I’ve been thinking lately about how we pass on our hard-earned wisdom to our grandchildren. Many of us over 50 consider how we will measure our lives. When we review the lessons we’ve learned we realize how many were learned the hard way.
Our grandchildren will be better off to learn from us than from their own hard experience. What follows is a list I made of things we can teach our grandchildren. You can add what I left out.
Life is hard. It’s harder if you’re arrogant, foolish, or untrustworthy.
Givers do better than matchers or takers. Thanks, Adam Grant.
Emotional intelligence, EQ, is dramatically better than emotional stupidity. EQ can be learned. Learning early is better than learning late.
Life often pivots on seemingly small or random events. Since you have no way of knowing in advance which will be pivotal events, treat every encounter as if it might determine your future.
Friendship is costly. A lack of deep friendships is far more costly.
Intentionality is necessary to generate a deliberate, disproportionately positive impact. Without it, you will drift and you may wind up someplace you don’t like.
Reflecting on life events can produce deep wisdom. When pain strikes, wrestle wisdom from it. Do the same when things go well.
Continuous improvement hones expertise. If you love the grind of your craft, you will become a master craftsman. If you don’t love the grind, you should find another field of endeavor.
We are all flawed, imperfect human beings. Remember that when you want to criticize another person.
Find your best, next move. More struggles are lost because of blunders than are won by brilliance.
There is no guarantee of mortal life tomorrow. Make each day count.
Choose your self-narrative wisely. Your life will be affected more by your self-narrative, and self-image, more than you can imagine.
Honesty/congruence has a far lower risk than deceit.
Risk is inherent in life. Minimizing risk could produce lives which are small, dull, and have little positive impact. Prudent, principled risk-taking has a dramatically higher potential.
If you’re green, you’re growing; when you’re ripe, you’re rotting. Learning something new keeps you humble and interesting. It also decreases your chance of Alzheimer’s.
Surprisingly, despite the potential eternal consequences, only a minority of people seem to think deeply about spiritual matters. It would be prudent to make a choice on this issue.
Wise and or loving sacrifice can often unlock enormous benefits.
Coaching can be a force multiplier for positive results.
Noble purposes inspire hope and can provide perseverance to endure unimaginable circumstances.
What have you told or will you tell your grandkids?
Legacy is what people think, say, and do because of your influence. Regardless of the size of the inheritance you leave, you can implant your values into those you care about, or at least you can try.
If you’re willing to share, what are a few of the most important life lessons that you wish your grandkids would learn and apply?
Terry Moore, CCIM, is the author of Building Legacy Wealth: How to Build Wealth and Live a Life Worth Imitating. Read his “Welcome to My Blog.”
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