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

Updated on January 13, 2020
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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 for remaining generations to know, understand and remember lives and traditions. Being famous is not a necessity for leaving a legacy. Any unknown individual can leave their legacy for another individual".

Continued: Never Be Forgotten. Family.

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 did for a living and enjoyed doing. Unfortunately, I have no idea. I've no photos or videos of them. Not even stories. Just a few photographs and memories.

Centuries ago, history preserved memories and legacies through cave art which recorded the lives, images and stories of prehistoric life in caves and on rocks. Drawings and painting of early life and the tools they used to depict the animals that existed before becoming extinct.

Before the invention of technology, it was heirlooms that enabled us to remember our ancestors. Items such as a home-made piece of furniture or jewellery handed down from one generation to the next. Aside from heirlooms, it's memories that are kept alive through discussing and passing-on stories. Tales of families lives handed to future generations can potentially last a lifetime.

As the future progressed, it was the rich and powerful figures who could afford to have portraits painted by artists. Portraits preserved for future generations to see what their ancestors looked like. Portraits painted by the finest artists that have ever lived. As history progressed, it was the invention of photography that made it possible to capture and record images and voices. Personalities immortalised forever by technology.

The Monarchy - Military - Rulers - Dictators

From the aristocracy to the most famous Greeks, Italians, Romans and Egyptians that ever lived. Histories most notable figures who shaped the world to what it is today. The Egyptians are so famous and successful in being remembered, due to the cast amount of artefacts and historical sites they left behind. More than enough legacies.

Monarchy - Military - Rulers - Dictators.

Some achieved their goals by the most ruthless, treacherous and murderous ways, and still being talked about centuries later. In School and depicted in films and documentaries. Every dictator who made their mark on society throughout the centuries, to the greatest wartime leaders to have ever lived.

Now, its the politicians who use their political persuasion to assert power. Each politician trying to achieve success and legacies they hope will last. Anyone in politics can potential to become one of the greatest political leaders in history.

Lest not forget the war heroes who were an influential and important 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, it will never forget.

The Scientists - Inventors - Engineers - Artists

It was because of world wars that required the inventions of submarines, planes and weapons for a new means of attack. Weapons capable of firing multiple 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 possible for soldiers to win wars.

Scientists. Inventors. Engineers. Artists.

What it takes to be remembered is not just degrees and diplomas, but a genius mind. History remembers the name of everyone who has made significant contributions to medical science to space exploration. The inventors, designers, engineers and philosophers. Those who worked hard for a cause or discovery to bring their ambitions to fruition. Not 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 that society remembers.

Some of history's most influential people were authors. The 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.

Including the artists of every movement whose priceless artwork adorns museums and the homes of the rich and famous. The greatest artists who have left their legacies that still inspire other artists to follow, 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.

Ever since the invention of the wheel, humans continue 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 famous figure - an actor from the entertainment business.

The Entertainment Industry

Actors who keep the names of historical figures alive by telling their stories. Actors who have ever appeared on stage, television and film have all become part of our lives. Award-winning actors, we never tire of watching. All it takes to leave a legacy is one star role and 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. Actors 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. From every film, programme and documentaries that's ever been 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. Any actor lucky enough to get one of those roles has created their legacy.

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

Then there are the courageous daredevils who pushed the very 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 of the brave 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 high-wire walk 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 bedazzled with their magic tricks are hard to forget.

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 maybe you, and today's the day to start doing something that will be remembered for hundreds of years.

Musicians

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 becoming part of a film's soundtrack. Great inspirational songs or pieces of music we listen and sing-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.

Musicians.

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

What it takes to being remembered as 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 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 artist. 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 rich and have all left their mark on society and the music industry.

Every year, someone gets knocked-off the 100 greatest singers of all time by another greater singer.

Being a great singer or having a great song is nothing without a well-known producer and record label to bring songs back to life. The best music producers of all time

If you can succeed as a musician, imagine the world singing one of your songs for decades and centuries! Or having one of the most successful and influential song of all time. Including those timeless Christmas songs we listen to every year. Some singers songs were a one-hit-wonder, which is still enough to leave a long-lasting legacy.

In this modern computerised world, many people are becoming extremely popular throughout the world as social media influencers, singing, promoting, education and entertaining the viewers in a variety of ways across social media platforms, Youtube, Instagram, Facebook & Twitter. All it takes is a PC, Internet connection and your talent to leave a legacy, created from your bedroom.

Sportsmen & Women

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

Sportsmen & Women.

You don't always need stamina or athleticism to be a legend in all sports. The key attributes needed 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, hundreds and thousands of sports stars, athletes and gymnastics have competed for their country. Not everyone succeeded or will be remembered. 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's resilient athletes with knock-out performances who stay 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 make it into the 100 greatest sports stars ever list.

Sports most elite icons who created their goals and legacies using their physical strength, stamina and speed. As well as hard work, resilience, dedication, and sometimes, blood, sweat and tears, 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 being the first women to achieve success in a business 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, seas to cross, and planets to set foot on. You don't have to be an astronaut like Michael Jackson to do do the moon walk!

The first person to break the sound barrier is 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 person who received one million, then one billion views or followers. Who will be the first to receive one trillion or one zillion followers?

One day, someone dead will become world-famous in a heartbeat. This person has 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. This person, dead or alive will become world famous in a heart-beat.

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

Creating legacies is not just about being first. It's being the best!

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

Everyone has an opinion who they think is best. That's why lists are compiled from public surveys, reviews, polls and the number of books written about them. And the number of Internet searches all contributes to remaining at the top of a list.

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 genera 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 for re-inventing themselves. Changing occupations each decade.

It's not just the qualified famous people who are creating long-lasting legacies, it's reality and talent show contestants who have become famous. Contestants who have amazed or shocked 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!

Actors not listed or recognised as a 'top best actor, will have other opportunities to get listed. Such as the 'best comedy' actor, 'best villain', or 'best 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 a list of the most notorious, Infamous gangsters and villains in history.

The Infamous - Gangsters - Villains

The most respectable villains and criminals worth remembering are the 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 children and women to ever live. Society not only remembers, it's hard not to forget. The worse legacy to leave.

The Infamous. Gangsters. Villains.

Throughout history, people used fear to fulfil their reign of terror In the 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, gangsters and pirates for fun!

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 our television screens and in biographical films.

Centuries ago, 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 for many global protest movements. Fawkes failed to succeed in one respect but succeeded in another by creating his legacy. Unfortunately, not the legacy he had planned which was to blow-up the Houses Of Parliament.

Celebrities who were once remembered for their talents and accomplishments have become infamous, Known 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

Which villains of today will we be celebrating in another 100 or 500 years? Will we still be dressing-up as pirates? Or dressing up as terrorists at fancy dress parties covered with fake body explosives? Who knows, the future can be very finicky.

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 peacefully for justice, those who never imagined the legacies they would create. Who changed the course of humanity forever.

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 never forget Emmeline Pankhurst. One of the many suffragettes who fought to give a woman the right to vote. Or the African-American seamstress, Rosa Parks 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 South African activist and former president Nelson Mandela. His actions and words were silenced by years of imprisonment. He later became one of the most influential people to have ever lived.

Meghan Markel was a normal girl living an ordinary life until she become a famous actress. Then she married Prince Harry, and there's only a small chance that she could become queen of England.

Greta Thunberg whose inspirational and some would say controversial speech on the world stage discussing the problems with global warming.

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 names alive by decorating the body with the most tattoos. Having the most body modifications and everything else in between. If anyone can be the fastest 'Cup Stacker' or can balance the most coins upright on your arm in one minute, then you could be a world record-breaker.

Being born into a legacy: The most extraordinary way to be remembered is being born with 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 the above.

The Memorabilia - Awards - Accolades

When the films and TV shows have ended, and the games have stopped playing, it's the physical things we see in our everyday lives that keep these memories alive. The hall, wall, or walk of fame in actual halls, museums and people's homes to display the memorabilia. Shrines to keep 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. Mementos that offer 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.

Paper, wood or gold. If it has any relationship to a famous person, something they signed, used, owned can be worth more than it's weight in gold. Any recognised name or brand associated with quality are eagerly sought after. Items relating to famous people that everyone would love to own or even touch is worth it's weight in gold.

As I look around me, everything I own is worthless. My pens, chairs, desk and tables. But if I became famous overnight, all these items would be very valuable, maybe priceless.

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's in today, maybe out tomorrow.

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 (families name) erased from history.

Being Erased From History.

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

Fire has destroyed so much of our history, yet, in the same light, the archaeologists continue to dig-up history and bringing other past humans lives and memories back to life. Scientists unveil face of 7,500-year-old woman from Turkey.

The 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 them 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 of wars and conflicts. Or the deliberate destruction of statues, monuments and numerous cultural heritage sites which have been 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 remove or destroy from history.

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 it's a Fabergé. Don't settle for 15 minutes of fame. Do something extraordinary. Become an icon worth remembering throughout the years, decades and centuries - to be seen and talked about every day, decade and even century.

The World's Future In 2100 - An Amazing Future For Humans

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!

Perhaps I'll bury a time-capsule with all my photos and a secret fake map leading to some imaginary treasure. That would be the only legacy I could leave, and hopefully be talked about in 100 years. (if they find it)

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

Zager And Evans - In The Year 2525

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 Compu-Smart

What do you hope to be remembered for?

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    • compu-smart profile imageAUTHOR

      Compu-Smart 

      4 weeks ago from London UK

      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.

    • compu-smart profile imageAUTHOR

      Compu-Smart 

      7 weeks ago from London UK

      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.

    • compu-smart profile imageAUTHOR

      Compu-Smart 

      3 months ago from London UK

      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.

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    • compu-smart profile imageAUTHOR

      Compu-Smart 

      5 months ago from London UK

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

    • compu-smart profile imageAUTHOR

      Compu-Smart 

      5 months ago from London UK

      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)

    • compu-smart profile imageAUTHOR

      Compu-Smart 

      5 months ago from London UK

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

    • profile image

      Up-dater. 

      6 months 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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