly. They want to do something in life that matters, but they aren’t sure just exactly how to do achieve that yet. Many of them hear their parents, grandparents, and pastors talk about legacy which, I believe, contributes to their idea that legacy is something for old people to talk and think about.

It’s a big word with massive implications. Your legacy is what people will remember you by. It’s something you want to get right. But it often seems very far off and distant from the present. So much so that it almost feels futile to think about it, especially as a college student.

I remember walking through a very popular graveyard where many famous people from history were buried. I don't normally walk through graveyards, but this one made an impact on me. Many of the grave markers were so worn down you couldn't even read the names or dates once carefully etched into the stone. As I passed a group of stones weathered over time, it occurred to me that these people will only be known to the people whose lives they touched.

Legacy became very real to me at that moment. It's not something you determine or decide when you become old, but it's something you build throughout your life. It comes out of the relationships you have with others, the work you do, and the impact you make on the world. If you wait until you're old to think about legacy, it may be too late.


You were created to solve a unique and special problem. Your mind, body, curiosity, and perseverance afford you the opportunities to leap forward in ways that make a material impact on the world around you. You may never fully understand how your life touches another, but it does. And it’s up to you to determine what kind of impact it will have.

The decisions you make today will determine the life you live and the legacy you’ll create. I’m not talking about the car you drive, the neighborhood you live in, or the place where you choose to vacation. I’m talking about the relationships you invest in, the change you bring about through your work and service to others, and the challenges you overcome.

Destiny is not something for the privileged but something available to every person on the planet. You have a divine design stamped on your life, and it’s your task to unlock the latent potential within you. Doing so will result in a life of abundance and blessing.


1.     Legacy begins the day you’re born and ends the day you enter eternity. It covers the expanse of your entire life. The reason why older people talk about it more is because they are more aware of their mortality.

2.     Legacy contains successes and setbacks; it’s not just about the victories. Your failures and defeats are just as important.

3.     Legacy is something everyone will leave behind. You get to determine what it means for you. And you decide that through the decisions you make every day.

4.     Legacy is transferred through the stories others tell about you. Your head stone may wear down and erase your name forever. But stories keep people alive for centuries.

5.     Legacy can’t be rushed or outsourced. Your parents don’t get to determine this. No one else does. You must do this.

I want you to discover your destiny and live in your purpose. Don’t drift through life wondering what’s next for you. And don’t be captive to the constraints that exist for you today—age, money, or opportunity. Those can change in an instant.

What’s most important is you decide to get up every day grateful for another opportunity to build the legacy that is uniquely yours. The world needs you to live with purpose, intention, and focus because you are the only one who can activate your divine design. You are more than your present circumstances and situation. Your best days are ahead of you.


Don’t listen to the naysayers, the underachievers, and the detractors in your life. Use your purpose as your compass and follow your curiosity wherever it takes you. Courage doesn’t mean you don’t experience fear, hesitation, or doubt. On the contrary, those things make you human. Courage is the willingness to say yes even though you aren’t sure where it will lead you.

I believe in you, and I know there are many others who believe in you. You may never be rich, famous, or powerful. But that doesn’t mean you can’t experience the richness that comes from helping others, the fame that comes from individuals who were impacted by you, and the power that comes from the knowledge that you can say you left it all on the field.

Your destiny awaits you. Your purpose is already within you. And your ability to unlock the latent potential of your life depends on your openness to explore, question, and live the life you have been given. This is your life. Make it a great one.

CHALLENGE: Write down what you believe your destiny is. Ask a few people who know you well if they will support you in achieving that. And find time to talk to an older person you know about legacy. Listen to what they say and consider how it changes your perspective on life. Then, decide to live each day know you are building a legacy that will last for a lifetime.