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What Does It Take to Create a Legacy: How To Be Remembered for Centuries?

I'll never forget being told as a child. "No one's going to remember you, or even care about you in a hundred years". Will they be right?

Introduction: Never Be Forgotten

Legacy: "Something that's left behind after a person has passed. An achievement or experience, recorded works, discoveries, writings, inventions, constructions, or artefacts which have been created during people's lives for remaining generations to know, understand and remember them by.

how-to-create-a-legacy-be-remembered-for-centuries

Table Of Contents

  • Never Be Forgotten: Family
  • The Monarchy - Military - Rulers - Dictators
  • The Scientists - Inventors - Engineers
  • The Entertainment Industry
  • Musicians
  • Sportsmen & Women
  • Being the First
  • Be The Best - The Top 10 - 50 - 100 - 500
  • The Infamous - Gangsters - Villains
  • From Ordinary to Extraordinary
  • The Memorabilia - Awards - Accolades
  • Being Erased From History
  • Final Thoughts
  • Top 6 Famous Legacy Quotes

Article word count: 3980.

Never Be Forgotten: Family

how-to-create-a-legacy-be-remembered-for-centuries

Family

For the majority of society, being remembered or creating a legacy is not essential. Most are far too busy enjoying and living life in its moments. I wish I knew who my ancestors were - what they liked doing. Unfortunately, I have no idea. I have no photos or videos of them — no stories or photos because they left no legacy except for me.

Before the invention of digital and photographic technology, history preserved memories and legacies in caves on walls. Information uses art to record their lives, with images of prehistoric life and the prehistoric animals that existed.

Heirlooms passed down from generation to generation can also help us to remember our ancestors. And memories that are kept alive through discussing and passing on stories. Tales of families' lives handed can potentially last a lifetime.

As the future progressed, only the rich and influential people could afford to have their portraits painted by the finest artists to capture their features like a photograph - preserved for future generations to see who they were.

As history progressed, the invention of photography made it possible to capture and record images and voices. Personalities are immortalised forever by technology.

The Monarchy - Military - Rulers - Dictators

From the Greeks, Italians and Romans. To the most famous Egyptians that ever lived. History's most notable figures shaped the world into what it is today. The Egyptians were successful in being remembered due to the vast amount of gold artefacts and historical sites they left behind.

how-to-create-a-legacy-be-remembered-for-centuries

Monarchy - Military - Rulers - Dictators.

Some achieved their goals in the most treacherous and murderous ways and are still being talked about centuries later ⁠— in-School, and depicted in films, on TV and radio documentaries. Every dictator to the wartime leaders all left their mark.

Now, it's the politicians who use their political persuasion to assert power. Each politician hopes their success and "great" legacies will last. Anyone can potentially become another political leader, and dictator (not recommended).

Let us not forget the war heroes who were an influential part of history throughout ancient and modern warfare. Heroes recognised for their brave and gallant services on the front lines. War heroes and leaders still fighting today's battles are leaving their mark. History not only remembers, but it also will never forget.

The Scientists - Inventors - Engineers

Wars needed inventors, physicists, mechanics and engineers of these technologies to make it possible for our soldiers to win with the best submarines, aircraft and weapons. It takes degrees, diplomas, and a genius mind, and history knows the name of everyone who has made significant contributions to society.

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Scientists - Inventors - Engineers.

The inventors, designers, engineers and philosophers who worked hard for a cause or discovery to bring their ambitions to fruition ⁠— not know if they will ever succeed. Some did with years of hard work and resilience. Others achieved success purely by accident. Either way, they're all historical figures that society remembers.

A great legacy, and to have your name continually mentioned throughout history is to have something named after you, such as a Caesar's salad and the words we use every day (Celsius and Fahrenheit) named after historical figures - not forgetting the cube invented by "Rubik."

Some of history's most influential people used the invention of ink, paper and an imaginative mind to become authors of the best crime and love stories. The poets and dramatists who shaped the English language are still remembered hundreds of years after their deaths.

Artists of every movement and generation have priceless artworks adorning museums and homes of the rich and famous. The greatest artists have left their legacies that inspire other artists long after their deaths.

If you can't write or paint, invent something to revolutionise history. If you can amaze the world with a new toy, puzzle or game, you can become part of history.

Since the invention of the wheel, humans have continued to innovate it for a particular purpose. If you can invent something that changes the way humanity lives. Even innovating an existing invention could help stamp your name in history.

A great accolade for any famous figure is having their life portrayed in a film by another notable figure — an actor from the entertainment business.

The Entertainment Industry

Lights, Camera, Action! Actors who keep the names of historical figures alive by telling their stories in film biopics. And actors who dramatise the life of another great actor. Films we never tire of watching. All it takes to leave a legacy is one starring role or appearance in an iconic TV show, program or film. Like the 'Harry Potter' actors and the actors who stared and appeared in the original 'Wizard Of Oz' are forever embedded in our minds.

The Wizard Of Oz: A masterpiece of early cinema.

The Wizard Of Oz: A masterpiece of early cinema.

Entertainment Industry

From Hollywood to Bollywood, a film or TV show is nothing without a writer, producer, director, screenwriter, conductor and orchestra, who all contribute to making a film magical and believable. That transport us into make-belief worlds and detail how past generations lived are archived for future generations to enjoy. Famous people can still earn tens of millions each year after their death in royalties.

The best chance of leaving a legacy is having a part of a high-grossing film franchise or the lead role in an iconic film. Playing a superhero, Doctor Who or James Bond will do. Any actor lucky enough to get one of those roles has created their legacy.

If an actor cannot get 'that big role', appearing in many TV shows, soaps, comedies, and TV series helps achieve a legacy. Hopefully, appearing in one iconic scene could be enough to be remembered.

Then there are the courageous daredevils who pushed the limits of human endurance by risking their lives doing the most dangerous, death-defying stunts in history. You'll have to be exceptional to outperform them. Or any daring high-wire walkers who risk their lives suspended hundreds of metres above the ground without any harness. Even today, people are trying to set new world records.

Every entertainer in history, including the funniest comedians who make us cry with laughter, and the greatest magicians in the world who leave us confused and amazed by their magic tricks, are hard to forget.

Imagine generations of your family, strangers and famous people enjoying your work and having your name in lights or as a star on the Walk of Fame.

Every show and film needs new actors (fresh blood). Your personality, charm, and looks alone can override the need for any acting qualifications because looking the part has helped many struggling actors to leave a long-lasting legacy.

Great entertainers and actors are individuals with a dream, desire or hope to be someone. That person may be you, and today is the day to start doing something to be remembered for decades, and potentially centuries.

Musicians

There is no better accolade for a musician to have one of their songs sung by one of the greatest actors in a film. Or their song becoming part of a film's soundtrack — or being played daily on the radio. Great inspirational songs or catchy pieces of music we listen to and sing along to every day. We will always sing the praises of influential music style icons who 'sang in the rain', 'danced on the ceiling' and 'swung on a chandelier.

how-to-create-a-legacy-be-remembered-for-centuries

Musicians

A few twists of a radio dial, and you will hear songs that remain timeless, dating back to the nineteenth century. From yodellers, baritone and mezzo-soprano singers to rappers and pop singers. All achieved their legacies using their voice.

What it takes to be a successful music artist is the ability to either sing, play an instrument, or write and produce songs very successfully. Unfortunately, not every singer in history can be seen or heard because they were singing centuries ago, long before the invention of any recording devices.

Today, many successful stars achieved success and legacies as independent solo music artists. Others by jumping on the bandwagon. "Singers" who were not good at singing but looked the part for a band or group. Either way, they are successful and have all left their mark on society and the music industry.

Being a great singer or having a great song is nothing without a well-known producer and record label to bring song lyrics to life. If you can succeed as a musician, imagine the world singing your songs for decades or even centuries.

Even a one-hit-wonder is still enough to leave a long-lasting legacy. Including a timeless Christmas song we listen to every year.

In this modern computerised world, many people are becoming extremely popular as social media influencers by singing, promoting, educating and entertaining their millions of followers on various platforms, including YouTube, Instagram, TikTok & Twitter. All it takes is a PC, Internet connection and your talent to leave a legacy, all created from your bedroom.

Sportsmen & Women

History has recorded all world record-breaking and memorable performances from every gifted athlete of track, field, and court, to the Dohyō sumo and boxing rings, And from every oche and snooker table throughout the world.

Sportsmen & Women

You don't always need stamina or athleticism to be a legend in all sports. The attribute for darts, golf and snooker players is millimetre precision. For world-class racing drivers, it takes commitment, bravery and speed to smash world records while remaining seated.

Yet, no man or woman is invincible. Every record is breakable. All it takes is to run that millisecond faster or throw or jump that millimetre higher or further. Some world records have stood for decades. Some Olympic world records will never be broken, thus, keeping famous names forever in the limelight.

Throughout history, thousands of sports stars, athletes and gymnastics have competed for their country. Not everyone succeeded. Not everyone was good enough to achieve those unforgettable record-breaking moments. Others lost out to faster and stronger opponents. Who metaphorically and literally threw in the towel. It took resilient athletes with knock-out performances who stayed focused on their goals, and the richer and more famous they are for it.

If you can float like a butterfly and sting like a bee, throw, bat or kick a ball, you can be one of the 100 greatest sports stars ever and inspiring others to follow your path.

Sport's most elite icons created their goals and legacies using their physical strength, stamina and speed — their hard work, resilience and dedication, as well as blood, sweat and tears.

Being the First

Being the first to accomplish something is highly recognised. Such as the first person to win a gold medal in a particular sport for their country. The first to win a sports event (not yet invented). And women who achieve success in a business usually reserved for or dominated by men are highly recognised and remembered.

Being the First

It doesn't matter if someone was the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest, swim the English Channel, or set foot on the moon because there are other mountains to climb, seas to cross, and planets to set foot on. You don't have to be Michael Jackson to do the 'moon walk' on the actual moon if you become an astronaut.

The first person to break the sound barrier is remembered, along with the surgeon who performed the first human-to-human heart transplant — legendary people and moments in history. We've had the first black President of the US. Who will be the next black female President? Or the first black male, female, Indian or Chinese British Prime Minister?

Anyone with a video sharing or social networking account has the chance to leave a legacy, like the first person who received one million, then one billion views or followers. Who will be the first to receive one trillion or quadrillion views or followers?

One day, someone 'dead' will become world-famous in a heartbeat if anyone is clever enough to bring their frozen cryogenic corpse back to life. Even someone alive today who has their body cryogenically frozen and bought back to life in the future will live again with instant fame.

Who will be the first person to create a cure for lung or heart cancer? Step on the planet Mars? Whoever he-or-she is, a legacy and the history books await.

Be The Best - The Top 10 - 50 - 100 - 500

Everyone has an opinion about who they think is the best at anything. That's why lists from surveys, reviews, polls and the number of books written about them. And the number of Internet searches all contributes to who is the best at that moment (era).

how-to-create-a-legacy-be-remembered-for-centuries

Be The Best - The Top 10 - 50 - 100 - 500.

To become a part of history, appearing in any of the worlds top ten lists is a colossal achievement, and there are lists for every genre in every country.

However, lists are not always so glamorous, especially when ranked and remembered as one of the most famous douche bags. Or as one of the most hated celebrities in history. However, many famous people became more successful by re-inventing themselves and changing occupations.

It's not just the famous creating long-lasting legacies. TV reality and talent show contestants have become famous overnight by amazing, or shocking the world with diabolical or hard to forget outstanding performances. And if they never succeed in anything else in life, they will have left something worth remembering, good or bad.

Top 10 examples; Top 10 Most Famous People Ever. List of Famous Scientists. Most Viewed YouTube Channels of All Time. 50 Greatest Songs Of All Time. Top 10 Famous Country Singers. 10 Greatest Rock Singers of All Time. Top 10 Male/Female Singers. Top Outrageous Music Fashion Icons. The top 10 Richest Actors in the World.

Actors not listed or recognised as the 'Best Actors' will have other opportunities to get listed. Such as the 'best comedy' actor, 'best villain', or 'best horror' film actor. The more lists you appear on, the higher the chance for longevity, which is vital for sustaining and keeping the longevity of your legacy alive.

A list no one wants to be on is a list of the most notorious, Infamous gangsters and villains in history.

The Infamous - Gangsters - Villains

Respectable villains and criminals worth remembering are on-screen actors we love to love and hate. But being known for doing life's most evil deeds is never recommended in real life — from notorious criminals, gangsters and serial killers. To the most dangerous men, women, and children to have ever lived. Society not only remembers, but it's also hard not to forget, and one of the worst legacies to leave.

The Infamous - Gangsters - Villains

Throughout history, people used fear to fulfil their reign of terror In the bloodiest and most brutal ways. Gangsters and villains of every era. From the notorious outlaws of the wild west to the infamous pirates who roved the waves of the high seas to rob and steal. Today, we remember them by dressing up as cowboys, gangsters and pirates for fun.

Guy Fawkes was killed centuries ago for conspiring to blow up the 'Houses of Parliament and everyone in it. Today, we still celebrate his death every year on Guy Fawkes day. Even his image in the form of a mask has become an icon for many global protest movements. And although Fawkes failed to succeed in one respect, but did in another by creating his legacy. Unfortunately, not the one he had planned, which was to blow up the 'Houses Of Parliament.

What villains of today will we be celebrating in another 10, 100 or 500 years? Will we still be celebrating Guy Fawkes every year? Or as a pirate at fancy dress parties? Or pretending we are terrorists, covered in fake body explosives? Who knows how fickle future generations will be.

Society still admires and remembers the most notorious criminals long after their deaths. Those who made their name from protection rackets, armed robbery and murder are forever documented on television.

Celebrities previously remembered for their talents and accomplishments have become infamous for their involvement in scandalous events, including rape and sexual molestation. Others have resorted to murder, which the public will always find fascinating. Celebrities accused of shocking crimes

From Ordinary to Extraordinary

It took ordinary people to do extraordinary things to change history. Those who devoted their lives to fighting for justice never imagined the legacies they would leave.

The unidentified Chinese man. Known only as the "Tank Man" who risked his life standing in front of a convoy of incoming tanks at the Tienanmen Square protests.

The unidentified Chinese man. Known only as the "Tank Man" who risked his life standing in front of a convoy of incoming tanks at the Tienanmen Square protests.

From Ordinary to Extraordinary

We can never forget the many suffragettes who fought to give women the right to vote. Or the African-American seamstress, who stood up for her rights when she stayed seated on a bus seat reserved for white people, which helped start the civil rights movement in the US.

History will never forget the famous activists whose words silenced by years of imprisonment. Who will be one of the next 100 People to make a difference and change the world?

From ordinary to extraordinary in some weird and bizarre ways.

An industry dedicated to 'The Guinness Book of World Records' keeps people's names alive. If anyone can throw a paper plane the furthest, or balance the most coins upright on your arm in one minute, then you could be a world record-breaker.

The most extraordinary and unfortunate way to be remembered is being born with severe deformities, like the Elephant Man. Or as a conjoined twin, especially one of the most famous conjoined twins. I will never forget any of the above.

The Memorabilia. Awards. Accolades

When the film, radio or TV is off, and the sports games have stopped playing, it's the physical things we see in our everyday lives to keep people's memories and legacies alive. The hall, wall, or walk of fame in museums and people's homes display the memorabilia - shrines to keep iconic people forever in sight and mind.

A shrine, a pilgrim, a place for people to remember you.

A shrine, a pilgrim, a place for people to remember you.

The Memorabilia. Awards. Accolades

What keeps memories alive are objects associated with memorable people. Achievements, contributions, icons and events. Memorabilia in every shape and form. A memento that gives us a surprising insight into wartime propaganda. To daring missions behind enemy lines. And stories of extraordinary heroism.

From colossal statues erected around the world to sculptures, waxworks and artwork. Even a doll or action figure crafted in the likeness of someone famous.

Anything owned or used by a famous person can be worth more than its weight in gold. Items related to famous people that anyone would love to own, see or touch.

As I look around me, everything I own is worthless. My pens, chairs, the desk or computer I am using to type this are worthless. But if I became famous overnight, all these items would be valuable, maybe priceless.

A comment I overheard: "When I put on my dead dads gloves, I feel like I'm holding his hand".

Being Erased From History

I started this article with the family and the family tree. But like most trees, branches die out. Not everyone will have children. If they do, their child may not reproduce, leaving memories and legacies harder to create.

how-to-create-a-legacy-be-remembered-for-centuries

Being Erased From History

As the decades and centuries pass by, many families memories fade away. Tales and stories are never said. Heirlooms are lost or destroyed by fire. Stolen or sold because of need or greed and erasing the memories of the owner of that object.

Fire has destroyed so much of our history, yet, in the same light, archaeologists continue to dig up history and humans who would never have dreamed they would be famous thousands of years after their death. Scientists unveil the face of a 7,500-year-old woman from Turkey.

The advances in gadgets and technology are changing how we view and store our digital media. Devices with our loved ones' pictures or videos will become obsolete. And if future generations don't bother to convert old Betamax and home videos of loved ones into newer formats, they will be erased from history, left gathering dust in attics and basements.

Statues and building built in honour of anyone famous may be destroyed because of future wars and conflicts. Or the deliberate destruction of statues, monuments and numerous cultural heritage sites demolished to symbolise an end of a regime or cultural heritage. Others defaced or removed from history because of what they become to represent. Who knows what future generations will find offensive and erase from history.

History remembers the sportsmen and women who smashed world records, but anyone exposed as a drug cheat will have the shame and embarrassment to them and their country. Something they would want people and history to forget.

What it takes to create a legacy that will last for centuries is a combination of handwork and-or luck. Never keep all your eggs in one basket, unless it's a Fabergé. Don't settle for 15 minutes of fame. Do something extraordinary. Become an icon worth being remembered and talked about every day, decade and even century.

Final Thoughts

As for that person who said to me as a child, "no one's going to remember you in a hundred years"? They could be right. I'm an orphan with no family or children. Nor have I achieved anything worth remembering. Do I care? A little.

Maybe 'this' article I wrote is my legacy, but unfortunately, no one will ever know who I am or anything about me, and why would they want to. I'm not their family. I'm not famous or infamous.

The best chance of me leaving a legacy is having children or becoming famous or infamous for whatever reasons. Not something I'd like — unless it's winning the largest jackpot prize in lotto history.

To leave a long-lasting legacy, don't just be a celebrity. Be an icon - a giant star that will shine forever.
Doing enough and sowing enough seeds will give you the best chance to grow that one great tree that can live on for centuries.

Top 6 Famous Legacy Quotes

  1. "Your parents already feel they have a great legacy—their children. And that legacy is something you can carry on for them."
  2. "Legacy is not what I did for myself. It's what I'm doing for the next generation."—Vito Belfort.
  3. “A lot of legends, a lot of people, have come before me. But this is my time.”—Usain Bolt.
  4. "Creating legacies is not just about being first. It's being the best"—Tony Sky.
  5. "I don't fight for the money. I fight for my legacy. I fight for history. I fight for my people"—Khabib Nurmagomedov.
  6. “If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”—Benjamin Franklin.

Barbara Streisand - The Way We Were

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© 2019 Tony Sky

What do you hope to be remembered for?

Tony Sky (author) from London UK on December 18, 2019:

A woman (Fallon Sherrock, 25) from Milton Keynes has made history by becoming the first female darts player to win a match at the PDC World Championship.

Tony Sky (author) from London UK on November 27, 2019:

Captain Siya Kolisi says 'every child now has someone to look up to' after he became South Africa's first black captain to lift the William Webb Ellis trophy.

Tony Sky (author) from London UK on October 19, 2019:

October 2019. Two Nasa astronauts have embarked on the first all-female space walk in a historic first.

Christina Koch and Jessica Meir floated feet-first out of the International Space Station.

Eliud Kipchoge has made history by becoming the first person to run a marathon distance in under two hours. The 34-year-old Kenyan long-distance runner completed 26.2 miles in 1 hour 59 minutes 40 seconds at the Ineos 1:59 Challenge in Vienna, Austria.

Tony Sky (author) from London UK on August 06, 2019:

Toni Morrison, first black woman to win Nobel Prize for her outstanding contribution to literature, passes away aged 88.

Tony Sky (author) from London UK on August 04, 2019:

French inventor Franky Zapata has become the first person in history to successfully cross the English Channel on a kerosene-powered board. (jet-powered board)

Tony Sky (author) from London UK on August 01, 2019:

Female jockey, Khadijah Mellah becomes the first UK woman to win a major horse race wearing a hijab.

Up-dater. on July 06, 2019:

More people creating legacies.

Helen McCourt has just become world famous: Helen's Law': Killers who conceal victims' bodies face parole refusal under new rules introduced following campaign by the mother of Helen McCourt. a 22 year-old insurance clerk who disappeared on her way home from work in 1988.

2019. Stormzy from the UK became the first black artist to headline Glastonbury.

2019. The Church of England appoints its first black female bishop. Rose Hudson-Wilkin who was born in Jamaica.

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