July 8, 2019

Everyone dreams of doing great things that will leave a mark on the world. Whether your goal is to create a legacy through the work you’ve done, or to be someone who is well-loved and of value to the people around you, the point is not to live a meaningless, forgettable life. Rather than a self-indulgent or needlessly sombre exercise, reflecting upon how you’d like to be remembered after you’ve passed on is a useful way to realign your values and remind yourself of how you should be spending each day. What is your greater mission? Are you living your best life, making a positive contribution to your community, or treating others the way they should be treated?

The things that you invest the most energy into will be what you’re most remembered for. While some are focused on creating social change through their careers, others value their relationships more because no amount of fame and fortune is worth disappointing your loved ones. We asked 10 leaders from Singapore, who are at the top of their fields, to reflect on how they’d want to be remembered after all is said and done.

How 10 Singapore Leaders Want to Be Remembered Art Collage

Siti Noor Mastura, Founder of Back2Basics & Co-Founder of Interfaith Youth Circle

“When people think of me, I’d like them to be inspired and think, ‘If she can, I can too’. With Mother Teresa, for example, people will say, ‘Oh, she’s such a selfless soul.’ But the story ends there. I don’t want that. I want people to do something from that story, to feel that they are enough to do something for the world, and not think the world is too big and they’re only one person. As a minister, you’re responsible to your people. You are given a role where you’re actually paid to do it. No one’s given me that, but I hold equal accountability for the people. I have to serve them and speak for the defenceless and voiceless. If I die, it ends with me. If I’m able to pass that on, even to 10 other youths, they will train 10 other youths themselves. That’s going to keep building and empowering different communities.”

Adrianna Tan, Founder & CEO of Wobe

“I want to be known for being able to make things happen, for the people who need the most help. Whether it’s through Wobe or Gyanada, it’s to do with providing resources and assistance for the underprivileged to do better in life. One of the things I really want to do is to invest in queer entrepreneurs in Singapore, especially if they come from backward economic environments, and at risk of being disowned by their families.”

Janice Koh, Actress & Former Nominated Member of Parliament

“As a great mother, as a great friend, and as someone who brought people together.”

Baey Yam Keng, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth

“Some people may think I’m not as good as how I appear on social media. That’s fine. I’m not a perfect person. But I hope that people can see my sincerity. I have my own interpretation of what makes a good MP, and I try to perform the role well.”

Loh Lik Peng, Founder of Unlisted Collection

“I don’t really want to be remembered for any of my projects. It’s about creating impact with whatever I’m doing at the moment. Nothing lasts forever, particularly if you run a hotel or restaurant. In 20 years, tastes will change and someone will hopefully do something equally ground-breaking.”

Savina Chai, Fashion Influencer

“I would like to be remembered as someone who is very driven.”

Rachel Lim, Co-Founder of Love, Bonito

“I want to be remembered as a brand that has helped women discover themselves and their true confidence. We have a customer who is a lawyer and she still wears her Love, Bonito blazer that she bought in 2014, because somehow it gives her confidence. Every time she has an important meeting, she will wear Love, Bonito. People see me as a relatable person and I hope to inspire women to believe in themselves and be better versions of who they are.”

Viola Tan, Co-Founder of Love, Bonito

“I see myself as a support system to many, and I would like to be remembered for that.”

Kenny Leck, Co-Founder & Owner of BooksActually

“Singaporean literature. If we were to go out right now and ask 10,000 random people to name one local writer they knew, the name they’d give us would be Catherine Lim. Or they’ll say, “I don’t know any local writers, but I know Singapore Ghost Stories.” That’s a nightmare answer! That, or Neil Humphreys are the nightmare answers. I hope ten years down the road, people will be able to throw out a few other names. That’s what I want to be remembered for. For doing as much as I could to spread and develop Singaporean literature and make it a common thing in our society.”

Renyung Ho, Co-Founder of MATTER

“I haven’t shared this with many people, but I would like to be known as a person who has helped people love each other more.”

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