Building a Legacy
Leading your family to greatness
Itʼs funny how time escapes you in the hustle and bustle of life. I remember standing in the delivery room watching my son come into the world with a head full of hair, screeching like a banshee. In that one moment, my life changed forever. Months before his birth, a gentleman told me my thought process would change once I brought a child into the world. Boy was he right!
At the exact moment I cradled my son for the first time, something happened. As I stared at his brown skin, taking in his teeny features and beady eyes, I was in awe of the limitless possibilities that awaited him. Then, out of nowhere, my serene thoughts were hijacked by an onslaught of internal dialogue…hitting me like a ton of bricks. What kind of parent will I be? What quality of life can I give him? What personal achievements can I proudly share with him? Will my upbringing make me a good dad or a bad dad? All of these questions popped up in my mind, one after the other, like popcorn with too much butter and salt. It was then that I realized that I had to step up my game. I had to want more...for his sake if nobody else’s. But, for now, I had a baby boy who needed me to be a fully present member of his welcoming gang.
It turned out that my wife felt the same shift happening inside of her—it was the legacy shift. We’d eventually go through a maturation process and begin to build a legacy our children could inherit. It was a decision we both agreed to.
Every legacy begins with a choice
That was seven years ago. Since then, my wife and I have gone through a pretty significant pressing as parents (of two kiddos now). Wanting so much more for our kids means becoming more ourselves. And that’s where we are—we are becoming. The moment a person taps into the power of choice and embraces responsibility, the sky is the limit.
So what is this legacy for us? For our family, the first order of business is a healthy marriage—a marriage we are proud for our children to model later in life. Too often, legacy is restricted to wealth, but what good is money if your relationships with others suffer? Itʼs important to us to model love while achieving. And, we’ve purposed to achieve together. Western society has programmed us to achieve in silos—the exception to the rule is found in sports or other team-oriented environments. In the home, personal achievements often follow the rule and not the exception. Kisha and I have decided to do away with the silos and work together to achieve common goals, in business and in life. Our children, not only get to observe us doing it, but they get to be a part of it, as well. Our son’s contribution to our business includes taking product and lifestyle pictures and placing prices on products. He has taken a keen interest in learning about logo design. And our three-year old daughter, well....she just keeps us busy.
What are some choices you can make to build a legacy for your family? What do you deem important for your children to carry with them for the rest of their lives? Choose today to make the shift and start building.
Building a legacy is about breaking generational dysfunction
Building a family legacy may require a choice to break generational curses or dysfunction, such as divorce, domestic violence, addiction, etc. Many people who wish to be the model parent, have inherited the sins of their parents, thereby perpetuating a cycle of destructive behaviors. I know because I came from a dysfunctional home. And, my wife brought her own special brand of struggle to the table. Two parents with dysfunctional pasts isn’t a recipe for a winning home front. It takes work and intentionality. We’ve simply committed to be different. Most importantly, we recognize the destructive aspects of our upbringing and simply avoid the behavior.
What aspects of dysfunction did you observe in your upbringing? Do you model the behavior or stay as far from it as you can? Remember your children soak up everything—they are like little sponges. If you don’t want your kids to model undesirable behavior on instinct, make the choice to display the winning traits your children can model. No, you’re not perfect. And, yes, children can be difficult, but stay the course and teach them what they need to know to succeed in life.
Teach life-changing habits
We believe it is essential to foster behaviors in our kids that will breed success, such as reading, self-discipline, money management, etc. We will have done them a great service to help them build successful habits that lead to a healthy and wealthy family. If we teach our kids that money comes easy as a byproduct of success and simply focus on success principles—they will be just fine.
Not everyone will leave behind the legacy that Ross Perot has, but do leave a legacy you can be proud of. Our goal in building a family legacy is two-fold…
(1) raising children who have an understanding of the habits that will lead them to success and
(2) ultimately building adults with character worthy of wealth
Legacy starts with a choice. Start building your family legacy today. If you’re feeling lost in life, grab our book, The Art of More.
RIP Ross Perot.
(Photo by Emma Bauso)