As I get older, I am reminded that my “legacy” is that which I leave behind for others to share, to build upon, and to enjoy. For your heirs, the need to leave behind something goes far beyond a financial legacy. You want to leave the story, the roadmap of how you got here, what decisions you made, and most importantly, what worked, and what didn’t.
I recently re-read a blog post by Jim Rohn from 2017. In this post, Jim reminds us that it is the tangible things that have the most value and the most benefit to others. Photographs (including descriptions), your personal library, and most importantly, your personal journal. As I was reading the post, I was reminded why we know so much about the founding of our great nation. The founders and the framers, especially John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison, were incredible writers. Their writings in the form of letters, newspaper articles, and personal journals tell a wondrous story of the founding of the United States, and left a legacy of Liberty, Democracy, and Personal Responsibility for all of us to share. How sad it would be if we could not study the history of our nation without being able to refer to the original writings of the men and women who were there.
A word of caution to those who believe that keeping a journal is just too “old fashioned.” After all, we now have Facebook, Twitter, Google+, WordPress, and a whole host of digital media to share our thoughts, ideas, and to leave a legacy. While I agree that social media and other electronic forms are a good way to disseminate information, understand that you do not own, or control anything you post on these platforms. Should Twitter (or any of the others) go out of business, or suffer a serious outage, all of your information may be lost. Even if you keep electronic copies on your local hard drive, you are only one power surge or fried hard-drive away from losing everything. Only paper and ink have withstood the test of time. Not just for centuries, but for millennia.