The first step to investing in your quality of life is to think about and clarify what is truly most important to you. This is a time to listen to your own heart and to focus on what you value the very most in life. Whatever you identify will become the foundation for establishing meaningful life and financial goals.
In addition, as you think about your life in the future, it will be important to view your financial and life plan within a framework of your closest relationships. If you have a spouse or life partner, you will want to factor in their dreams and expectations as well as your own. You will also want to take into consideration your responsibilities and your hopes for your children, parents, siblings and those you consider to be “family.”
You can further expand your vision for the future by considering how your life and assets can benefit others. Current trends in charitable giving indicate that a growing number of philanthropists are ordinary people who share an extraordinary desire to “give back” and to “make a difference.”
Donors are also demonstrating more personal involvement by contributing their time, energy, and expertise. As a result, they express how their own life satisfaction has multiplied by their charitable giving and community service activities.
Therefore, an essential element of your life and financial plan will be to determine the kind of legacy you want to leave to those individuals, organizations, and causes that are most important to you. To guide your reflection, consider the following questions:
- Who fits within your circle of caring?
- Whose lives do you want to bless?
- Do you have family members—or those you consider to be “family”—who you would like to help financially?
- In what charities do you feel impressed to invest your time, energy, and /or financial resources now or in the future?
- What causes do you want to advance?
- With whom do you want to share your deepest values and that which is most meaningful to you?
As you plan for your future, you will discover that when you financial life is aligned with your values and priorities, you will experience a sense of fulfillment and inner peace.
In Smart Talk for Achieving Your Potential, Lou Tice wrote:
“Sort out for yourself what the essentials are, why you are on earth, what is important to you, and what your life is worth. I encourage you to use affirmations and set goals to bring more of those things that are important to you abundantly into your life.”
Reprinted by permission of Money Quotient, Inc.