Alan Weiss – “Your Legacy is Now”

Alan Weiss, in his new book, Your Legacy is Now, provides a thought-provoking perspective on the process of creating a personal legacy by the way we give meaning to our lives every day. Most people think of a legacy as gifts that one receives from ancestors or predecessors after those people have died. In his new book, Weiss awakens us to the idea that legacy is how we engage with life and the people that share our days, “appreciating whatever and whomever we can while we’re able to do so.”


This book is both philosophical and tactical.  Weiss challenges us to think about how we will be remembered not just after we are gone, but just as important, after we have ended each day.  How have our interactions impacted others and ourselves? His ten chapters are filled with marvelous insight, diagrams, case studies, exploratory questions, and action lists. While the book is an easy read, taking a chapter at a time should give the reader time to reflect on the information, and consider how their days can be altered to create more meaning.

Giving meaning to our lives is personal to each of us, says Weiss, based on our own unique values, beliefs, and vision. He warns that defining meaning can be difficult with the noise that can invade and influence our lives.  Sources such as the media, celebrities and retailers tend to communicate and even parade meaning and success in a shallow and materialistic manner.  Weiss encourages us to define success as our calling, a mission that can evolve over time, changing shape as we grow, mature, and learn.  The important goal is to identify and appreciate the ways in which we contribute to our world in a satisfying way.

Weiss includes a chapter on the importance of connecting with people to create satisfaction, on the way to creating a legacy. Do more than coexist with those around you, Weiss counsels. Connecting requires intimate communication, having relationships that have “closeness” and “familiarity” where feedback is honest and sincere.  At the same time, Weiss encourages readers to broaden their community of connections and develop relationships with individuals from different backgrounds, to create new familiarity.

By isolating ourselves with those that have similar beliefs, Weiss warns, we are reducing intimacy in our lives, and limiting our legacy. He advises us to explore new people and places, and let learning contribute to our meaning.  

Weiss discusses the types of “competition” and questions where competition should fit in how we live our calling.  He discusses the difference between healthy competition and covert competition which amounts to a zero-sum way of competing.  Weiss encourages us to work hard in pursuit of our own calling and define success based on our own life metrics and plan, but to avoid competition that means another must fail for you to succeed. Competition can be healthy and lift all boats, not just your own.


Weiss’ new book motivates readers to see the idea of ‘legacy’ as action, not anticipation.  Instead of focusing on how people will remember us many years from now, he asks us to see the possibility of impacting people in a positive way through our pursuits and our interactions, now.  

Nicole Killian

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Nicole loves to go cross country skiing, swimming, reading and critiquing books, listening and critiquing music, some culinary arts, pottery, spending time with my daughter, cheesy horror films.

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