Keep Yourself Alive After Death: How to Teach and Pass on Life’s Lessons

Life is full of lessons and the longer you live the richer your reference library is. For example when we first saw a hotplate we thought it was this beautiful glowing thing….till we touched it. It was a painful lesson. As a parent, you teach and pass on these tidbits to those younger that care for in hopes that they can avoid the consequences you realized. This occurs in many stages of their lives. The things you learned in your thirties or forties are not appropriate for those in their teens, or 20’s. The lessons won’t always resonate with where they are in their lives. The challenge is to have the lessons available when they need them. Here are a few steps for you to Teach and Pass on your valuable knowledge and manage some timing for how they could be deployed.

1. Consider the key decision points in your life.

We all reach cross-roads. What were the decisions we made and what were the circumstances? Outline the problem you had to solve. This is the title of your lesson. It could be something like, “when do I buy a house” or “How did I know she was the one”. Each of these had a set of circumstances that would pertain to the type of decision made.

2. Outline the choices that you could have made and why your made the choice you did.

As with most decisions in our life we have to interpret data, assume other details and weigh what data we have with how we “feel”. We are left with distinctive choices and a number of times we probably didn’t follow the “logical” choice. If not, why not? Those are really good lessons because you have a solid understanding of what the desired outcome was and can judge how close your decision got to achieving it.

3. Include references to knowledge (like books or contemporary knowledge) that led you to that decision. This is key. How did you make your decision?

What was your process? Did it work? How well? What did you miss, why? Your future generations will greatly benefit from understanding what data (references) were available to you and why that data worked or didn’t work at making the right choice.

4. Reflect honestly on the outcome.

Try not to play the blame game. The outcome we get isn’t always the one we wanted. There is a tendency to foist the blame on others, or unknown conditions. That’s our own excuse for reconciling that we are not total idiots for making wrong choices. Now you can clearly state what the outcome was and whether it was the one you wanted or whether it happened in spite of your choices or that it happened as a direct result. It will help guide your audience on whether they should follow your process strictly or use it as a benchmark to their own decision process.

5. Consider how you would make the decision today and offer that as a reflective process to how you made your decision.

Now that you have dissected the result and your decision process reflect on what you would do to improve it. Do you need more data? Would you have looked at the data closer, or differently or with a different bias? Did you talk to enough people or the right people to get multiple viewpoints or did you just act impulsively? However, this worked educate your audience as to why.

6. Stay objective.

This is tough. No one wants to be known as a failure. Yet, failure is how we learn. Edisson said that he achieved success through 3000 failures of lightbulb filaments. Each of those brought him closer to the final result. Summarize your process as an objective result. What was the outcome you wanted and how close did you come to it.

7. Memorialize the event and post it in the future.

Time capsule is a perfect utility for this. The advice you send forward is going to help someone. It’s your choice to decide if you want to make a pointed submission to a family member at an opportune time. It will be something your target audience will look forward to receiving,

The call to action is to Teach and Pass On the knowledge you have gained in your life to those you care about. Let them benefit from your successes and failures. In doing so you add value to your audience and meaning to all the effort you made to make yours and your family a better life experience.