A wise man builds his house upon a rock, not the sand. Ever heard that before?
Even if you want a house at the beach, you can’t build it on sand. You need to know where the solid ground is, so that all of your planning and hard work doesn’t get washed away. It seems obvious when you’re building a house, but it’s not always obvious when building your life, and a life for your family!
One of the ways you can start building solid foundations for your family’s future is to intentionally have powerful conversations. A foundation is not simply a trench filled with concrete; it’s a carefully constructed footprint that determines the length and breadth of your house as well as the custom alcoves and nooks that are designed specifically for your hopes and dreams. It’s the starting point of where you want to end up, and live your life. So too should the conversation you have with your family set the footprint for how you all want to live.
Defining value is an important conversation that you need to have with your family – both at the early stages of planning your future, but also throughout the journey as our perceptions of value can (and should) change!
Ask your family what they perceive as valuable. For every family this will be different – so don’t feel like you need to follow any norms, try to be as honest as you can.
Your family may be goal focussed, so you may perceive value in a measurable outcome; like building your business, or becoming an expert in your field. You will place value on working longer hours and appreciate the opportunities to study further. Perhaps your family will place more value on time spent together – so creating an environment where you don’t spend long hours away from each other in offices or lectures is more valuable to you.
Some people like to have nice things, others like to visit exotic places – everyone has a slightly different perception of value. Would your partner and kids prefer an annual holiday overseas over driving a luxury car? Or do you like taking long roadtrips – so having that fast, safe, comfortable car is more valuable to you? If making music together is your thing, then you’d rather spend money on high quality instruments and gear than travelling to Greece.
If you know how your family perceives value your foundation will be solid to plan a life that ticks off all the items on your list. Start today by asking them to talk about what they love most, and then together you can work towards achieving those things!