What is life? We’re born, go to school, get a job, get married, have kids, retire and die. Is this all it is? A few days ago, I reached out to a client and left a message just to check-in. A few minutes later, he called me back and let me know that the night before his thirty-four-year-old son had succumbed to cancer, a battle he had been fighting for some time.
When this couple hired me, fifteen years ago, their son was 19 and full of dreams and vigor about the opportunities that were ahead of him. Life is so full, so busy, and sometimes so distracting that we just live as though it will never end. I knew this young man and had talked with him several times. We first spoke when he finished school, then as a young professional, and lastly when he was married and had a one-year-old child. He was ambitious and with great potential to make a difference in this life, not only for himself but in the lives of those around him. Yet today, we are left with a young widow and a fatherless child.
At this juncture, I could write a long article about why financial planning is so critical. However, I think the most important lesson to learn from this news is to hold your family and those dear to you very, very close.
We are in a world that is busy and all about us. Often, we pass up the opportunity to spend time with family and friends because it gets in the way of other things we want to do. Being close to people has become less important than our priorities.
If there is anything I learned from my mother, it was to have a giver’s heart. To live your life for those around you, no matter the inconvenience, the untimeliness of it, or the fact that maybe it takes us a little off track. Do you have a giver’s heart?
After all, the more we give, it seems the more we receive in living a fuller, more purposeful life. No matter your success or your wealth…Would you receive more, have a fuller, more purposeful life, if you paid a little more attention to family, friends, and people that need more attention or love?
My hope is that we realize every day is a gift from God. We are not promised tomorrow. So if we live as though today is our last, will the time spent involve giving more to others or more to ourselves? Hopefully, you will be closer to your family today. You will reach out to your friends today. You might even pay attention to the person you would usually ignore. Maybe just a smile or a hug will change that person’s day and life. Some of us reading this letter today will not be here tomorrow. If you knew today was your very last, what would you do for others? Anything?