Baby boomers and their parents agree that the most important legacy transfer are the emotional elements of legacy rather than the purely financial aspects of inheritance. *
86% of boomers (age 48-66) and 74% of elders (age 72+) agree that family stories are the most important aspect of their legacy—Ahead of personal possessions and financial inheritance.
Benefits are many
When you write your legacy stories (the momentous experiences and the everyday stories that create the inherited and greater family story), especially as part of a group who shares their stories with one another, you experience many benefits.
- Power of being heard
- Diversity of small group diminishes as stories are shared
- Connect and bond with others through disclosing
- Friendships blossom
- Renewed optimism in life
- Increases self-confidence
- Activates the mind/brain: Use it or lose it
- Tell the stories that have never been told with encouragement
- Improve your writing skills
What Negative Thinking Does for Your Story
We are hard-wired toward negative thinking for survival. For example, running from a tiger focuses all of our body's attention. Similarly, when faced with a negative situation or thought, our brain closes off from the outside world and focuses on emotions of fear, anger and stress — just like it did with the tiger. Negative emotions prevent your brain from seeing other options and choices that surround you. As a result, you may tend to tell old stories that serve only to keep you in a state without joy. This is not necessary!
What Positive Thinking Does for Your Story
When you are experiencing positive emotions like joy, contentment and love, you will see more possibilities in your life. Positive emotions broaden your sense of possibility and open your mind up to more choices. When focusing on the silver lining of your stories, you experience more joy in the sharing of these stories, thus changing how you feel about your life and the passing along of your best legacy.
Writing is one way to increase positive thinking—especially writing about intensely positive experiences or memories, once a day for three days.
Write for five minutes on a positive experience you have had and share your experience here to encourage the rest of us!
*According to the 2012 Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America American Legacies Pulse Study.