Author Richard O. Weijo, PhD, sees the seventy-six million baby boomers in America and almost ten million in Canada as one sleeping giant, waiting to be awakened to the power of legacy. His book Our Dreams for Our Children: Creating Legacies That Inspire Each New Generation to Achieve a Brighter Future is a call to action.
Over the last month, I have been refining the concept for my second book on the topic of legacy. I have been puzzling on how to encourage the 50+ age group to get more serious about creating their legacy for future generations. And yes, I get it. It is probably pretty healthy that normal rational adults don’t dwell on their eventual demise. So, how can the topic of legacy be made more palatable?
One idea I had is to use the idea of a bucket list as a tool to help this process. Everyone likes the idea of adding new fun activities to their own personal bucket list. The issue I struggled with is that bucket list is all about ME….ME…ME. Legacy is about giving meaningful gifts to future generations. So how can I reconcile these two seemingly different concepts?
The approach I am considering for the book is to combine both together. First, start with the fun stuff. Have the reader identify all the fun, exciting, challenging things they ever wanted to do and get it onto a list. Ideally, this would be web-based or an Apple or Android smartphone “app”. I identified an existing bucket list “app” that would be perfect for this.
The second step is to get my audience to acknowledge they will probably have quite a long retirement. We are all living longer – much longer than adults did when we were kids growing up. So the thought was to convince each individual to use just a bit of their time in retirement to focus on helping those future generations. The psychological concept is generativity. Basically, go off and use some of your time to do all the fun, exciting, crazy things you’ve always wanted to. Be creative, be free! When one of the adventures can be checked off your list, come back and work on other elements of your bucket list. These are the ones under the LEGACY category. Most bucket list “apps” today give a large number of ideas of what to add to your personal bucket list. Well, in this case, a number of ideas could be suggested under the LEGACY category of the “app” of things to do to help future generations. The individual could pick-off one idea of their legacy items to next work on. And so on……
I always thought a bucket list was only a “ME” tool, but with a little creativity, we can also make it a “WE” tool for the future. The concept name for the book is My BucketList Legacy. What do you think? Is it worth writing? Your comments would be greatly appreciated.
Get a FREE Kindle copy http://www.amazon.com/Our-Dreams-Children-Creating-Generation-ebook/dp/B00KGCGLZK
Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown, MD and Christopher Vaughan (New York: Penguin Group, 2009).
Children just love to play, but it seems that many adults have lost this capability. What a shame. Dr. Stuart Brown and Christopher Vaughan make a case for the importance of play in maintaining our cognitive and physical health and vitality. Many baby boomers will live 20-30 years in retirement. We all want to stay active and engaged even as we reach our late 80’s, or 90’s. Play may be the secret formula! Medical guidelines recommend children should get at least 60 minutes each day. I wonder if perhaps adult should follow this same guideline — perhaps we may need even more playtime! The CDC recommends about 150 minutes of moderate activity each week for adults, along with strength training. I am not sure I would classify the “moderate activity” of most adults as PLAY. More likely it is something boring they do just because their doctor ordered them to exercise.
Should all of us #boomers learn to play again? Why not! Maybe we won’t live longer — but just think how much more fun and vital our lives will be!
This is a good book to read — particularly by the ‘play-challenged’ who think its a waste of their time….
Great Decisions, Perfect Timing: Cultivating Intuitive Intelligence by Paul O’Brien is a fascinating book on visionary & strategic decision making. Having worked in a corporate environment for most of my professional life, I am well aware of how strategic decisions are normally made. The author goes well beyond the logical strategic decision making techniques advocated in MBA courses, exploring how to leverage intuitive intelligence to improve on complex and difficult decisions – calling his approach the Visionary Decision Making (VDM) process.
The VDM process is based on the theories and work of Carl Jung, a twentieth century psychologist who believed many of our decisions are made from tapping knowledge and resources available from our unconscious. The book describes Jung’s Synchronicity Principle, the value of invoking Archetypes, and the concept and value of tapping the collective unconscious or Infinite Intelligence.
The author incorporates tools from Eastern cultures to help access the resources available from our unconscious to stimulate intuition, helping us to think outside the box. This book describes I Ching, or Book of Changes in a way that is meaningful and understandable to those of us from Western cultures. I Ching is a sophisticated divination system that helps to make better decisions and improve timing. I was fascinated by how I Ching provides 64 different perspectives that help reflect on situations and relationships in new and different ways, deepening the quality of decisions being considered.
I recommend you read this fascinating book.
Make It Count by John Kotre, PhD. (New York: The Free Press, A Division of Simon and Schuster Inc., 1999).
This is a must read for anyone reflecting on, or considering their legacy. Most of this book expands on the concept of generativity originally defined by Erik Erikson as “the concern in establishing and guiding the next generation,” the seventh of the eight stages in the human development process. The author describes the Generative Way as an approach for those in mid-or-later life stages to enrich the lives of future generations.
I sure wish I had read this book prior to writing mine. Where my book was oriented to process, this book is oriented to the psychology of giving to the next generation. The author takes ancient stories from the Bible and other cultures and relates their meaning in the context of generativity. This book is well-written, and very accessible by those having no prior background with this human development theory.
With the imminent retirement of seventy-six million baby boomers, this book is even more relevant today. My hope is that many boomers heed this message.