Friday, March 07, 2008

The Legacy Guide: Recommended Book

In their book, The Legacy Guide: Capturing the Facts, Memories, and Meaning of Your Life, co-authors Carol Franco and Kent Lineback offer an excellent process for organizing your life story and gathering information to use in your ethical will.

The essence of their process involves looking at your life's natural stages with an approach they call "facts to memories to meaning". The seven life stages used to look at your past are childhood, adolescence, young adult, adult, middle adult, late adult, and elder. Within each stage, the book offers questions to help you identify the facts of that time of your life; your memories of important places, people, interests, and events; the meanings you ascribe to that time period (defining moments, values -what mattered, loves, learnings and wisdom); and lastly, a "summing up" about that time of your life. The meanings questions, in particular, are superb for gathering information to use for creating your ethical will.

Along with the book, The Legacy Guide website provides helpful tools for using the approach offered by the co-authors. I especially liked the forms they provide for information gathering at each stage. You can download MS Word documents for one or more of the seven life stages and begin writing today! Even though the book contains many, many more questions and suggestions about what to write about, the downloads offer an great way to get started. You may also want to look at my Life Legacy Wiki (and contribute to it) for ideas for your writing process.

Of all the books I've read about creating life legacies, this one can only be described as extraordinary in both its innovative approach and its depth for capturing the facts, memories, and meanings of your life. I highly recommend it (and their website) for writing about your unique life journey (or that of a loved one) to leave for future generations of your family.
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