The Letters of Legacy might be the most powerful, coaching exercise I’ve ever developed. I know I’ve said that before, and yet this one will mine your soul.
I’ll never forget three or four months ago, I was sitting in an attorney’s office, and we were finalizing our trust. I was sitting there with my wife, Rochelle, and there were two attorneys sitting across the table from us. It’s a very humbling experience, because you’re having a meeting about your death. Everything was laid out in great detail; our assets, who is going to get what, and how it is going to impact our kids. We did what you do and signed everything. The whole production took around 45 minutes. As I left I had this deep feeling of discontent. It wasn’t because I felt like what we were leaving behind wasn’t enough and yet I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until the next morning.
The next morning I woke up and remembered a quote from one of my all time favorite clients Scott Malouff. “Legacy is not what you leave for people, it’s what you leave in them.” That’s when I realized why I had such a feeling of discontent. The legacy I intend to leave my children and the people I love isn’t defined by what’s on a balance sheet or a list of assets.
“Legacy is not what you leave for people, it’s what you leave in them.”
That’s when I started to develop and write my Letters of Legacy.
I think of these letters as an extension of my trust meaning when I decease these they will be delivered to those I have written to. As you’ll see in the downloadable guide below it begins with some questions to get yourself going. You don’t have to use the guide at all if you don’t want to or you can just use certain questions. Simply think of them as a ladder. Grab the rungs you need, step over the ones you don’t.
Also these don’t have to be letters that are are delivered post mortem. I’ve had some clients who’ve read them to their kids as soon as they’re done writing them. I’ve had other people who’ve have shared them with aging parents. They are your letters so do what you want with them. The goal is to provide perspective into what really matters and to give a gift to those who are truly special to us.
My encouragement to you would be to write a minimum of five Letters of Legacy using the template down below. I promise if you invest the time this is an exercise that will pay back major dividends in your life.