What Is Your Legacy?
A great legacy is about leveraging your wisdom, skills, gifts, financial assets, and other resources to make an impact. It’s about living a life full of meaning, joy and service.

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A Legacy of Hard Work
How One Man's Ambition Changed Future Generations

What Makes for a Meaningful Life?

There’s all kinds of advice out there:

Joseph Campbell proclaims, “Follow your bliss.” Socrates tells us to examine our lives—exhaustively. Buddha advises to let go of attachment. Jesus asks us to lose ourselves in the service of God. Woody Allen says, “Life is meaningless.” Success gurus speak of becoming someone of high status—a millionaire. Thoreau recommends working as little as possible; he only spent six weeks a year selling pencils to pay for his simplified living. Sylvia Path writes that we must pick a path, a direction, or our potential will wither and die like an unpicked, black, wrinkled fig. The Neighborhood Atheist table I saw over the weekend at Balboa Park in San Diego displayed a banner that said, “RELAX. Hell does not exist. Or heaven either. Enjoy your life.” (It must be noted that no one at the table looked like they were enjoying life, but I’m sure they throw some great parties…)

So, who do we follow? What leads to a life of love, joy and fulfillment?

There are currently several popular philosophies about adult self-development and fulfillment:

  1. Natural tendencies must be tamed. In other words, psychological development is the life-long task of turning instinctual immorality into decency. The ego must be overcome for progression. (Thank you, Freud.)
  1. The behaviorist point of view (made popular by B.F. Skinner), which postulates that the purpose of psychological development is 1) to define the proper way for humans to live through experimentation and empirical data, and 2) to create the rules to guide a person through proper living.
  1. The search for self or the humanist point of view. It is the belief that an inward analysis of one’s emotions, behaviors and motivations is the way to uncover one’s full potential.
  1. The historical cycle of a society indicates that groups of people progress from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to freedom, from freedom to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to apathy, from apathy to dependency, and right back to bondage. Then the cycle starts all over again.
  1. We are coming into a new age in which we will reject materialism and embrace social good and decency. Technological development, medical advances and information makes it possible for the enlightenment of a society not driven by work or struggle to thrive and evolve more quickly than ever before.

You could spend a lifetime trying to figure out which point of view is correct (and many scientists, philosophers and thinkers have). But my thought is that it really doesn’t matter which particular theory you buy into. What matters is starting with something—a hypothesis—of what you believe will lead to greater meaning in your life and pursuing it. If you find out you’re wrong along the way, simply change course.

In my path to identify what makes for a meaningful life, I’ve had a lot of ups and downs. I’ve made millions and lost it all. I’ve suffered the wrath of the U.S. government and had my name cleared when I realized my ex-husband was lying to me just in the nick of time. I’ve dedicated myself to becoming an artist, then a businesswoman, then a writer, then a meaning legacy planning expert. I’ve been incredibly religious and rejected religion completely. I’ve followed my gut and ignored it. I’ve gotten so caught up in a story, I trapped myself with only my thoughts. I’ve fallen in love and out of love on the same night. I’ve cried in shame. I’ve felt the love of a stranger offering me half his scone on a plane. I’ve felt the fear of starting my own business without a client in sight. I’ve experienced the centering of meditation and the joy of letting go of my preconceived plans. I’ve walked on the beach for hours humming the theme song from Jurassic Park. I’ve been stuck in a 1-person elevator in Prague pressed up against a 6’5″ man and almost hyperventilated to death. I’ve talked with all kinds of people from the mega wealthy to the incredibly intelligent to the unbelievably creative.

And I’ve come to the conclusion that everyone has an important legacy to leave behind. You are not an island. Your thoughts, stories, ideas and love impacts others. Your children, friends, loved ones and communities deserve the best you can offer. Which could be as thoughtful as baking cookies for a neighbor, as meaningful as creating a close family, or as big as pledging to end world hunger.

My work focuses on the development of a meaningful legacy because I’ve been through a lot and seen a lot and, at the end of the day, I believe that all that matters is who we’ve impacted. I don’t claim to know all the answers, but I am dedicated to discovering and sharing the best of what I’m learning and doing.

There are many paths to a fulfilling life. My work offers one path (or components that can be added to what you’re already doing). My team and I have come up with a system for creating, documenting and archiving a meaningful legacy—either for your family and/or to impact your community. If you are interested in the following, I would suggest you see if our work appeals to you:

  • More fulfillment and purpose in your life.
  • A closer family with improved communication and joint goals.
  • Children who have higher levels of self-esteem, loyalty to the family, independence and a solid foundation of morals and principles to live by.
  • No regrets—you will not reach the end of your life and wonder why you didn’t express your love before it was too late.
  • Greater peace of mind knowing that your children and loved ones have an “instruction manual” from you outlining lessons you’ve learned, what you believe in and how you have done practical things (such as manage money or grow your business).
  • Being remembered as someone great, providing hope, a sense of pride and inspiration for future generations.
  • Having a tangible record of your life that will be treasured and not fade over time as memories tend to do.
  • Leveraging your impact on the community in supporting a cause you care about.

No matter what, you will leave behind a legacy simply because you have interacted with others. It’s impossible not to leave some memory of your existence. But without the proper planning, that legacy will be accidental. Will your family, friends and loved ones be blessed with the best parts of you? There is an old African proverb that says, “When an old man dies, a library burns to the ground.” My hope is to keep some of that library in tact.

A Handful of Links You May Find Interesting:

All the best,

Laura Roser

Keynote Speaker


Family Legacy Planning Workshops & Retreats

Would you like to learn how to pass on your non-financial assets (your wisdom, values, beliefs, etc.) to your family? Learn more >

Resilient Leadership

This presentation is for business leaders and managers. Laura speaks about how to overcome mistakes, thrive in uncertainty and create a legacy of lasting impact throughout the ups and downs of business. Learn more >

Developing a Legacy of Excellence

The greatest legacy is a life well lived. In this presentation, Laura will discuss how to develop an authentic legacy – not for the end goal of monetary success or to gain fame or enhance reputation, but for the sake of advancing one’s state of being and increasing love. Learn more >


Laura writes, speaks and consults with clients about how to cultivate an exceptional character and pass on their moral and intellectual assets. Her team of talented writers, artists, and consultants focus on bringing out the meaning and true essence of their clients’ unique legacies.