Why do you do what you do? This is maybe the biggest question people can ask themselves. What gets you out of bed in the morning? Bill Hybels calls it your “White-Hot Why.” What is your white-hot why?
For many people, they dream of being financially secure and believe it is the key to happiness. “Money makes the world go ‘round,” the old saying goes. They get out of bed day after day after day to make money to plan for retirement to be able to have things — a house, a car, and nice things for their kids.
Many dilemmas exist with this way of thinking. The kids you work so hard to try to provide for don’t want things at the expense of time with their parents. I have never heard a kid complain about not being rich enough, but all too often I hear about the cost of thinking that money and things was a replacement for time.
When you die, and we all will, what will be written on your tombstone? This question should drive every decision we make. Too many people settle for short-term takes in this world and lose the long-term good.
Should I take the job in the new town? Should I take that promotion? Should I buy the toy that will cause more debt? Should I build the bigger house? These all are questions we wrestle with in our lives. How we answer them is a clear indicator of whether we believe money or legacy is more important.
I promise you will not care how much money you made in your life when you lie on your deathbed. I promise your children will not care about the shoes they wore or the clothes they had if you were never there.
Even the countless hours we spend chasing our kids around in sports can be detrimental to their healthy development. When we think about legacy, this should be all about leaving our children in a healthy spot. Even time spent can be damaging if it isn’t the right kind of time.
Our legacy is the story people will tell about us long after we are gone. What will people say about you? This question should drive our decisions every day.
Learn to appreciate the affect today has on ten years from now. Make the choices to leave a legacy that adds value to others, even at the expense of leaving money on the table. Bring hope to others, be an asset to the world, and see the bigger picture of what is at stake around you. Memorize Isaiah 58 and then go live it!