This is an edgy question for me and precisely because of that I am leaning into it. There can be a tendency to make our worlds too small, too tactical and bigger questions offer perspective. They can also give permission to trim down the to-do list and focus on the essential.

The whole idea of legacy puts our lives into perspective and in itself invites bigger questions. Whether we think about it or not we will leave some legacy, so what might it be?

I’m not sure it necessarily has to be something grandiose that we leave behind but instead perhaps the ripple effects on the world and people in it through our daily efforts to serve them.

I’m not even sure it even has to be something we only leave after us. In a way, each day we get to live into the legacy of our lives to date and add more ripples.

So, what pebbles might you throw into the pond today that might still ripple tomorrow?

Questions in the Image:

  • What can I do today to shape my legacy?
  • What does my legacy feel like today?
  • What pebbles might I throw into the pond today that might still ripple tomorrow?

Want to Read More Around This Topic?

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl (link to This book explores how individuals can find purpose in life, which often forms the basis of one’s legacy.

Nurturing Curiosity – Daily Practice: This is part of the Nurturing Curiosity series of tools, insights and questions designed to help nurture curiosity as part of our daily practice. In point of fact, every interaction we have is an opportunity to question what we are observing and how we and others are seeing the world. Also remember that questions come in many forms throughout our day – in fact the question explored here makes me think of timeframes. Clearly, the only time we ever accomplish anything is in the now. And yet, if we are to live into a vision and a mission it helps to move back and forward through timeframes. For example, asking what we can do today to shape our legacies creates a certain continuity each and every day and increases the odds that your life will feel it has a purpose.

About Tom O’Leary

My mission is to help others think differently – meaning more broadly and deeply – and thereby make better decisions. The key to thinking differently lies in our curiosity.

The more we question, the more possible answers we uncover, and the more we expand what we thought possible. Life has taught me that possibility lies not so much in seeking answers but in learning to ask better questions – the ones that help prioritise what is truly essential.

And yet, in a culture obsessed with efficiency and productivity, the paradox is that much energy and resources are wasted by a bias towards action over contemplation. If you are answering the wrong question, it doesn’t matter how ‘hard’ you work, you are still answering the wrong question.

That is why I am a big advocate of nurturing curiosity and innovative thinking at all ages, particularly amongst leaders because of the impact they have on us all. In my vision, leaders aren’t boxed in by traditional thinking or established playbooks. They are curious, open to fresh ideas and diverse perspectives, fostering a culture of exploration and learning.

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