I read an article recently that talked about the quality of our houses these days. Many building companies in recent years have been using plywood, low-quality beams, and poor insulation. The result has been rapidly deteriorating houses, even ones that are expensive. These houses are going up only to be ripped down and replaced by another poorly constructed house. Homes that are well-built, using the right materials, stand the test of time.
We’d rather build things that last. The last thing you want to do is live your life in a way that has minimal impact. If you want to have a better impact, one that is lasting, you have to invest in the right things. You want to make investments in things that will stand the test of time. Here are 7 investments that will leave a lasting impact.
1. Your Children
Our kids represent a kind of immortality—or at least an extension of ourselves where not only our DNA, but preferences, priorities, and personality traits make for a kind of continuity in perpetuity.
2. Your Relationships
That’s relationships across the board—the good, the bad, and the ugly. We have a powerful opportunity to remain vested in the lives we have touched long after we’re gone.
3. Your Values
There’s a sense in which the values of a culture are the sum of the values of the individuals who live there. But our values don’t disappear the moment we die—there’s latency, a cumulative effect that takes years to dissipate. In fact, if our values are clear enough that they took root in others, the effect will never go away.
4. Your Financial Decisions
Will a lifetime of generosity leave a legacy of hope? Was I careful with my resources? Here’s a brutal truth: if we die overextended, leveraged beyond reason, and up to our eyeballs in debt, then someone’s going to pay and that someone will likely be our spouse or our kids. Will I pass away with an estate—or an asterisk—to show for a lifetime of work?
5. Your Investments
There are countless opportunities for us to invest. People, churches, business, education – they all need influxes of time, personal interest, capital, hard work, and vision. And most of these will outlive us. Thinking about the long-term, rather than short-term gratification with a steep depreciation metric, will allow our investments to pay off long after we’re gone.
6. Your Love
Love is more valuable than gold, and it’s certainly a better hedge against an uncertain future than the stock market.The manner and devotion with which we love – spouse, family, friends, community – may well be the most enduring legacy we will have.The manner and devotion with which we love – spouse, family, friends, community – may well be the most enduring legacy we will have.
7. Your Faith
I believe in God and that faith assures me that death is not the end. He has promised to reunite us with our families forever. If you live with that in mind, your belief in God will radiate outwards and be a blessing to others for all eternity.
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What do you think it takes to make someone else’s life better?”