The current state of the environment has ignited much debate about our living habits. A dialogue has begun about the size of our carbon footprints. The natural world is under immense strain; we have all heard stories about the ice caps and the speedy rate at which they are melting. We have been implored to adjust and reduce our consumption of certain products, to recycle and reuse when and where we can. What about the imprint we make on the world, not just physically, but mentally as well? What kind of life do we want to lead in order to make a positive, sustaining contribution to the world?

How do we want to be remembered and what legacy do we want to leave behind?

Every day, whether consciously or unconsciously, we interact with others, and go about our day, not realising that we are leaving our mark, everywhere we go. Even the most superficial interactions can be the catalyst for major change. A single word, or a spontaneous gesture, can set into motion a myriad of different things, opening doors where once they were closed.

For instance, if you’ve always wanted to return to study but did not think you were capable, you may hesitate and decide against it. Your thoughts about your abilities keep you stagnated, closing off all opportunity to learning. But what if you thought differently and went back to study? It could improve your life ten-fold and you could meet others who become integral to your success. This is the way your impact on the world changes; the mark you make alters with every thought you have expressed and followed.

The importance of our thoughts cannot be stressed enough. Everything begins and ends with a thought.

It’s a cliché, but it’s true we’re all unique and have different talents and skills; the mark you leave can express your individualism. Some feel disheartened and think they don’t have anything to offer, like an artist, musician or inventor has, but this could not be further from the truth. Everyone has something to offer and even if you sit in a dull office all day, the type of person you are, the way you treat others is of utmost importance. Obviously, there are not many of us who will leave behind incomparable works of art or design skyscrapers which will stand the test of time, yet it doesn’t matter.

It is often not what you do that people remember, but how you do it.

Becoming aware of your thoughts and actions can make you move differently through the world. You tread softly, respect nature and are mindful of those around you. You approach life with deep reverence, want to fulfil your potential and see others fulfil theirs. Your legacy becomes a major influence on your thoughts and the actions you take. You want to make a positive impact on the world and be remembered for the important things, like the type of friend you were, your generosity, your compassion and grace.

Generations before us have informed the way we live in the present; the times they have lived through have seen them contribute, rally for, vote against, accept and dismiss things just as our thoughts and actions will influence the generation after us. Our legacies produce a knock-on effect connecting us all; we all affect each others experience to a certain extent.

Just as we need to keep an eye on the products and services we use and consume, in order to build a sustainable environment, we too, need to become aware of the thoughts we entertain and perpetuate. Every thought, just like every action, contains energy and it is up to us how we choose to shape it and what kind of mark it will leave on the world.

So, what do you want to be remembered for?