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What It Takes to Create a Legacy: That Will Be Remembered for Centuries.

Updated on July 9, 2019
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I'll never forget what I was told as a child. "no one's going to remember you in a hundred years"? Were they right?

Introduction: Never Be Forgotten

For the majority of society, being remembered, or creating a legacy is not important. We're far too busy enjoying and living life in its moments. Having said that, I wish I knew who my ancestors were - what they looked like. Unfortunately, I have no photos of them. It was only the rich and powerful figures who could afford to have their portraits painted and preserved for future generations.

Continued: Never Be Forgotten. Family.

Figures who were rich enough to have their portraits painted by the finest artists. Prior to this, it was the ancient artists who painted the lives and stories of past eras in caves. As history progressed, it was the inventors of photography which made it possible to record images and voices; personalities immortalised by technology. Before this, it was heirlooms that enabled us to remember our ancestors. If you have no heirlooms, it's memories that are kept alive through discussing and passing-on stories. Tales of our ancestor's life can potentially last a lifetime.

If you're born into royalty, or can marry into it, this will place you in immediately in the history books. A dead-cert for leaving a legacy.

The Monarchy - Military - Rulers - Dictators

From the aristocracy, to the most famous Greeks, Italians, Romans and Egyptians. The historical figures who shaped the world to what it is today. History will always remember them.

Monarchy - Military - Rulers - Dictators.

The historical people we taught about in School and those depicted in films and documentaries. Those who achieved their goals by the most ruthless, treacherous and murderous ways; the greatest wartime leaders of every century to have ever lived. Now, its the politicians who use their political persuasion to assert power.

Anyone interested in politics can become one of the greatest political leaders in history.

Lest not forget those who were part of history through ancient and modern warfare. The war heroes recognised for their brave and gallant services on the front-line. History not only remembers, it will never forget.

The Scientists - Inventors - Engineers - Artists

It was world wars that required the inventors of submarines, planes and weapons for a new means of attack. Weapons capable of firing many shots; nuclear, chemical and biological weapons capable of mass destruction. It was thanks to the brilliant chemists, physicists, mechanics and engineers of advanced technology that made it all possible.

Scientists. Inventors. Engineers. Artists.

What it takes to be remembered is not just degrees and diplomas, but a genius mind. History remembers every name of the highly qualified contributors to medical science and space exploration; the inventors, designers, engineers and philosophers. Those who worked hard for a cause or discovery to try and bring their ambitions to fruition, never knowing if they'll ever succeed. Some did with years of hard work and resilience. While others achieved success purely by accident. Either way, they're all historical figures society will always remember.

On the subject of books, it's the authors of books. Books of the best crime and love stories. The poets and dramatists. Writers who shaped the English language.

Including the artists of every movement whose priceless artwork adorns museums and homes of the rich and famous. Only the greatest artists.depicted in films, documentaries and history books have left their legacy.

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

Ever since the invention of the wheel, humans continue to innovate it for a particular purpose. What legacy can you invent? Invent something that changes the way humanity lives.

Even innovating an existing invention will stamp your name in history. A great accolade for any famous figure is having their life portrayed in a film by another famous figure. An actor from the entertainment business.

The Entertainment Industry

Actors who keep the names of those historical figures alive by telling their stories. As-well as anyone who has ever appeared on stage, television and film have become part of our lives. Award-winning actors we never tire of watching. All it takes is one appearance in an iconic TV show, program or film. Like the Harry Potter actors, and those who starred and appeared in the original Wizard Of Oz. Their persona forever embedded in our minds and history.

The Wizard Of Oz: A masterpiece of early cinema.
The Wizard Of Oz: A masterpiece of early cinema. | Source

Entertainment Industry.

Lights, Camera, Action! 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 transports us into make-believe worlds. It's through television and films that detail how past generations lived. Every film, programme and documentaries ever made, from Hollywood, Bollywood, Lollywood to Nollywood are all archived. Stored for future generations to enjoy.

The best chance of leaving a legacy is being part of a high-grossing film franchise or a lead role in an iconic film playing a superhero, Doctor Who or James Bond is enough. Any actor lucky enough to get one of those roles has created their legacy. Appearing in a variety of TV shows, soaps, comedies and TV series helps to achieve a legacy.

Daredevils who pushed the very limits of human endurance; who risked their lives doing the most dangerous stunts in history. The funniest comedians who make us cry with laughter, and the greatest magicians in the world who leave us confused and bedazzled with their magic.

Imagine, generations of your family, strangers and famous people throughout the world all enjoying your work. If you want your name in lights, or as a star on the Walk of Fame, you need to be very successful in the entertainment business.

Every show and film needs new actors (fresh blood). Your personality, charm, and looks alone can over-ride the need for any acting qualifications. Simply looking the part is enough to leave a long-lasting legacy.

Entertainers are created by individuals with a dream, desire or hope to be someone. That person may be you, and today's the day to start doing something that will be remembered for hundreds of years.


There's 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 as part of a film's soundtrack or a great inspirational songs or pieces of music we listen to every day.


What it takes to being remembered as a successful music artist is first-and-foremost, the ability to sing, play an instrument or write and produce songs. Unfortunately, not every musicians work can be listened too because they were singing centuries ago. Long before the invention of any recording capabilities. It was the inventors who made it possible to record and air songs..

Many became stars as a successful independent music artist, others achieved their legacies by jumping on the bandwagon. "Singers" who were not good at singing, but looked the part for a band or group.

Being a singer or having a great song is nothing without a well-known producer and record label to bring it to life. If you can succeed as a musician, imagine the world singing one of your songs for decades or even centuries! Being one of the most successful and influential songs of all time, even a one-hit wonder, is enough to leave your legacy. A few twists of a radio-dial and you'll hear songs that remain timeless; songs dating back through the decades.

Sportsmen & Women

History remembers every world record-breaking and memorable performances from the gifted athletes from track, field, court, to boxing rings and snooker tables.

Sportsmen & Women.

You don't even need stamina or athleticism to be a legend. Millimetre precision is enough for darts, snooker, and basketball player; millisecond precision from world-class racing drivers. That's all it takes. 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, and Olympic world records that will never be broken, keeping famous names forever in the limelight.

Throughout history, hundreds and thousands of athletes have competed for their country. Not everyone was a success or remembered; not everyone is good enough to achieve those unforgettable record-breaking moments. Others lost-out to faster and stronger opponents, those who metaphorically and literally threw in the towel. It's the resilient who stay focused on their goals and the richer and more famous they are.

All it took for sports stars to achieve their goals was hard work, resilience and dedication. Not forgetting blood, sweat and tears. If you can float like a butterfly and sting like a bee; throw, bat or kick a ball, you can make it into the 100 greatest sports stars ever list.

Sports most elite who used their strength, stamina and speed to create legacies and inspiring others to follow their path

Being the First / 1st

Being the first to accomplish something is always recognised. Such as the first person to win a gold medal in particular sports for their country. The first to win a sports event not yet invented, and the first women who achieve success in a businesses usually reserved for or dominated by men.

Being the First - 1st.

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, other seas to cross and other planets to set foot on.

The first person to break the sound barrier will be remembered, along with the surgeon who performed the first human-to-human heart transplant; all 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 Prime Minister? The history book awaits.

Anyone with a video sharing or social networking account has the chance to leave a legacy, like the first who received one million, then one billion views or followers. Who will be the first to receive one trillion or one zillion? Not only an achievement, but a nice financial earner.

One day, someone dead will become world famous in a heartbeat. This person who had their brain, head, or body cryogenically frozen. That's if anyone is clever enough to bring their cryogenically frozen corpse back to life to start life over again as someone world famous.

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

Creating legacies is not always about being first. It's being the best that helps with longevity.

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

Everyone has an opinion who they thinks the best. That's why lists are compiled from public surveys, reviews, polls and the number of books written about them - the number of website and Internet searches all contribute to being remembered. It's remaining at the top or on any list that helps.

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 everything and in every country.

However, lists are not always so glamorous, especially when ranked and remembered as one of the 'most famous douche bags', or the Most Hated Celebrities in history.

It's not just the famous who are creating long-lasing legacies. Reality and talent show contestants who have amazed or shocked the world with diabolical or outstanding performances are hard to forget; and if they never succeed in anything else in life, they will have left something worth remembering.

Actors not listed or recognised as a 'Top Best Actor, have other opportunities to get listed. Such as the 'Best Comedy', 'Best Villain', or 'Horror Film' actor. The more lists you can appear on, the higher the chance for longevity which is key for sustaining and keeping your legacy alive. A list no-one wants to be on is the list of the most notorious, Infamous gangsters and villains in history.

The Infamous - Gangsters - Villains

Being known for doing life's most evil deeds is never recommended. From notorious criminals, gangsters and serial killers. To the most dangerous children and women to ever live. Society not only remembers, it won't forget.

The Infamous. Gangsters. Villains.

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

In 1605, Guy Fawkes was killed 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 of many global protest movements. He failed to succeed in one respect, but succeeded in another by creating his legacy.

Which villains of today will we be celebrating in another 400 years? Will we dress up as terrorists at fancy dress parties covered with fake body explosives? Who knows. The future can be very finicky.

Society still admires and remembers the most notorious criminals long after their deaths. The outlaws of the wild west; those who made their name from protection rackets, armed robbery and murder are forever on our television screens.

Famous celebrities once remembered for their talents and accomplishments, are now infamous, known for their involvement in scandalous events. Including rape sexual molestation. Others have resorted to murder which the public will always find fascinating. The most respectable villains worth remembering are the on-screen actors. Ordinary actors transformed into characters we love to love and hate

From Ordinary to Extraordinary

It took ordinary people to do extraordinary things to change history and the way we live. Those who spoke out for those who were too afraid too. Those who devoted their lives fighting for justice, those who never imagined the legacies they create.

The unidentified Chinese man known only as "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 "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 Emmeline Pankhurst. One of the many suffragettes who fought to give a woman the right to vote.

African-American seamstress, Rosa Parks who stood up for her rights when she stayed seated on a bus-seat reserved for white people. This helped start the civil rights movement in the US.

History will never forget the South African activist and former president Nelson Mandela. His actions and words silenced by years of imprisonment. Now one of the most influential people ever in history. 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 Guiness Book of World Records'. Decorating the body with the most tattoos. Having the most body modifications and everything else between. All it takes is pain to enter and be part of history.

Being born into a legacy. The most extraordinary way is being born with a severe deformities like the Elephant man. Or as a conjoined twin, especially as one of the most famous conjoined twins. For as long as I live, I will never forget any of them.

The Memorabilia - Awards - Accolades

When the films and TV shows over, and the games have stopped playing. It's the physical things we see in our everyday lives that keeps memories alive. The hall, wall, or walk of fame in actual halls and museums to display memorabilia. Shrines to keep the games and all its contributors 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; unique and historical items which keeps peoples the memories of accomplishments alive.

From colossal statues erected around the world to sculptures, waxworks and artwork. Even a doll or action figure crafted in the likeness of anyone famous is a sure sign they've succeeded.

Paper, wood or gold. If it has any relationship to a famous person, something they signed, used, owned. Or has a recognised name or brand associated with quality are eagerly sought after. Some items I would love to own or even touch.

With the ever-changing universe, people's likes and dislikes change. Trends and fashions evolve. Today's rubbish could be tomorrows rare treasures and museum pieces. What was in today, may be out tomorrow.

Being Erased From History

I started this article with family and the family tree. But like most trees, branches die out, generations of direct descendent's names lost. Not everyone will have children. If they do, their child may not reproduce. Leaving memories and legacies of descendants erased from history.

Being Erased From History.

As the decades and centuries pass-by, families memories fade away. Tales and stories of past descendent aren't passed on. Memorable heirlooms passed down are sold through need or greed, erasing memories. Heirlooms lost or destroyed by fire.

Fire has destroyed so much of our history. Yet, in the same light, the archaeologists are digging-up history and bringing other past humans life and memories back to life.

Advances in technology and the way we view and store content is forever changing. Storage devices with families images will become obsolete and if future generations don't bother to convert the contents to newer formats, they will be erased from history, or left gathering dust in attics and basements.

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

History remembers the sportsmen and women who smashed world records, but anyone exposed as a drug-cheat will have their gold medals and any world records they've set removed. This can bring shame and embarrassment to them and their country. Something they would want history to forget.

What it takes to create a legacy and be remembered for centuries is a combination of handwork and/or luck. Never keep all your eggs in one basket unless its a Fabergé. Don't settle for 15 minutes of fame. Do something extra ordinary. Become an icon worth remembering throughout the years, decades and centuries. A legacy worth leaving; to be seen and talked about everyday and in every century.

Final Thoughts

As for that person that 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!

Perhaps I'll bury a time-capsule with all my photos and secrets and hope it's discovered long-after I'm dead! That would be my only legacy I could leave and hopefully be talked about when I'm long-gone!

If you want to be remembered, don't be a just celebrity. Be a star that can shine forever. Sowing enough seeds will give you the best chance to grow that tree that can potentially live-on for centuries.

Irene Cara: Fame - Remember My Name

More reads by this author

How to Become Famous: Top Tips + Helpful Information. Do you want to become famous? Then read (bookmark) these helpful and priceless tips to give you the best advantage.

Pros & Cons of Being Famous + Be Prepared for Fame! There are good, bad, and ugly sides to every industry. No more so than the entertainment industry.

© 2019 Tony T

What do you hope to be remembered for?

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      10 days ago

      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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