Yesterday, I shared one way — through writing a small story — that we can capture our legacy. Doing so helps us to self-reflect, preserve our personal history, and share our hearts with our loved ones.
Here are other ideas to capture your legacy. And if you’re not interested in exploring your legacy right now, you can still use these techniques to get to know yourself better, and to reconnect to your creativity.
- Pick a few of these questions and prompts, and respond to them in a journal. (Or work through the long list one by one.)
- Create a series of recordings about the lessons you’ve learned thus far (which you can typically do on any smartphone).
- Do the same with a series of videos (which you can create on your smartphone or computer).
- Do the same with different collages or drawings. That is, translate your lessons into images, colors, vibrant words and symbols.
- Create your own cookbook. Write out different recipes in a journal (or type them up and have the book bound). These recipes might go back years and years. They might be the meals your grandmother or great grandmother cooked. They might be meals that are significant to your family in some way, or reminiscent of your heritage. You might make these foods on special occasions or all the time. You can even prepare some of these recipes, take photos and paste them onto the page.
- Keep a gratitude journal. In it write about why you’re grateful for your loved ones, along with other things that make you happy and fulfill you.
- Create a kind of scrapbook with different photos but write about what you were thinking and feeling in each picture. Write about why the photo is meaningful. Write about what you think about it now.
- Create a chronological scrapbook of your photos, starting from birth to today.
- Create a playlist of songs that you love; songs that are important to you; songs that helped you get over heartbreak; songs that inspired you; songs you’re embarrassed about liking; songs you always play because they make you smile.
- Pen pieces of poetry about the everyday, about what’s troubling, delighting or confusing you; about what you love; about small moments and key memories; about anything that’s on your mind. (For instance, Christina is writing 100 poems in 100 days.)
- Write letters to your kids (or niece, a close cousin or another family member). Write a letter every month recounting a lesson you’ve learned so far; revealing a slice from your life they might find surprising; or sharing something you really want them to know.
- Pick a theme, and dedicate a separate notebook to it. In it write a handful of essays exploring this same subject. Write about your thoughts on love, loss, family, food, friendship, travel, joy, magic or meaning. Write about your trials and triumphs. Write about your favorite reads. Write about your mistakes, failures and aha moments. Write about all the things you don’t want to forget.
- Take photos of all the things you don’t want to forget. Take photos of the little things you want your loved ones to remember. Save them onto a flash drive or print them out.
Capturing your legacy gives you the opportunity to capture yourself. Which is a powerful gift for everyone.