Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Value of Values

I take this to heart...

The Value of Values
He could have had the world handed to him by his father Warren. But as Peter Buffett tells it now, that would have been the worst thing for him.

Peter, in his new book Life Is What You Make It: Finding Your Own Path to Fulfillment, says that the values instilled in him by his parents and the opportunity to find his calling in life were worth more than any financial gift he could receive. As his father put it, people who are born with a silver spoon in their mouths end up with a silver dagger in their backs (meaning a sense of entitlement and a lack of personal achievement). Peter wound up, by his own words, normal and happy instead of spoiled.

"Entitlement is the worst thing ever, and I see entitlement coming in many guises. Anybody who acts like they deserve something ‘just because' is a disaster," he said.

When you have a sense of entitlement, nothing is ever good enough. You'll buy a car, then want a nicer car. Your house is never big enough—you'll constantly want to move up. Think of how bitter you'll become from a lifetime of wanting better stuff. Even after you get it, it's not good enough, thus you want even nicer stuff.

Fathers can be more susceptible to this because guys tend to place a higher value on stuff. Money is a scorecard and if we're not doing well financially, we feel we haven't accomplished anything. As Father's Day approaches, remember how important it is to set the right example for your child.

It doesn't take money; just a parent who cares. You don't need to be a millionaire to teach your kid how to put in a hard day's work, or how to live with integrity, or how to care for the people around him or her.

The best things in life can't be bought. When you teach your kids a valuable lesson and see them start to live by that principle, that's priceless. You can give your son or daughter true security in life by letting them find what their calling is (and allowing them to bump their knees while finding it) and instilling in them the values and discipline to become a self-sufficient adult.

When you say no, your kids will grow.

Source: Reuters 

Monday, June 7, 2010

39 and My Two-Minute Warning

As I stand on the doorsteps of 40, I'm "enjoying" turning 39 as best I can today.

Krissy greeted me with breakfast in bed - a gluten-free meal of waffles, apples, scrambled eggs with spinach & herbs and a glass of juice.  That was a surprise!  Then, after Anthem and Alex woke up, we, together, woke up Kaden who was greeted with "Kadie!!" by Anthem as she climbed all over him to wake him up.  (The boys were up late last night watching 'Toy Story').

Omi called just after that as the boys and Krissy prepared something downstairs for me.  My grandmother, who is now a healthy 91 years young, greeted me so sweetly with good wishes for my birthday.  I couldn't help thinking how thankful I was to have her and to be able to still speak with her.  I enjoy so much being able to speak with her - we usually talk about once a week.  She only speaks German so it helps me keep my second language in somewhat decent form.  We usually have longer conversations, but this time, the kids were calling me from downstairs.

As I came downstairs, Krissy was video taping me and this is what they had ready for me...

I couldn't be more thankful for my wife and kids that they would surprise me in this way.  I am a blessed man - more thankful than I can ever express to God to have been entrusted with such a special family.

I am thankful today for life.  I can't help thinking about 40 just around the corner.  I think of it as halftime.  39 is my 2-minute warning.  I plan to make the most of this last year in my 30's.  Look for more posts to come this year about how I plan to celebrate it.  I keep feeling the nudge to make it about giving.  More to come on that...

For today, I will try not to work too much and enjoy my time with the boys.  We're going out tonight and one more night to sleep on the "Birthday Pillow" we all in our family get to sleep on when it's our birthdays.  It's time to begin my 2-minute drill...I've had 39 years to prepare for this.