Thursday, December 02, 2004

Legacy Matters

The Experience Designer made a great find, called Legacy Matters. Interesting tagline to the category of 'personal legacy archives': "Because your life counts and what you leave behind is the evidence of the life you lived. Why not tell it your way." I'm still not totally sure how this stuff ties into lifestylism, but the connection seems to be through reflection, the idea that a reflective life will be more balanced and meaningful. There's also something compelling about leaving a legacy -- it implies that you've made choices you're proud of and lived your life to its fullest.


Phil from the UK said...


Another fascinating entry!!!!

I agree again. I read an article somewhere recently that suggested a new name: "Generation C'ers" Where the C stands for Content, ie self generated content; photographs, online blogs, music etc. This idea integrates and connects exactly with the Pro Am concept you flagged a few days ago.

The technology that facilitates this is great, I really enjoy it and use it to the full, but I still keep a handwritten diary. I have kept this journal since early 1991!!! I make an entry every day, even if it is just a single sentence.

Surely any day in anybodys life is sufficiently important to warrant a few words.

I also think that recording what you have been up to allows a time for reflection and is one of the keys to learning from experience.

It's also great to look back from time-to-time and see what you were doing and thinking 10 years ago.

Finally of course it stands as a legacy for your family. My Dad did a similar thing, but it was all in shorthand and therefore pretty much incomprehensible. He did though leave about 1000 black and white photographs which are a fantastic record of my sister and I growing up.

"....what the next generation will value most is not what we owned, but the evidence of who we were and the tales of how we loved. In the end, it's the family stories that are worth the storage"..........So True

Christopher Bailey said...

Hi Jeremy,

Making a conscious decision to leave a legacy focuses the mind and activity toward a higher level of significance in life. Sometimes, the first exercise I'll do with a client is to envision their 80th birthday celebration. When it's time for toasts, what do they want for their significant other to say? Their children? Their business colleagues? Their community leaders? Etc. It's a simple visualization, but it has a lot of power. It can help nudge folks out of the now and the current things that seem so permanent and overwhelming. Cheers. CB

Garth said...

A friend of mine in a challenge he gave to some college students said he had recently had been given some timely advice from an elderly man that he had met. The man said that he had wished he had done three things more often: the first was that he wished he had taken more risks in life & love, the second was that he had taken the time to reflect more on the life he was living, and finally that he would have lived his life in a way that would leave a legacy for his grandchildren. Advice like that is not to be ignored...risk, reflect & leave a legacy!


Jeremy said...

Phil, you'd have a fantastic start on your site if you just pasted in the excellent comments you've made here!

Sadly, I stopped writing in my journal after starting up my blogs. It's too bad, because I know I've missed the process of reflecting on the more personal or difficult things in my life. I can just see my daughters reading some version of my blog 15 years from now and saying, "yeah, but how did you feel?"

Jeremy said...

Great reflective exercise, Christopher. I've heard the "write your own obituary" version, but yours is more postitive (less morbid?)

We often seem to fixate on what we should be doing right now, or in the very immediate future. Perhaps those thought experiments help us see the larger patterns in our lives (and desired lives?)

Jeremy said...

"risk, reflect & leave a legacy!"

Powerful comment, Garth. I love it. I think that people used to associate leaving a legacy with large inheritances and maybe some measure of fame, but maybe we're crafting more meaningful measures of legacy?

Jille said...

Thanks Jeremy for the great post about my blog Legacy Matters which I just found thanks to Brian. I most definitely will add "track-back" to my posts so I won't always be so late to the party.

You are right on when you say that just thinking about legacy prompts one to consider how to live the best and most meaningful life.

As a middle-aged blogger, I can attest to the fact that my contemporaries are all re-thinking their lives. Oftentimes, it's the unlived parts of themselves that demand new attention. For men, it's often getting closer to their children and family. For women it's often taking new risks and starting new businesses. It's a "if not now, when" phenomena. Closely followed by thinking of their legacies.

I do believe that it's somehow encoded in our DNA that about 50, after immersion in the physical world - finding a mate, raising a family and establishing a career, people turn to the metaphysical. "Ageless Marketing" calls the pursuit of legacy is the libidinous quest of the second half of life. What we leave behind for the world is how we connect to the future.

What really happens is that people become more themselves and they become happier. Here are two quotes for illustration.
The only definition of real happiness: to find yourself and be who you are." J.G. Ballard. and
"As life goes on it becomes tiring to keep up the character you invented for yourself, and so you relapse into individuality and become more like yourself every day. This is sometimes disconcerting for those around you, but a great relief to the person concerned."
Agatha Christie

Jeremy said...

Thanks for swinging by, Jille. Your entire site had my brain churning -- so many great ideas in there. It's not really in my focus area, but kept me reading anyway.