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Ideas & Inspiration Guided Life Story Journals: A Unique Gift with Lasting Impact

You and your legacy will likely be forgotten in three generations. Quite a sobering thought, isn’t it?
All that we have accomplished, our values, our stories, achievements, gone, forgotten.  We all want to be remembered but for most, how we are remembered is not up to us.  We cannot choose how we will be remembered other than leaving money and things in wills.  We remember the people we love who are no longer with us in our own way, typically we remember how they made us feel and the stories that connected us.  Unfortunately, memories fade, do we remember the sound of our loved ones' voice or the sound of their laughter? So how can you take charge of your own legacy and give your story, the essence of who you are and what made you tick the best chance of surviving and informing future generations?

Take Charge of Your Legacy

The power of life story journals is not only attached to our legacy but is also a powerful reflective tool.  Sometimes in life we forget all the amazing things that we have done, all the people that we have connected with and impacted, the adversity we have overcome, the stories we tell, the adventures and moments of triumph.  Guided life story journals are not only great for legacy but can provide clarity on who you are, what you have achieved and who you have touched.

How Guided Life Story Journals Work

The main purpose of a Life Story Journal is to take the writer and reader on an in depth journey into what makes you tick.  For the writer, it is an opportunity to take stock of your life, to really dive into the stories and events that shaped you, to reflect and hopefully celebrate life.  For the reader it can give insight into the essence of that person, it can inform family members of generational stories that form the basis of their values and principles which is  really important when we are trying to understand ourselves and what made us, us.  The written journals are amazing and for those lucky enough to have them, a treasured keepsake.  There are audio versions, what would it be like to hear your past loved one talk about the most important events in their life, to hear their voice one more time.  Now enter the age of video.  We have an opportunity to collect a generation of stories, on video, their voice, their face, their mannerisms telling their stories, hearing that laugh, that joke, telling the story about that time when we…., really powerful stuff.  Life story journals are a great way to collate all of those bits of paper with stuff written down that will probably be lost or overlooked, they are also very specific and typically guide the author and reader on a journey through the developmental stages of life.  Coupling a guided life story journal with a video/audio version can cost less that going to the movies, the best of both worlds.  

Gifting a Life Story Journal

A life story journal makes a thoughtful and meaningful gift for loved ones. Whether it’s for a parent, grandparent, or friend, gifting a journal offers an opportunity for them to reflect on their life and share their experiences. It's a gift that goes beyond material value, providing a platform for storytelling and connection. Imagine the joy and appreciation of receiving a journal that encourages them to document their personal history, milestones, and cherished moments. This gift can create a legacy that will be passed down through generations, capturing the essence of who they are and the impact they've had on the world. By giving a life story journal, you’re not just giving a book; you’re offering a chance to preserve precious memories and foster deeper relationships.

Therapeutic Benefits of Reflection

Socrates famously stated ”the unexamined life is not worth living”.  Taking time to stop and contemplate your place in the world, reflect on achievements, connections, challenges and values can add so much meaning to our lives.  Reflection shift us from just being, into understanding and looking at our lives critically, how can we improve, how can we get more out of our life?  It can support us to learn and grow, to improve and celebrate.  These life story journals, whether written, audio or visual give us the opportunity to critically think about our lives and to leave a real legacy to the ones that we love.  As a Counsellor I have promoted life story journals particularly with some of my clients in retirement, clients experiencing empty nest, grief and loss or any other life stage that challenges our identity.  As mentioned above, taking charge of your legacy can also be very empowering at a time in life (particularly end of life)..  We are not the cars we own, the designer jeans we wear, we are our stories, our challenges, our celebrations and a life story journal is the perfect way to control your legacy and it will be a treasured by your loved ones.  Sharing your life story with friends and family can strengthen relationships and show others that their story matters, that the life they have lived is important and matters.  We think that our story is not that important, that people are not interested in our story, from experience, I can tell you that is not the case.  You and your story are important.

Questions To Consider When Starting To Write Your Life Story

  • What draws you to write your life story /family history now?
  • Is there a specific event, realization or inspiration that sparked this desire?
  • What are our goals?
  • What do you hope to achieve by documenting your life story?
  • Are you seeking healing, understanding. Preservation of memory, connecting with future generations or something else?
  • Who are you writing for? Yourself, your family, a broader audience?
  • How does your intended audience influence what and how you choose to write?
  • What challenges do you anticipate facing as you embark on this storytelling journey (emotional distress, writer’s block, lack of information)?
  • How can you prepare for and address these issues?
  • Who or what could support you in this journey (family members, writing groups, historical research, therapist)?
  • Can you create a simple ritual or choose a symbol to remind you of your intentions and motivations during this process?
  • Craft a detailed statement incorporating your reflections, goals and how you plan to honour this agreement (small goals give you the best chance at success)?
  • What is one small, manageable step you can start today to begin your storytelling journey?

Tomorrow Isn't Guaranteed. Start Capturing Your Story Today

Life these days is full of distractions and we are all so busy working, looking after children, doing the shopping, scrolling on social media and it can be challenging to find the time and space to think and act on things like life story journals.  But it is so important to ensure that our loves ones do not end up as a name and a date on stone.

One of my favourite quotes is” every man has two lives and the second starts when he realises he only has one” Confucius.  So often we think that we are invincible and that we will live forever and so will our loved ones, we won’t and they won’t either. The fact is that we all die as will our loved ones and what lives on is our memories of who they were, and how they made us feel.  We need to capture these stories before they go and through life story journals, and online platforms like Memwah you can accomplish this mission for the same price as taking the family to the movies. 

Memwah new series of Life Story Journals are available to purchase on Amazon in all markets

Amazon AUS 
Mum's Life Story 
Nana's Life Story
Grandma's Life Story
My Life Story

Memwah Range on Amazon US

Dad's and Grandpa's will be available soon. 

Ready to record your story?

Video storytelling was never that easy. Add as many questions as you want and start telling your story now.

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Lukas Winward

Lukas Winward


Lukas is a counsellor working with families across Melbourne.