My Family Values and Heritage

"Heritage is unique to every family and is worth preserving.  When it is eroded, the family tree is weakened.  Heritage helps define who our parents are, who we are, who our children are and who they will become.  I love my heritage and am proud of it.  My parents impacted me greatly."

From my dad I learned about faith, family, friendship, work ethic, stewardship, service and “not to be overly impressed with any one person or any one thing.”  My mom was an amazing woman—a mother to seven children, but not the gentle softhearted type you see in classic family movies.  She was vibrant, gutsy, audacious, and full of energy and emotion.  She hugged everyone.  She welcomed in strangers.  She asked penetrating, heart-felt questions.  She was always ready to take on anything and anyone.  She had a lot of gumption, nerve, spunk.  She lived life to the fullest in her 57 years.  One of her quotes still impacts me today and I marvel at how I apply it to every element of our coaching, counseling, consulting and collaboration – “Remember Who you are, Whose you are, Where you’ve been and Where you’re going.”

1: Remember WHO you are.

We’ve all gone through this search, this self-analysis, asking ourselves the tough questions, learning from our mistakes, recognizing our unique gifts and talents to be able to put them to use in helping others.  Every success story can trace back to the adages, proverbs and experiences that form a person’s character.  But I believe my mom’s challenge was to activate the switch to dig deeper.  Who are you?  What is your purpose? Your uniqueness?  Bottom line, I think my mom meant, “be purposeful with who you are.”

2: Remember WHOSE you are.

Here is where your belief system comes into play.  Heritage is part of a bigger family—in my case my Mennonite, family, work ethic of reap what you sow, and service.   Heritage is unique to every family and defines its members, those who came before us and those yet unborn.  My heritage has taught me valuable lessons and true values to pass on to my children and grandchildren.  With these lessons comes my passion for serving others.  We connect with thousands of people in a lifetime, we interact with hundreds, but we are given the privilege to serve only a few.

3: Remember WHERE you’ve been.

Read your most recent bio.  What’s missing—nearly everything?  How do you understand the personal, familial, experiential, educational, professional, financial, psychological, emotional, triumphal chronicle of a life?  Our life is journey, a story with many chapters, many already written.  That’s what makes us, US.  Me, my unique story, successes and failures, good and bad, right or wrong, faithful or faithless at times.  I keep moving forward ... I press on ... when I mess up I man up and admit it, ask forgiveness, repair it and then move forward again. Understanding the intuitive decisions that got you to today is important.  They require your hindsight, foresight, and insight—our role is to shine a light so you can see them better. 

4: Remember WHERE you’re going.

Hopes, dreams, ambitions, vision, mission, goals—they are all inspirational and motivational, but they define only your destination.  That is half of the challenge.  I think “know where you’re going” was my mother’s hint that finding the “right road”and “staying the course” to the destination is the harder half.  Wealth management, wealth transfer, risk management, family governance and business continuity are complex interconnected disciplines that lead you to your financial and legacy goals.  Choosing the “right road”and sticking to it has been the purpose of our family wealth counseling process for three decades.