Make Your Best Gift One of Giving to Family and Friends     

by | May 16, 2023

I’m serious – the very best gift you will ever give to family and friends is to spend time on your legacy story. Right now, you’re telling yourself that no one cares about your legacy – the story behind your flavor of generosity.

But I know that’s not right because I’m just one of many interested in the experiences that drive your generosity. I also know that periods of life can be messy, leading to the idea there is no story worth sharing.

It’s not hard to do, but it helps to have a guide. The Gift of Giving is that guide. It’s a book of questions and exercises to help you create your legacy and share your generosity in the future. Click here to get your copy today! 

Days, Months and Decades Don’t Go As Planned

Not long ago, I had a day that started well but ended beyond my control.

A morning packed with meetings was expected to blend into a half-day of travel to the airport, but 20 minutes before an important lunch meeting, a text alerted me to a canceled flight to California.

Ten minutes and three airlines later, I had a new flight booked for later in the evening. I breathed a sigh of relief and headed into the meeting, believing all was well.

A severe storm was on the way as I got on the road to the airport – two hours away. Blinding rain changed my plan, and I prepared to sit the storm out in a parking lot. But luck smiled as the storm passed just before I arrived at the Interstate on-ramp.

Feeling confident, I merged into the traffic, only to come to a near-stop within ten minutes. I was trapped with no exits, traveling two to five miles per hour. Soon, emergency vehicles sped by on the shoulder, heading for whatever had turned the interstate into a parking lot.

Since emergency vehicles were on site, I anticipated a short slow-down, and then I’d be on my way. Instead, five wrecks later, I was traumatized by the reality of sharing the road with semi-trailer trucks and praying for people I didn’t know, clearly trapped inside and under the wreckage.

It took nearly three hours to travel forty-five miles, but I was finally on my way again. My flight was delayed an hour, so I made it onto the airplane. Again, confident of my arrival, I settled in to read.

My luck ran out when the pilot announced we would be diverted to LAX because the Santa Ana airport had a noise curfew, and we weren’t going to make the deadline. So, after adding a forty-five-minute Uber trip, I finally fell into the hotel bed around 1:30 a.m.

From Bad Days to Decades to a Life Lived

In today’s travel environment, flexibility is essential. This trip was a reminder that despite planning and time-outs for deep breathing, life can fall apart all around us. Life gets messy, and our life stories seem too complicated to share.

Everyone has periods of their life strewn with wreckage from poor decisions, missed opportunities, and strained or broken relationships. It feels like you’ll never arrive at your destination; if you do, you’re too tired to tell your story. It can be a stretch of bad days or decades-long.

Legacy and Generosity in All Sizes

Still, your story – your legacy – has value for those around you. Remember, legacy isn’t just deep pockets and large gifts. The generosity of caring and giving actions comes in all forms, large and small, despite life’s ups and downs or the size of a bank account.

I think about those I’ve known who had very little yet given so much of it to others. My great-uncle peddled Watkins products from the trunk of his car, often accepting payment in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables or jars of preserves.

He and my aunt would take me and my brother out to eat at a restaurant with the best rolls in town on many Sundays. Generous to the core, they shared what they had and valued what others could give. I wish I had known more about their giving story because they helped shape my story.

If you leave your story for others to tell, it will never be complete. Instead, you can explore your story and think about what you still want to accomplish. So, what acts of generosity await you to share with your family, friends, and community?

You can ensure that generosity outshines the day-to-day and outlasts your lifetime.

The Gift of Giving is a book of questions and exercises to help you create your legacy and share your generosity in the future. Click here to get your copy today! 

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