What’s the legacy you’ll leave when you die? No one in my family ever mentioned leaving a legacy. What a shame, what a loss to those of us who remain. Even those who left some of their written story …it was way too sketchy.
They mistakenly assumed that their life story was of little value. So many questions remain. So much valuable history lost forever.
“Legacy is fundamental to what it is to be human. Research shows that without a sense of working to create a legacy, adults lose meaning in their life. Exploring the idea of legacy offers a glimpse not only into human relationships and building strong communities, but also the human spirit.”
“Legacy is about life and living. It’s about learning from the past, living in the present, and building for the future.”
I’ve decided to document my life in as much detail as I can, and I’m urging you to do that too. Make it a very high priority because none of us knows for sure how much time we have left.
But, even if we accept that documenting our life should be a high priority, we’ll likely need some help with the execution. Left to our “must get done now” schedule our story project could easily slip to “start tomorrow” status. Here are some ideas for getting your story project off the ground and sustained:
- Build a support group. Several friends (or family) who will commit to their own story project and will keep you accountable for progress. I’ve connected with two high school buddies who understand the importance and urgency. We have a Zoom meeting every two weeks where we critique each other’s work and set doable benchmarks.
- To begin, choose a very significant incident or time period in your life. Write about it in detail, including the emotions you felt at the time. When satisfied, go onto another significant time.
- Get some guidance on stopping procrastination and reordering priorities. Here’s a good article from Psychology Today.
My friends, don’t wait until you’re eighty years old (like I did) to start writing your life story. Make it urgent. Start now. And please let me know your thoughts about this topic.