Don't live with regret. Capture your family history.

I have few regrets, so I feel fortunate. Yet, the one regret that haunts me, is not taking the time to bottle up the amazing stories that my grandparents shared with me as I was growing up. Those stories are a big deal.

While I have very modest roots, I have always found my grandparents’ stories to be interesting and inspirational. The broader context always became a tale describing how my family persevered certain hardships to create a good life for each other, and for my parents. I have so many vivid memories of just sitting back and soaking up what it was like to experience the Great Depression, World War II, etc. Those were tough times, yet my grandparents took everything in stride and with great determination. These lessons were extremely formative for me. Unfortunately, these very same lessons are now fleeting, hence, my regret.

It wasn’t until recently that I realized I am not the only one that carries this regret. Many of my clients (senior living providers) have shared their personal stories, and along a similar vein, they are looking for ways to help their residents capture their own personal narratives.

After taking a step back to consider how Beatha Group’s Google Experience might be able to help our clients and their residents, we came to a simple solution. Of course, if money was no object, one could hire a company to take on such an effort. But… wouldn’t this defeat the purpose?

We believe the process of telling a personal narrative is where true value can be found. There is no doubt that your family and friends will be the ultimate beneficiary, however, it can be an extremely powerful experience to trace your journey and tell your story.

Here is a brief summary for a broader solution that can unlock history. It describes the various tools available to help our clients give their residents an opportunity to tell their personal narratives.

Google Photos, Google Drive: Aggregate all significant events and memories that were captured in photos or documents, e.g. newspaper articles

Google Keep: Capture important notes or voice memos from your past as you outline your personal narrative

Google Docs: Collect diary entries and written stories in a personal archive that highlights important life events, 23andMe: Discover your family history to capture your family tree and DNA information to trace your genetic origins

Google Hangouts: Connect with multiple family members at once to retrace your lineage or discuss collective memories

Ricoh Theta, YouTube, Google Daydream: Capture HD 360 immersive videos of favorite activities - playing the piano, watching the Cubs at Wrigley Field, etc.

Google+: Collaborate and share best practices with residents across all communities that are working on their own life stories

YouTube (Live Streaming): Present your life story live to family and friends; Share the entire experience as a legacy memento

I believe we all have a unique and compelling story to tell. Nobody will deny that we are far better served if we have the perspective of our past to help shape our future. This is exciting. We should all take the time to reflect. I’m on board. How about you?