John Scott - Have You Really...Really Thought About Life's Goals?
We all know that goals are important in achievement. We are taught early on that if we dream and strive for things that seem unattainable to others, over time great things happen if we break down these dreams into short and long term goals. So what then of this process for your life today; in our later years?
I have worked with families over time trying to formulate specific life goals so we can align their wealth with such goals. In my humble view, too often these life goals are based on material things that do not carry any legacy or permanence. We strive to over fund a bigger home, a dream vehicle, a trip, or just some numerical wealth value. All of these things are fine, but really won’t matter when you experience your final days. Let’s go deeper yet, what really are your life goals?
I believe life goals should be the things that make you who you are, what your impact on the world is, how you will be remembered, and did your efforts really matter. I think we can all acknowledge that in reality life is somewhat short. Everyday we experience the shortened life of others, it begins to make us think about this topic. What do you think about during these reflections? I encourage you to start writing these thoughts down in a journal. This is your shot at doing life well so why would you cut corners?
While material things are pleasing to us personally, generally no one else cares about them nor will they remember them. When we strive to succeed in our career, we are proud of our increased status and income, but it is how we affect others that really makes the difference. Provision for your family and those in need, impact on coworkers or ones who look up to you as a role model, examples you set for customers or associates, these are the essence of a life well lived. Isn’t life funny that these important experiences are actually in service to others, not necessarily in material things for us personally?
I also want to challenge you to “Finish Well”. Bob Buford, famous for his 1st book Halftime, has written another great book called Finishing Well. Bob was urged by his mentor Peter Drucker to seek out those who were impacted by reading his book Halftime and ask them a series of questions as to how they transitioned to finishing well. So it is a compilation of interviews with successful people, some who you might recognize, who not only really pondered the questions I have posed here, but then executed against it. All of these people had sufficient wealth, as you do, but are spending their precious days having impact, doing things that matter, and loving it! I highly recommend it.
As part of your Cedrus Family Business Plan we will be having a Life Goals session with you. Hopefully these thoughts above will inspire you to move beyond just the bucket list items. If you have seen the movie The Bucket List, and in my opinion, you should, in the end it had nothing to do with the items on Morgan Freeman’s or Jack Nicholson’s list. Instead, it had everything to do with their impact on each other’s lives, and what really mattered in the end was clearly not retained wealth or material things. Good lessons for us all. We hope our work with you in this area can impact your life and you in turn can impact others.
Thank you for your continued confidence in Cedrus.