Did your parents share their wisdom with you? Did they make you aware of anything they learned from their own successes and failures? Was it helpful to you? Have you thought about sharing your wisdom with your own children?
Susan Turnbull in her book, “The Wealth of Your Life” reminds us that “What you have learned is as valuable as what you have earned.” If you haven’t taken the time to share the important lessons you learned in life with your children, it’s important to do so now.
Richard Lieder, a highly respected executive coach, wrote in his book, “Life Reimagined, Discovering Your New Life Possibilities”, “As we move through middle age, the uncertainty of the world moves us to focus on what matters; our own purpose and our connection to others”
So where do you start? How do you pass on your legacy to the next generation? By writing them a “Legacy Letter”. It is a letter to your family that defines what has been important to you in your life and what you want to pass on.
First decide whom you want to send the letter to; your children, your spouse, your brothers and sisters
Second make some notes in the following areas:
• Your values and the things you did in your life to act on your values
• Something you learned from your grandparents/ parents/spouse/children
• Something you learned from experience
• A mistake that you made that you learned from.
• Something you learned that you’re grateful for
• Your hopes for the future
Now take these notes and weave them into a letter that is addressed to the audience you want to letter to go to. Don’t forget to add stories from your personal life that expand the points you’re trying to make. And just like that you have created a Legacy Letter.
Share it with your loved ones the next time you get together with them. And always remember, “The gift of communication is the greatest gift you can give your family.”