Why Millennials Need to Start Thinking About Their Legacy Now

photo: bit-shine

Millennials are roughly in their early twenties to late thirties. They are young adults either just starting out (or in the relatively early stages of) their careers. Most Millennials are probably not thinking about their legacy. They are out having fun and finding new experiences.

The last thing they should be thinking about is their “legacy,” right? Wrong. Every millennial absolutely needs to be thinking about their legacy because, like it or not, they have already begun to live their legacy.

We all know the character traits of Millennials by now. Experts will tell you that Millennials care about doing meaningful work. They are driven not so much by dollars as they are by purpose. They also enjoy being part of a team and collaborating, and crave freedom of choice.

Autonomy is key for Millennials

With this sort of a profile, you would think the last thing Millennials would want is to drift haphazardly through life. Yet, without a legacy plan in place, that is exactly what is happening.

The greatest misconception about legacy planning and your legacy is it that your legacy is something you leave behind when you die, and that legacy planning is about planning for your death. If that were the case, then I would certainly side with those Millennials who do not want to think about their legacy. The truth is, however, that legacy planning is about living your best life. It is the blueprint for your vision of your best self, whatever that may be.

Legacy planning is really about the freedom and empowerment to live the life you want—whether that is being the founder of your own company, a gamer or an adventure seeker.

Without a plan, too many will drift through life without purpose or direction. They will be left wondering why they never accomplished their hopes and dreams. The answer, of course, is simple—they never sat down to figure out the strategic steps necessary to get there. They never had a legacy plan.

To begin, Millennials need to start assembling their legacy team. Your greatest success will never come alone—it takes a qualified team of professionals working to propel you toward that success. Rarely will your parents be part of this team.

Unfortunately, parents are often too conflicted to be a part of your legacy team. Parents are wired to worry about their children’s safety and well-being. This can often lead to overly conservative or fear-based advice. Pursuing your dreams, however, takes complete fearlessness. Instead of looking to your parents (no offense, parents), Millennials need to start pursuing professional relationships outside of the family. Meet as many people as possible and see who might be a right fit for your legacy team.

Legacy advisors—i.e., those who understand their job as helping you achieve your best life—come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

There are financial advisors, lawyers, coaches, consultants, business mentors, etc. Start telling these professionals about the life you want to live. See who gets it, who gets you, and who you have a natural team chemistry with. The ones who do will light up and be clearly passionate about wanting to help you—seeing you succeed will be their own success. Finding that first member of your legacy team is your first step.

Correction—finding that first member of your legacy team is actually your second step. The first step is adopting a legacy-building mindset—an awareness of and commitment to living your legacy. Ask yourself the following: (1) Do I want to live my best life, and (2) am I willing to do what is necessary to live my best life?

The first question is easy—of course you want to “live your best life”—who doesn’t, right?

The second question, however, is more challenging because it entails the exhaustive self-discipline of waking up every day and living with intentionality and purpose.

Living your best life takes a lot of work and is a lifelong process. It cannot be done alone, and it definitely requires a plan. You know what you want. So, are you willing to do what is necessary to live your best life?

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You need to contact a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction for advice on specific legal issues.