Almost everyone reading this has lost a parent, grandparent, spouse or child. We all know immediately what the sting of “words left unsaid” and “deeds left undone” is.
I believe there are two great barriers, Misplaced Priorities and the Illusion of Difficulty, which get in our way when it comes to creating a Purposeful Legacy, Gift or Trust.
If we knew we only had seven days to live, wouldn’t we make time to have meaningful conversations with those we care about most deeply and to leave something behind that would be a lasting reminder of our love for them.
Unfortunately, the busyness and business of life gets in the way of our best intentions. We assume there will be many tomorrows in which we can have these conversations. The reality is we seldom know when the gift of time expires and we lose our opportunity to act on our best intentions.
We don’t have to be a prisoner of our past. We each have the power to be the architect of our future. We can start now to refocus our priorities and create small blocks of time for Purposeful Gifts. And, from these foundations of Purposeful Gifts we can also create Purposeful Trusts and Legacies.
Illusion of Difficulty
Another artificial barrier that blocks our commitment to create Purposeful Gifts and Trusts is the illusion of difficulty. We don’t know how or where to start. We assume that to be impactful a Purposeful Gift requires more than we have to offer.
The truth is that every time we create a Purposeful Gift it becomes easier to do it again. And, every Purposeful Gift we make can be a powerful building block towards a Purposeful Legacy.
And while we overestimate the amount of time or the difficulty of creating a Purposeful Gift we ignore or greatly underestimate the positive impact our effort will have. I have created two tools to help me and my clients overcome these barriers. One is called Purposeful Visioning Exercises. The other is what I refer to as Purposeful Conversations. The Purposeful Visioning Exercises are self-guided, easy-to-use 30 to 45 minute exercises, which will help you create a Purposeful Gift you can deliver to your loved one today. It can also warm up your estate planning documents if your planners and attorneys are familiar with Purposeful Trusts and Wills. Purposeful Conversations work best with a guide or facilitator who will ask you the questions and record your answers.
But let me take us back to that Harriet Beecher Stowe quote. How can we best overcome Misplaced Priorities and the Illusion of Difficulty so that we leave no words unsaid and no deeds undone? I’d love to hear any thoughts you have.
The Most Powerful Sound in the Universe are words of love and encouragement – John “John A” Warnick