According to the US Geological Survey, “The United States has about 250 fresh-water lakes that are known to have surface areas of 10 square miles or more.” It’s a safe bet that there will be boats on a lot of those lakes this Labor Day weekend.

Every year more than half of all Americans travel on Labor Day weekend. Many of them go to “the lake” for swimming, partying, boating, and many more activities. You may be one of those people who find themselves driving a boat or jet ski this weekend.

Watch where you’re going

When you’re driving a boat, you spend most of your time looking ahead. You want to make sure you’re heading in the right direction. And you want to keep an eye out for possible hazards.

That’s how most of us live our lives. We keep looking ahead, trying to stay on course and make progress. At the same time, we stay alert for possible problems.

Think about other people

While you’re driving the boat and looking forward, you affect the water and other people as you forge ahead. Your wake spreads out behind you and the waves you create change things for others.

If you’re moving really fast, you create waves that can upset a child sitting in an inner tube in shallow water. Move more slowly and you create a gentler wake.

That’s how many of us affect others. The way we live may change their lives directly, but more often we leave influence and example behind us. And like a boat’s wake, our lives have a more powerful effect on those closest to us. The waves we make become ripples as they get farther away.

A Labor Day suggestion

You probably give a lot of thought to your life and career. This weekend, give some thought to your wake. Legacy is how people live because of your life and example. Are you setting the best example to leave the legacy you want?

Special thanks to my cousin whose thinking inspired this post.


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.

Click here and find out how Terry and his team can help you make the most important financial decision of your next decade.