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Creating A Legacy Through Journaling!

January 12, 2013

by Kerry Kilpatrick

“Edison relentlessly recorded and illustrated every step of his voyage to discovery in his 3500 notebooks that were discovered after his death in 1931. Keeping a written record of his work was a significant key to his genius.” from the book Cracking Creativity by Michael Michalko

All of us will lose family members as we get older. How many of those we lose will leave behind nothing of who they were other than their stuff, some pictures and lots of memories.

I would love to be able to sit down with a journal from my Mom and read her thoughts, what books she liked to read or who and what inspired her. Unfortunately she never kept a journal and all I have are some letters and many memories. The memories I have of my Mom will be be told in stories to my kids but will become lost to the subsequent generations.

You are missing out on sharing who you are with your family if you don’t keep a journal. You are also missing a golden opportunity to guide and teach powerful concepts and lessons to the future generations if you’re not journaling. Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark expedition was an avid reader of the journals of the great explorer Captain James Cook. His reading of Cook’s journals helped create his destiny. Whose destiny will you change with the writings you make in your journal today?

The Lewis and Clark expedition is a great case study in the legacy power of a journal. The intrepid explorers started out their expedition with tons of stuff. The stuff, which included guns, containers, knives, clothing and much more, would be considered highly valued keepsakes IF they were available today. Unfortunately for the historians, what they didn’t’ use or give away during the expedition, they sold at the end of the trip in order to replenish their finances.

In contrast to the liquidation of their “things”, the journals that were made during the adventure were guarded and preserved very carefully. They contained the mental or intellectual content of their trip. Those original journals still survive to this day and are housed in museums or private collections. Their journals were meticulously transcribed by the author Gary Moulton and resulted in a 13 volume set that you can purchase easily online. You can read in their own words what they observed on their historic trip begun in 1804. What a legacy!

What will be your legacy to your kids, grand-kids and future generations? Will it be things that rust and get tossed aside or sold in garage sales? Will it be only memories that fade with each generation? Or will it be the story of your journey through life, preserved in your own words, that can easily be copied and shared? The legacy power of a journal, through the longstanding proof of history, is very compelling. Want to see for yourself? Check out a transcription of the Lewis and Clark’s Journals by clicking here:

Happy journaling!


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