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Living a legacy

Updated: Oct 17, 2022

By Billy Montgomery As we go through life, no matter what our social status is, we leave something behind. Often, we are not even aware of our deposits because we tend to focus on withdrawals; what’s being taken from us and what we are losing. The spotlight on the daily hustle and grind can leave us blind to the impact have, the contributions we make, and the overall vibe we bring to the spaces we occupy.

Contrary to popular belief, a legacy is not just left when a person retires or dies, but whenever we share ourselves with others; good or bad. With that in mind, consider the following steps toward living a life of intention.

1. Build for others. The adage “lift as you climb” is key here. Often, we are immersed in doing things for our status until we forget about others who are coming behind us. As a result, we confuse achievement with the assignment. To be the first person to achieve a fete or reach a place is notable, but just for that person. But what if the achievement is really an assignment to bring others along? The great legacies of history are built upon people who dedicated their lives to the service to others.

2. Live like you mean it. This is a natural follow up. It is easy to live on autopilot with the routine that gets us from point a to point b. But that is more akin to surviving, than living. Despite the challenges, learning to take each day with an attitude of gratitude along with a healthy portion of passion go a long way. We tend to spend a lot of time counting our days, but the reality is our days are numbered. We don’t know when we are going to take our final breath, so live out loud and in a way that is on purpose and intentional. Remember, others are watching.

3. Be Authentic. Strive to be a great original, not a cheap copy. Few things communicate living a legacy like being authentic. Consider that none of our fingerprints are the same. We don’t have the same DNA. We differ in appearance. Our amazing design demonstrates that we all have uniqueness, and this is before we get into other accessories like clothing, makeup, and body art. We are bona fide and are purposed to contribute to life without having to mimic what anyone else is doing. As rapper Lil Wayne once said, “I never set out to be different. I set out to be me. People think it’s different.”

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Billy Montgomery is a veteran photojournalist, writer, and digital content producer. As a media producer, Montgomery has worked with clients in high-profile cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Miami, and Atlanta, effectively producing photography/videography/podcasting for an array of clientele.

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