How to Become a Legend

We all have roles to play in life. What is yours? Will you be remembered for it years from now, when you’re long gone? A legend is someone who leaves behind an unforgettable impression on others. They touch lives, they’re remembered, they’re cherished. There are all sorts of legends in this world – famous or not. Becoming one means finding your particular role, your calling, following it, and touching others around you.


Build like a legend

  1. Create a chair that will forever be remembered as somethings sculpted by the gods. The banana chair of legends.
  1. There is no step 2 through 9

Finding a Calling

  1. Identify your talents. People remember legends for what they do and the impact they have on lives. What do you do? What are you good at? Try to find your calling in life, your “vocation.” Take a good look at the natural talents you have.
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    • Legends come in all shapes and sizes. Do you make people laugh? Perhaps you’ve got a calling in comedy. Are you good at lacrosse? Maybe your future lies in sports.
    • Don’t limit your idea of a legend to famous people. Teachers, doctors, religious figures, volunteers, and others live on, too, because of how they shape others’ lives.
    • You might try compiling a list. Think hard and put down skills you have, but also personal qualities. You might be good at math or languages, for instance, but also patient or able to handle stressful situations.
  2. Consider your values. Becoming a legend is about a calling – something that you do memorably and like no one else. Something you do because it makes you fulfilled and whole. To find out what your calling is, you should also try to take stock of your values in life.
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    • Values are what we stand for and what guide our decisions. You might value creativity more than making money, for example. Competition could be important. Or, you might want to feel like you’re helping society.[1]
    • Legends usually stand for something. Mother Theresa gave her life to the poor. Michael Jordan made competition his highest value and became a great basketball player. You may have a personal legend in mind who stood for something, too.
    • Think of two people that you respect. Why do you admire them? What qualities do they have that you want? The answers will reflect your values.[2]
    • Think as well about a moment in life when you felt really satisfied. What made you feel that way? This, too, will reflect your values.
    • You might try writing these down alongside your talents. Do you see any connection between the two lists?
  3. Look for overlap between talents and values. A calling isn’t a job. It’s something you would do in your spare time or without getting paid. You won’t necessarily like it all the time, but it drives you. The key is to find a niche where your natural talents and values come together.
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    • Some people think that “following your passion” is bad advice.[3] It’s true that your calling might not be well-paid or it might be stressful. If your aim is to be a legend, however, a true calling is an end in itself.
    • Legends are not usually “weekend warriors.” We don’t remember people who lived out their passion as a hobby. We remember the ones who devoted themselves to a cause and made sacrifices for their chosen calling.

Following Your Vocation

  1. Embrace your niche. Becoming a legend is about finding your calling and making an impact on other people’s lives. Where you end up might surprise you. Your niche might be in a profession or job, or it might be the role that you play at home as a mother, father, sibling, or child. Embrace it! Legends try to be the best in their chosen field.
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    • Do you want to make a difference in the world? Are you patient and able to deal with stress? Maybe your place in medicine or mental health. Maybe it is as a war correspondent or volunteer for an aid organization.
    • Some people are good at giving others guidance. Your calling might be as a counselor or social worker.
    • Maybe you’ve decided that you want fame and fortune. That’s OK. Aim high, whether it be as an athlete, investment banker, or hedge-fund manager.
    • Caregivers are also legends. Dads, moms, grandparents, aunts, uncles – all live on for their devotion.
  2. Emulate others. Find models to follow. They could be people that you admire, like a skilled surgeon or your favorite professor. Or you might single out certain qualities to emulate, like your local priest’s generosity or your dad’s selflessness. Models will help you grow into your role and to grow as a person.
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    • Even legends have sources of inspiration. Steve Jobs idolized inventors like Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, for instance. The tennis star Eugenie Bouchard looked up to another legend, Maria Sharapova.[4]
    • Be willing to learn and grow. Legends are not always humble but they are willing to grow and get better at what they do. Be open to others. Learn from them, emulate their strengths, and at last try to surpass them.
  3. Develop a positive outlook. Have you ever known of a legend with a defeatist attitude? No! They became legends by believing in their calling and by not giving up, no matter the odds. Can you imagine a social justice hero giving up hope in the future? Can you imagine a great athlete doubting her ability to win the big game?[5]
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    • Legends fill us with hope. Whether it is your childhood sports hero, a great scientist, or a spiritual mentor, you look up to them with awe and inspiration.
    • Cultivate a “can-do” attitude. Focus on the things that you can control and try not to worry about what you can’t. Take action, as well. The more initiative you take, the more in your life you control.[6]
    • Try to be resilient. Think of failure as an opportunity – a chance to learn, grow, and become stronger in your vocation. The most successful people (and legends) also experience failure.

Serving a Greater Good

  1. Stop worrying about what others think. Part of becoming a legend is in the mind. Legends are confident, cool, and have a certain “I don’t care what you think” attitude. This doesn’t mean that they are self-absorbed or arrogant. But it does mean that they believe in their calling.
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    • Don’t fear social judgement for your calling or your convictions. Does your family think you’re weird because you want to work with Doctors without Borders in India? What’s more important, their opinion or helping people in India?
    • Remember that some of the biggest legends of all time did unconventional things. Many people refused to believe Albert Einstein’s ideas about space and time. The Buddha meanwhile gave up all his wealth and goods to find enlightenment.
  2. Start living for others. Try to put others first in your life. Be generous, be thoughtful, and live out your calling for them. The more you impact people’s lives, the more likely you are to be remembered by them and become a legend.
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    • If you’re a doctor, for example, you can live for others by cultivating a great bedside manner and by expressing empathy with patients.
    • A lawyer might become legendary because she choose to work as a court-appointed defense attorney and serve the underprivileged.
    • Teachers become legendary by the time and effort they take to ensure students’ learning and personal growth.
    • You can even do this at home. Whether it’s reading to a little sibling, working hard to support the family, or caring for elderly relatives, you will be living for others and remembered.
  3. Give back and give freely. Whatever your calling is, give freely of it. Share your talent, your advice, your time, or your knowledge. People will be more likely to remember you because you’ll have made a difference in others’ lives.
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    • Tell jokes freely if you’re a comedian and bring joy to others. Give a charity concert if you are a musician. If you’re a scientist, give public lectures about your work.
    • Do you have a spiritual vocation? Be open to helping people who ask for your guidance.
    • If you’ve decided to go for fame and fortune, become a philanthropist. Make charitable donations and give back to the community that raised you.
    • Consider becoming a mentor, as well. By being a mentor you can give your time and your knowhow. This will allow you to pass your calling on, and perhaps to inspire a new generation.

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