Earlier this year, I was getting ready to speak in front of a group. A colleague of mine came up and made the comment, “I admire your confidence. I have no idea how you do it. If that was me, I would be scared out of my mind.” Often, it seems the amount of confidence people think I have versus the amount of confidence I actually have are in conflict with one another. I may appear to be operating with a lot of energy on the outside, but inside, I’m a ball of nerves. It’s interesting, as I’ve spoken to many people around the country, I find a common theme. Almost everyone I run into operates with an internal lack of confidence.
Life seems to have the ability to beat us up, no matter how well we’re doing. Most of us have a tendency to focus on the things that are not going our way instead of the things that are. If we realize this condition exists in everyone, especially those closest to us, it emphasizes the need to make sure we’re openly sharing the possibility and growth that we see inside of them.
Growing up, I had a high school history teacher named Mr. Moncrief. One day, my sophomore year, he and I were walking down the hall together. I asked him what potential he saw in me; what he thought I could become. The scenario he laid out had me going on to be very successful and having influence over a lot of people.
I don’t remember specifically what he said, but again and again over the years I have held on to Mr. Moncrief’s belief in me when struggling with self‑doubt. He spoke over my life in one conversation, over 30 years ago, and I have gone back to that memory so many times for encouragement.
This is exactly the type of opportunity that lies in front of each of us when it comes to our children and grandchildren. I have no doubt that they are struggling with the same kinds of doubts we do every single day. What if a word from you becomes what they hold on to for the rest of their lives? If you take this opportunity, where could you begin?
There are three specific things that you can do, to begin casting the vision of growth that you see inside your children and grandchildren.
First, I encourage you to think about your child or grandchild personally. Spend time capturing stories and visions about them. Then begin making notes about all the potential you see in them and all the positive things that you think about them.
It could be as simple as taking a sheet of paper and writing down random words that come to mind as you think about them. Think about the ways they’ve overcome difficulties. Write down the challenges that you’ve seen them face, the opportunities that they’ve seized, and the greatness that you see inside of them.
Second, I encourage you to take that information and start putting it into some form of narrative. One way could be writing it down in the form of a letter. With today’s technology it could be just as easy to record a voice text, or perhaps even recording a video of yourself on your phone.
The exercise of getting this message memorialized in a way that you can deliver it to them is so important. Imagine how much it will mean to them. Being able to go back and read your letter, or listen to your voice, or watch your video, at times when they are struggling with self‑doubt.
Third, and the most important, is to make a specific time to actually share your vision and words of encouragement with them. I know it sounds like a given, but how silly would it be to take the time to write all of this down and never let them know what you had captured. How you deliver it is really up to you. It could be formalized through an event, or you could simply send it to them.
I would encourage you not to delay this part of the opportunity, because who knows what they may be struggling with today. Your words may be just what they need.
If you have any doubt about how impactful something like this could be for your heirs as they go through life, just put yourself in their shoes. I Imagine you had received the same message. Imagine how much of a difference it would have made in your life when you faced self‑doubt. The ability to go back and reflect on the greatness and possibility someone saw inside of you could have been a catalyst to quickly overcome some of life’s greatest obstacles.
We don’t know what people around us are facing, but the more opportunities we take to speak potential over them, the greater the growth they’ll see inside themselves.
I’ve seen this happen personally, in acquaintances and family members, by just taking a simple moment to say, “I see what a great job you’re doing,” and a smile comes over their face. Instead of just using a passing moment, if you take the time to do this purposefully, you could impact your legacy for generations from a few simple words.
At Paradiem, our commitment and our passion is to help you create lasting legacies. In an industry full of people trying to tell you what you need to do financially, the most important things we leave behind are the words that we speak to our families. In a day and age when we seem more connected than ever, but are actually more disconnected, taking the time to create your legacy has never been more important. Each year we walk families through the processes like this to create their legacy. If you would like to find out if you would qualify to partner with us, give us a call at (985) 727-0770 or email [email protected]