Putting our Focus on what is most important, is a valuable life goal. While I have never been much of a focused person per se, (SQUIRREL!), I have found minimalism has helped me to, dial in on what is most important to me. I recently heard this idea of Inheritance and what it means. Often the idea of inheritance is focused on the assets and material possessions that make up our Will. What if we could leave something much greater than money or possessions?
I believe we are all striving for the best. For some that is new homes, cars, trendy clothes, or money. As my journey to do more with less has taken off, I am thinking hard about what is most important in my life. Not just for today but for the future. One thing I believe many of us have in common, is that if we have kids, we want them to be loved well. We strive to be the best parents we can be. Here is where I want us to tune into and focus the most attention on. Leaving a Legacy.
Joshua Becker said it best, “Inheritance is the Legacy we leave behind, and the example we set.” Let that sink in a minute. Did you hear that in the back pew? The LEGACY we leave behind. The Example we set. Our children will be better off spending quality time with us than if we left them $100,000! Sure money is great, but teaching our kids valuable life lessons is far greater.
“Inheritance is the Legacy we leave behind, and the example we set.”
So how do we focus our attention.
- Make time to be together. Allow yourself to play, read, and laugh together. This doesn’t need to be complicated.
- Teach them new things. This can go as far as teaching your child to cook, or as far as teaching them a trade. Our children want to learn new things, we just have to be patient enough to teach them.
- Be a good example. Don’t just use words to tell your children what they should do, show them in your own actions. Our daughter loves to ice skate, she however hates to stretch. (like is stubborn enough to sit in a v sit, but not actually touching her toes.) We have started making time to stretch as a family to show her that not only is it good for her body, but that we support her in this. Taking time out of our day to do this with her shows her how much we believe in her.
- Think about the legacy you want to leave. Consider what you want to be remembered for. Do you want to be remembered as an honest person that helped others? How about a patient person, that loved telling stories? Maybe you want to be known for telling jokes or making others laugh and smile. Whatever you want to be, you need to cultivate that and mold your life around it.
- Develop Character. We hear this term often when talking about home remodels, but what about as people. Character is built as we grow. Teach your children to be kind, honest, trustworthy, empathetic. Teach them character traits and model what good character looks like.
As my kids are getting older, our lives have been improved by living simply. I believe when they are adults, they won’t look for an inheritance of fortune, they will cherish the moments spent together. In a world that tells us more is better, I want to teach my kids that having it all doesn’t provide happiness. Our happiness isn’t found in mansions, cars or clothes. We live in a time where most of our world is living beyond their means and in debt. Our debts are so large, that some of us will spend our lives paying it off. We struggle to keep up with it all. So let’s choose today, to stop the madness! It doesn’t matter, none of the stuff you accumulate matters, especially if you didn’t build relationships along the way.
This weekend my daughter was talking with her cousin after a long day of celebrating her brothers birthday! As they were leaving and giving hugs, the topic of stuff came up and my niece said, “I like having stuff! I don’t want to get rid of all my stuff!” My daughter looked at her and said, “Minimalism is awesome! We get to DO so much more now. We even get to travel more!” What struck me in that moment is that life doesn’t have to look the same for everyone. That’s what’s so great about living simply. While my niece prefers to keep her stuff, my daughter doesn’t feel pressure to do the same. The love between them is far deeper. It doesn’t matter to my niece if she comes to my house and has fewer toys to play with, they still can make memories together.
Leave a Legacy that you will be remembered for. Go out and live this crazy life chasing YOUR dreams!
Live Simply Friends,