How To Become A Famous Grandfather (Or Grandmother)
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“Beginning small is the right way to begin”.
Welcome to the second week of our series ‘TheLegacy Living‘ here on Rachael Academy. If you haven’t read week one series How To Create, Build And Leave A Legacy I suggest you do so, so you can follow along with us. In week two it’s all about Becoming A Famous Grandfather (Or Grandmother) and what that looks like. So let’s get started enjoy!
You have just celebrated your sixtieth birthday and you’re feeling as rotten as hell. Why? Because you suddenly realise that you are getting older and you get that deep feeling that time is running out for you. You’re unsure what to do with your life, where your life is going and what it’s going to look like in the future.
All these questions start rolling around in your head and you wonder – if you will be able to ever build and leave anything valuable or tangible behind. Yes, you know you have been a good son or daughter, husband or wife but what about those great legendary stories that you heard about all your childhood while growing up about certain men and women who went over and above to achieve great things. Carving their names in history books? And you start to wonder -will anyone talk about you in proud awe because of something great that you did?
I’m already an old grandfather or grandmother, what can I do now?
Isn’t it too late?
Come again, you said you are a grandfather or grandmother, didn’t you? That in itself is such a powerful asset.
Have you ever noticed how many of your close friends around you always talk about their grandparents? Not that their grandmother or grandfather come from royalty or have celebrity status but just about the simple things they have done in life? They talk about when Grandpa took them fishing down at the river and the great time they had. Or the fact that in the bad old days, Grandmother took the pains to collect scraps of cloth from the local tailor and stitched new trousers for the children around the local area.
Are you spending quality time with your grandchildren?
Are you going on adventures with them, or taking out the time to give them one or two good advice? This is what it means to leave a family legacy. Something that your family will talk about when remembering their childhood spent around you?
“A child needs a grandparent, anybody’s grandparent, to grow a little more securely into an unfamiliar world.” — Charles and Ann Morse
You have a vast repertoire of your life experiences that you can share with your grandchildren. You can impart your work skills and your life skills to them, a little every day. They will learn from your mistakes and be inspired by your success and someday they will say – ,You know, my grandfather or grandmother used to say…” That’s when you will know deep in your spirit, that you have become a famous grandfather‟ and have left behind a great legacy.
I know for me since I was a young teen I wanted to be remembered for something. I don’t really know what it was, but there was always this feeling of wanting to crave a path that others could follow to safety. If you’re thinking along this lines – because not everyone does, then read on.
It will be important to establish what things you want to pass down and what patterns need to be stopped. Often this is easier said then done because you’re probably only the first one in your family to think like this and things weren’t modelled well for us. Best place I started when creating my on family legacy was to find good mentors that can help me walk through life with a good foundation that is worth passing along to my children.
Check out these 5 considerations when creating your family legacy. They will help as you build attitudes and actions that inspire you.
1. WHAT IS REALLY IMPORTANT IN LIFE TO YOU?
So often in life we can chase after the wrong things and don’t know that we are doing so because we don’t really know what we want out of life. Money, popularity, fame and power are common chords that draw us away from the really important things. Those things, in and of themselves, aren’t necessarily evil. However, when they become the end all they take an unhealthy place in our lives. It is so much important to know ‘WHY’ you want all these things and how theses things would change you and your like.
In his book Simon Sneak Start With Why. Simon covers a lot of great points why it’s important to start with asking ourselves the question. What Is My Why?
“What IS really important in life?” is a question you need to wrestle with on a personal level. Some things I find as more important in this existence are: spirituality, family, relationships, purpose, character and serving others.
When we can begin to identify the important things in life, that is where we begin to invest our time and resources towards. This naturally becomes commodity and family legacy that is passed down to our children and children’s children if you can think that far. And begins to impact their lives and the lives around them in beneficial ways.
2. WHAT CHARACTERICTICS AND QUALITIES DO I WANT TO PASS DOWN TO MY CHILDREN?
As we raise children, we want to be building into their lives character traits that will grow with them and strengthen them within the society they live in. I also want my children to contribute into society in a creative way. And that means for me being their true selves and showing up with that every single day.
It’s said that children that are successful learn “grit.” Grit encompasses a willingness to work hard, practice and persevere. Too often we want to give our children a softer life than we had. We want to solve their problems for them or make their lives too easy. I don’t believe this is beneficial. I had a tough and hard life and I’ve found, that has made me who I am today! I’ve been through huge setbacks and difficulties in life and my hard upbringing has been a rock for me during these times.
I love this quote:
A dream does not become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work. I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.
We need to teach our children to work hard. I want to pass on: perseverance, kindness, respect, patience, love, courage, thankfulness, self-control, helpfulness and forgiveness.
You also want to consider the emotional legacy you are passing down. Am I creating a family environment that is full of love, stability, grace and yet discipline? Kids need to feel safe and secure within your home. There needs to be a healthy balance of boundaries and warmth.
Passing down positive character qualities and emotional health is more important than leaving our children wealth. When these qualities are not taught, money becomes more destructive than helpful and when they get it they won’t keep it for long.
3. WHAT TRADITIONS AM I DEVELOPING WITHIN MY FAMILY?
Traditions are extremely important within families. For children, they provide a sense of belonging, security and build into a sense of identity.
Every Friday we have want we call ‘Family Time’ and this consists of us going out as a family to the stores and spending £5 each on comfort food ( I try and keep my healthy 🙂 ) then coming home and playing board games, cards, talking about politics, relationships – anything goes. Our am is to create a safe space where the children feel they can talk and share about anything they are feeling, they can be themselves. We end up staying up right through Saturday morning and they all end up sleeping in our bedroom on our bed.
Traditions can be as simple as the routines established before bedtime. They can be as involved as memories created camping or headed to a favourite vacation destination. Holidays provide even more opportunities to create memories and traditions within the family.
I’ve started a family tree and tracing back my family history. If we’re honest our parents rarely discussed their lives, let alone our grandparents unless they are pushed to the corner by one of their children. Many find it helpful to create a historical legacy. To see your lineage and know your history can be both interesting and grounding.
Developing family trees and collecting stories from the past creates a sense of purpose and builds into the unique value of human kind. Children learn that stories and people matter. If family stories have not been passed down from your parents, you can begin now with your children. You can start creating memories and stories to leave to your children.
BEGIN TO PASS DOWN YOUR STORY
Life is made up of stories. They are important to you and to others. We learn and grow by learning about our fellow man. Your story is important. Your story matters. Other people’s stories are important too.
I love taking pictures before the internet age. As a visual person, I appreciate the impact of a photo. Like the famous quote – “A picture is worth a thousand words.” A photo can tell a greater story than words can sometimes. Part of passing down a legacy includes photos and videos, they are a great family documentation of life together that you can leave behind.
Pictures have the ability to impact our views of life. You can look back on them and allow them to feel you with joy on what you have accomplished in life. They also help you build a like of gratitude for what you’ve built in life. Photos are a reminder of all the good, all the fun and all the love in your family. They also build into legacy.
5. DOES YOUR LEGACY IMPACT OTHERS OUTSIDE YOUR FAMILY?
In a world that is full of pain and can be very self-focused, I believe it is important to spread your legacy to make a larger impact.
I’m remined of individuals like Oprah Winfrey and Maya Angelou. They came from humble beginnings, but their lives have had impact on the world we live in today. A legacy of freedom, hope, change and never giving up spirit.
You don’t need to be Oprah Winfrey and Maya Angelou to leave your own mark on this world and make a change for good. Just teaching our children the value of others and by treating each person you encounter with grace and kindness is a form of legacy.
Caring for our world through taking care of nature by recycling, picking up litter when you can is another legacy you can pass down to the next generation.
Caring for the orphan, widow, sick, homeless and downtrodden is also a way to make an impact on our world. You don’t have to have a huge resources to do this. When am out on the streets am always looking for one person I can help, by helping out in some way, taking out the time to give them a smile, stand to have a chat to them about their day or buy an homeless person something to eat.