Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Day 2812 - What's your legacy? How to use the Brower Quadrant to help you work out your life purpose.

Have you ever wondered what your legacy might be?

I don't think I'll be getting my head carved into a mountain anytime soon

Legacy was not a word I associated with myself until around nine years ago.  I attended a conference in Hawaii that involved a number of speakers specialising in positive psychology. It was all part of my training to do life coachy things and it was a fantastic foray into self awareness.

Anyway, one of the speakers was Lee Brower and the session I did with him was about legacy creation.

Lee Brower currently has a Meaningful Monday program available on You Tube and podcast.  He chats about things like finding your "why", trust, gratitude, perception and a whole lot of the positive psychology type stuff you'll hear me chatting about on this blog.

Long before he was doing Meaningful Mondays, Lee wrote a book titled "The Brower Quadrant" to help people live their lives deliberately.  You know ... creating your life rather than just letting life happen to you.

His book covers things like gratitude, leadership, harmony, leverage, positive forward movement and legacy.

When I saw Lee live, one of the big take-homes for me was the Brower Quadrant and how it helps us to find our legacy.

If you've ever wondered what your purpose might be, this is a great exercise to help get you on the right road.

Legacy Creation Exercise

  • On a piece of A4 paper draw a line down the middle of the page and another line across the page to divide it into four equal quadrants.

  • Title the first quadrant VALUES, the second quadrant, EXPERIENCES, the third quadrant FINANCES and the final quadrant CONTRIBUTIONS.

  • Start with the values quadrant. Set the timer for one minute on your phone and without second guessing yourself, write down as many values/virtues/personality traits you would like to be remembered for once you're gone.  They may be values you already have, or perhaps they are traits you would like to perfect. They might even be the traits you most admire in others.  Remember: this is a brain storming exercise and everything that pops into your head should be jotted down as quickly as possible.  Sometimes the most important points are the most random ones sitting at the front of your mind.

  • Do the same now for experiences.  What experiences would you most like to be remembered for or which you think would be the best role model for your offspring, extended family, friends or community.  They may be simple experiences such as regular Sunday family dinners or the more "pie-in-the-sky" experiences like world travel or being the president of the board.  It might be to participate in dancing classes, combi van around Australia, climb a mountain or perhaps you'd like to write a novel. Again, there is no such thing as a bad idea. Just jot down everything that spills from your mind. 

  • Now it's time for your finances.  What financial situation would you like to be in at the end of your life? What money would you like to pass on and who would you like to pass it to? Be specific.  Don't write down "I want to be comfortable" but specifically jot down the fact that you want to own 3 homes, have $500,000 in the bank or a portfolio of stocks and bonds. 

  • The final quadrant is the contributions quadrant.  This is the one area that many people overlook when it comes to legacy creation.  How would you like to give back to this world?  At a minimum we already give back when we pay our taxes.  Taxes are not something we should be angry about, but they are something to be proud of and the simplest way we can contribute to our society.  How else would you like to have contributed during your life?  It might be a financial contribution like sponsoring a child, or an in-kind contribution like coaching the local netball team.  It could be planting trees or promoting marine conservation.  Write down all the ways you'd like to be able to contribute to the world we live in.  

  • Once you're done it's time to grab a highlighter pen and zero in on each quadrant.  Focus on the list of values/traits and highlight the ONE value that jumps out at you the most.  Then head to the experiences and again highlight the ONE that really speaks to you right now.  Do the same for the finances and the contributions.

  • Those highlighted points - they are the ones you can start working on TODAY.  Believe it or not each one of them is actually achievable in your life time.  Each one of them can be part of your legacy. It may not happen immediately but you can now create a list of actions associated with each new goal and step by step you can start your legacy creation.

Every day we are presented with a blank sheet of paper in which to create our life story.  Each time we step out of bed we are given a new opportunity to start fresh.  With each new sunrise we are able to pursue our life purpose.   

We can all leave a legacy.  Our legacy doesn't have to be as big as having our likeness carved into the side of a mountain for all eternity, nor do we have to have our names attached to the new wing of a hospital. We can all live inspiring and fulfilling lives that leave a lasting impression on the people around us and be passed on to generations to come. 

What is your life purpose?

Do you know what your legacy will be?

Do you think the Brower Quadrant might be useful for you? 


  1. I'm not sure about my legacy but as they sing in Avenue Q "everyone needs a purpose." I'm going to have to sit down when I have more time and give this exercise a go. It looks like it could be super useful!

  2. Hmmm. Interesting, the different perspectives on purpose and legacy. I think I kind of did this when my kids were teeny tiny. I was very intentional about the values and characteristics I wanted for them, and was then able to plan to raise them accordingly. For us it was things like faith, community engagement, responsibility, kindness, gratitude, self-control (among many others). Having landed two out of three in adulthood, I can see that being intentional that early has enabled us to reap what we desired to sew. My kids are all of those things, and that's a legacy I'm happy to pass on.

  3. This is a really interesting approach. I love that we can all make a mark on this world, even if it only seems small we might have a greater impact than we realise.

  4. That's a cool approach to try!

  5. Interesting. I'm not sure I have much interest in a financial legacy, that's one to think on.

  6. This is really interesting and taps into some of what is on my mind lately. Thanks for sharing it.

  7. At the moment my life's purpose is raising my five kids to be responsible and contributing members of our society. I'm sure that'll change as they grow! #teamIBOT

  8. This sounds interesting as I was just commenting the other day that I worry I will leave nothing behind. No legacy at all. Def no kids etc but what else do I have to leave? This exercise might help!


I love hearing your thoughts! Keep them rolling in :)

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