Creating a Life of Legacy – book review

Okay, the full title is What Will They Say About You When You Are Gone? – Creating a Life of Legacy, authored by Rabbi Daniel Cohen, the book that I’m devouring at the moment.

Let me back up, to mention the books that came before Rabbi Cohen’s wondrous read.

Had the AMAZING experience of reading Ron Culberson’s surprising Do It Well.  Make It Fun.  ~ surprising, because it turned out to be the last book of what I’d assumed would be an endless quest.  The messages it held wrapped up the core lessons learned along the way in beautiful boxes, beribboned with gorgeous bows.  It was a remarkable, unexpected experience – feeling 41+ years for searching drawn to what I never expected:  a clear ending point.

Mel Robbins5-Second Rule came next, the first post-quest books, which built on what I’ve learned from Mel’s shake & wake videos.  (What will I quest for next?)   Mel’s 5 4 3 2 1 technique is simple & simply life altering.

Am in the middle of James Hillman‘s excellent The Force of Character, set aside when Rabbi Cohen’s book arrived.    The sub-title is what grabbed me – creating a life of legacy, not leaving one.  Being one, right now.

Much of what Rabbi Cohen writes speaks straight to the heart of what drives me – helping all ages live a life of purpose meaning worth.  His book contains so many nuggets that I look forward to fashioning into something wonderful to use with all ages, while giving special attention to those that speak directly to oldsters elders ancients.

We want more out of life.

We all possess a deep-rooted desire for a life of purpose.

You’re blessed with inherent gifts, and your life is trademarked.  There is only one you.   

The time is short; the task is abundant.

Four lines that speak directly to the reality of olders, the reality our mothers lived every day of their lives.  The reality we’ve seen in our clients, in the lives of many of our older friends & pleasant acquaintances right here in my little hometown.

Sadly, it is rare in the lives of too many older people, people who need their sense of purpose restored, their feelings of personal worth renewed.  Rabbi Cohen is clearly an exceptional ally in that quest, helping us understand & embrace that purpose is the ageless reason for our existence, to live fully in this day without glances back to yesterday’s regrets or projecting our energies onto tomorrow’s promises.

Stopped, totally still, reading, “Are you living out your higher purpose or allowing each day to blur into the next?”  So many of the people I see at every manner of senior residences describe their days as blurring, bleeding into the next until time no longer seems to exist, just a long fuzz.  John & I are over-the-moon with the strategies that Rabbi Cohen shares to help us help them rediscovering a sense of purpose, reconnect with their worth – to turn fuzz into FIZZ!

What Will They Say About You When You’re Gone is a blend of Rabbi Cohen’s personal experience & stories, insights from the famous & the utterly unknown. It’s deceptively simple, down to earth & heart inspiring.  It sends its value soaring by including work pages!

This blog is called All Ages, All Stages because we – especially I – work right across the age spectrum.  My clients have been as young as 18 months & as old as 95, from bright young things to olders facing dementia; we are the first to admit our work with oldsters elders ancients most grabs our hearts.

It can be daunting to be 70+, of sound mind & body – there’s an abundance of resources for those olders grappling with physical & mental challenges of aging, but precious little for those in relatively fine fettle who find themselves in a new stage of life with precious little training, leaving them to see the unknown as filled with hobgoblins rather than as a culmination, a capstone, a long final bow.

Rabbi Cohen has written a book that’s for all ages, all stages, that appeals to people of any faith, or no faith at all.  Personally, John & I hope to convince our weekly spiritual growth discussion circle to use this as a basis for a six-week read ponder share.  We sense our shoulders tapped by the Divine to spark conversations on what it is to be alive, at any age;  what it is to have a body that does less yet is teamed with a mind that understands deeper;  what it is to to know our core values & live from them – and respect that others are doing the same.

What Will They Say About You When You’re Gone? is a great start to that & to so many other conversations, with others, within community, with just our self.