The image you portray to others determines many things in life: your ability to get specific jobs, the partners you'll attract, and the friends you'll make. Thus, it is why so many of us refine and hone our ever-evolving personas.
However, how often have you stopped to think about the image you'll leave after your death? While an uncomfortable topic to broach, thinking of such things is a fruitful exercise.
Have you personally considered....
How do you wish to be remembered?
As humans, we're the only species that feels the desire for transcendence. We wish not to be forgotten. When we reach the final moments of our lives, we yearn to experience deep connection and reflect on the valuable lessons of our lives. When we feel our lives haven't made a real impact, it can be a tragic feeling.
We are hardwired to:
Define our personal transcendence
Share our wisdom and life experiences
Create generational connections
Find purpose in our lives
Maintain our vitality
I focus on legacy in my wealth management practice because I believe it's an important part of financial and estate planning. It's so much easier to make big money moves when you can self-assess that the action you take jives with your personal values and your life's mission. Having a life mission sounds like a big deal but the fact is, you probably have some semblance of one, even if you haven't necessarily thought about it!
The way we consider the world and our lives stems from the stage we find ourselves in. As Gene Cohen expounds upon in his book, "The Mature Mind: The Positive Power of the Aging Brain", there are four psychological stages we traverse over the course of our lives and at each stage there is unique value in considering your legacy. You will change throughout your life and so will your desired legacy.
The four stages are:
Midlife reevaluation: 30's-60's
Summing up: late 60s-90s
Encore: 70s and beyond
Leaving a legacy goes far beyond a simple will. Leaving behind your valuables in a thoughtful, prepared way is critically important and that is for certain. The financial industry focuses on this and our team at Lundeen Abrams Advisors continues to focus on estate planning strategies with clients.
All that being said...
Leave behind a message
Leaving behind a message of your personal values that goes along with your valuables is one of the most beautiful gifts one can inherit from a loved one.
Today, I ran a workshop that was all about writing Ethical Wills (also called a Legacy Letter) to do just that. Taking the time to express your life lessons, the insights you've garnered, and messages you want to share with the people you love is something I hope to encourage more people to do.
I believe everyone should have the opportunity to create an ethical will before they no longer can. By taking the time now and crafting your post-life image, you can leave those you love with a sense of peace and a final parting message.
So, if you were unable to join my legacy workshop this time around yet you would like to participate in the future, please let me know so we can do a more personal one-on-one session.
Everyone deserves to be remembered. Thus, define your image on your terms, as you are the author, narrator, and protagonist all in one. What will you scribe?
Let's find out together. Set up some time on my calendar today.