Penelope Trunk, a newspaper columnist in Virginia, commented: “If you’re poor and you abandon your kids, you’re a bad parent. But if you’re rich and abandon them to run a company, you’re profiled in Fortune magazine.” Penelope is right on. Abandonment is abandonment and there should not be a double-standard.
Let’s send the right message that men who are truly rich spend their time and money on the most important things in life: their families. What is your most important investment? Here are 10 ways to know what your most important investment really is.
1. Where do you spend your time?
How you spend your time is one of the best ways to measure what is important to you. When you get home from work at the end of the day, do you plop down in front of the television, continue your work from home or do you spend time with your family? It is people in your life who should matter the most. After all, the television and computer screen cannot love you back.
2. Where is your money spent?
Where does your money go? You may be thinking about the big purchases, but what about the smaller amounts that add up over time? Those display what is important. Do you spend money on yourself? There is nothing wrong with buying expensive things (if it fits your budget) and having fun. However, it is necessary to balance your money between those fun things and what is truly important.
3. What is it that your thoughts stray to?
Driving home on the way home from work, sitting in traffic, offers a lot of time to think. In those moments alone, what occupies your mind? What does your mind default to?
4. What is the one thing you worry about most?
Where would you say you are in life? Are you living in the past, present, or future? Nothing can be done about things that have already occurred. Let go. Move on. Focus on the present, on the things that you can do something about. Take a deep breath and find peace when thinking about the future. Plan when you can, but do not worry needlessly about things out of your control.
5. What would you take with you?
Imagine the fire alarm goes off in your home and you have about one minute to grab things. What would you take? Grabbing cell phones, cameras, and jewelry displays that you are too caught up in material things. Those things can be replaced. Gathering up photo albums and family keepsakes show that memories are important to you. Or do you not grab anything because you look around and realize that you have everything you need in your family and friends?
6. When you are gone, what legacy will you leave behind?
Make sure you do not get too caught up in life and let it pass you by. Do not wait for tomorrow because it may not come around. Make your difference in the world now. Have children with your spouse while you are still young enough. Take the time to take your wife out for a date even without a special occasion. Accomplish your dreams and do something to be proud of.
7. If your peers were asked what mattered to you most, what would they say?
Your peers spend a large amount of time around you. They listen to you talk and hang out with you. Make it clear what is important to you and let it define you. Otherwise, who are you pretending to be when you are with them?
8. If you had one day left to live, how would you spend it?
Invest your time and energy as if each day were your last. Do not leave life with any regrets. Get a great ROI on your life.
9. What area of your life do you neglect the most?
What comes out of your mouth is an outpouring of what you care about most.Sometimes, the area in your life that you neglect the most is the area you care about the least. And the opposite is what you care about the most. Make sure you have your priorities set and you invest yourself wisely.
10. What do you talk about?
Whatever you spend most of your time talking about is an area you are investing in. The question is whether or not those things are important. What comes out of your mouth is an outpouring of what you care about most.
Sound off: How can we focus on the things in life that are most important?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how important do you think you are to me? Why?”