The 3 Values All Parents Must Prioritize
Since the mission of Paul Avery is to empower today's children to change the world, we as parents, have our work cut out for us. It's overwhelming to say the least. But, we should embrace this challenge. We have a duty to navigate our children through this world the best we can. We can place ourselves in the best possible position to lead our children by prioritizing these three values.
- Our financial well-being;
- Our health; and
- Our relationships
As parents, these three values should consistently and prominently be on display for our mini-leaders to see. I place no priority on any one of these values over another. The importance of each depends on the individual. Our strengths and weaknesses all differ, so the balance of each should be unique. Regardless of where you rank each value, we must give serious thought to each, fairly assess ourselves, and respond accordingly.
Why improve our "financial well-being?" Money is more powerful to our overall well-being than we give it credit for. We diminish what it can do for us when we have a plan for its use. If you've ever worked with the poor, or have been truly poor yourself, you should understand. What's troubling is how middle-class / working-class / steady income Americans consistently screw up their finances. I could point to my own friends and family for examples. My wife and I have both shot ourselves in the foot too (and on more than one occasion). "Its only money" is a favorite saying. I've also heard, "There are more important things in life" more times than I care to count.
Yet, when we do find ourselves flush with cash, we often don't unleash its power. We flush it down the toilet. We buy crap we don't need! We act as if we're wealthier than we are. Ever hear of this guy? He and his wife were masterful with their income and now wake up each morning with the freedom to follow their passions.
We need to teach our children about money and how it can either consume you, or work for you. We can't do that unless we understand money ourselves.
We simply cannot lead the lives we want and deserve if we don't place enough focus on our health. Allowing ourselves to prioritize work, video games, television, or even fancy bars and restaurants is a recipe for disaster. Are you interested in taking medication for years? Want to rely on doctors and modern medicine to patch you together for the final 30 years of your life? Me neither. We don't need to obsess over it. We need to make it such a priority, that it is second nature.
Mental and spiritual health are equally as important. If you are a walking ball of stress, you are doing something wrong. Change it. Change it now. There are so many resources available today at our fingertips. Our children should take pride in their bodies and learn to care for them. Americans are still far too fat and depressed. Healthcare costs are enormous. And so are the societal costs.
This is my biggest weakness, and I remind myself daily to give everything I have to those I care deeply for. Even with these daily reminders, I still let my loved ones down occasionally. Strong relationships are valuable. They are valuable in that they will improve your mental and/or spiritual health and they actually have an indirect monetary value. Investing in relationships is the greatest investment one can make. It will pay dividends both personally and professionally. Life wasn't meant to be lived in isolation. We get married, despite the high divorce rate. Ever go to a restaurant alone? Weirdo. How much time do you devote to your partner? Are you making deposits in that relationship, or just withdrawals? Surely you don't think the occasional, affectionate Facebook post about your significant other is enough.
Professionally speaking, those who show genuine care about the needs of others will get that job, make that sale, or find that client. Who are you willing to work for? The manager who always looks out for his subordinates, or the manager who is more concerned with impressing his own supervisor?
Our children need parents that care deeply about each other's happiness. They also need to observe their parents cultivating personal and professional relationships.
Keep it simple.
That's it. These are the Big Three. Master your finances, take charge of your health, and forge stronger relationships. I know I've only scratched the surface on these concepts, but they will serve as a roadmap for this little website in 2017. I look forward to a much deeper discussion in the coming months. Happy 2017!