ISSUE 13 | PARAGONROAD.COM
Find Purpose A Fishy Taste of Early Retirement
+ DON’T GET STUCK IN A BLACKHOLE OF AIMLESS DRIFTING! LAURA A. ROSER TEACHES HOW TO BALANCE HAPPINESS, ACHIEVEMENT, SIGNIFICANCE, AND LEGACY TO CREATE MORE FULFILLMENT NOW AND IN THE FUTURE.
From Happiness to Meaning + AUTHOR EMILY ESFAHANI SMITH CHALLENGES TO MOVE BEYOND SEEKING HAPPINESS AND INSTEAD TO PURSUE MEANING AND PURPOSE.
3 Steps to Preserve Your Family’s Legacy + ARCHIVIST MARGOT NOTE REVEALS SECRETS OF PROTECTING YOUR MEMORABILIA.
Note from the Editor How to Make This Year More Meaningful
Elevate from Happiness to Meaning Author Emily Esfahani Smith Challenges to Move Beyond Happiness and Seek Meaning
Regular Playful People with Kids Jennica & Ryan Schwartzman Raise Kids in the Daily Grind of Hollywood
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How Would You Give Back? Leigh Steinbergâ€™s Former Players Continue to Give Back to Others
The Art of Family Secrets
Jamie Yuenger Preserves Legacy Through the Making of Works of Art
Three Steps to Save Your Legacy in the New Year
Margot Note Encourages Families to Immortalize Their Family Treasures
A Fishy Taste of Early Retirement
Laura A. Roser Contemplates the Life of Retirement
What Their Stories Reveal
If Your House Was on Fire
Five Best Practices for Foundations
Susan Turnbull Gets to the Heart of the Matter of Client Needs
Sheri Kohlmann Utilizes Guided Biography to Help Families Preserve Stories
James Lintott Gives Foundations a Plan for Success in the New Year
The Power of Belief
Michael Kay Inspires on the Power of Believing and Money
How Meaning Is Driving the Financial Advising Industry
The Unique Voice of Legacy Books
Timeless Wisdom: You Canâ€™t Have Legacy Without the Concept of Legacy
Todd Fithian Brings the Art of Conversation Back to Advising
John and Barbara Catron Wrote the Book on Family Memories
Cognitive Scientist Daniel C. Dennett Challenges Our Concept of Reality
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Issue 13 | January 2018
Paragon Road PUBLISHER Laura A. Roser EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Leigh Steinberg CEO, Steinberg Sports and Entertainment Emily Esfahani Smith Author, The Power of Meaning
Marko Nedeljkovic DESIGN William Jenkins CONTENT DIRECTOR
Charity Navigator Paragon Road
Rady School of Management University of California, San Diego
William Jenkins Michael F. Kay Sheri Kohlmann Legacy Books Margot Note Laura Roser Jennica Schwartman Daniel Slone Sterling Foundation Management Susan Turnbull Jamie Yuenger
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What is Legacy Arts Magazine?
Legacy Arts is dedicated to the journey of developing a great legacy and passing on non-financial assets (such as beliefs, values & wisdom). It is produced by Paragon Road, the leader in meaning legacy planning. 6 LEGACY ARTS Issue 13 www.paragonroad.com
Note from the Editor
How to Make This Year More Meaningful
t’s the beginning of a new year. What will 2018 look like for you? Will this be the year you lose ten pounds and run a marathon? Maybe it will be the year you decide to quit a nasty habit—like smoking or eating sugar. No matter what New Year’s resolutions you’ve written down for the coming year, my hope for you is that 2018 will bring greater meaning, more connection and a heightened sense of living. Often, we get so wrapped up in the minutia of the day-to-day that we forget about the legacy we are building with our decisions. In addition to the typical New Year’s resolutions, you may want to consider how your presence impacts the lives of those around you and what actions you can take to create an environment of more love. Simple acts—like telling family stories around the dinner table or adding an hour or two of volunteer work per week to your schedule—can be the thing that supercharges your purpose. In this issue of Legacy Arts, we have many fantastic articles about creating a deeper sense of meaning. We look at the legacies of super sports agent Leigh Steinberg (the inspiration for the movie Jerry Maguire) and four pro football players who have used their fame and resources to go far beyond being talented athletes. Steve Young, for example, founded the Forever Young Foundation in 1993, which is a nonprofit devoted to improving the development and education of children facing significant emotional, physical and financial challenges. We also see what Troy Aikman, Warrick Dunn and Rolf Benirschke are doing to better the world.
mindset toward money impacts your enjoyment of it, James W. Lintott gives practical advice about how to take your foundation to the next level, and Todd Fithian highlights his work with creating more meaning within the wealth planning industry. On the life front, you’ll learn why Emily Esfahani Smith went on a quest to find out why meaning is more important than happiness. And a Hollywood couple, filmmakers Jennica and Ryan Schwartzman, relay their experience of raising children in the midst of the glamour and lights and how they maintain a family focus with strong values.
From me, you get a bit about my time in a tropical paradise and the unexpected feelings of horror I felt about retirement (plus techniques to get the most fulfillment from living no matter your life stage) and some of my thoughts about the latest philosophical thoughts from cognitive scientist Daniel C. Dennett about how we perceive our reality. As always, thank If you’re thinking now is a good time to start you to our readers, writers, creative team, and the preserving your family stories, we’ve got some superb people we feature in each issue. great resources for you. Archivist Margot Note, memoir designer John Catron, legacy planner Sheri Make sure in 2018 your loved ones know how Kohlmann, ethical will specialist Susan Turnbull, much you appreciate them. and family storyteller Jamie Yuenger each offer their tips for capturing and archiving your stories to All the best, be treasured for generations. Laura A. Roser On the financial front, author and financial Editor-in-Chief of Legacy Arts planner Michael F. Kay writes about how your and CEO of Paragon Road
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ELEVATE FROM Happiness to Meaning Replacing the unending pursuit of happiness with the quest for a meaningful life
By Daniel Slone
n college, Emily Esfahani Smith embarked on a search for happiness. Since everyone insisted that the path to happiness is success, that was the road her quest took. Yet contrary to what our culture told her, she did not find happiness there; instead, all she found was anxiety and a sense of alienation. Even more disturbing, her friends—all following the same road—were encountering the same negative feelings.
Determined to track down this stubbornly elusive happiness, she enrolled in graduate school to study positive psychology—as close to the “study of happiness” as an academic discipline can be. What she learned there, however, turned her concept of happiness on its head. Counterintuitive though it might be, the data showed that the pursuit of happiness is often the source of more hopelessness, more loneliness, and more despair. One statistic in particular summarized for her the state of affairs: global suicide rates have been rising and indeed hit a 30-year high in America not long ago. Research indicated that lack of meaning in life, not lack of happiness, is driving this trend. That led Smith to ponder her own background. She had grown up in a Sufi meeting house in Montreal, where twice weekly she was surrounded by people with a spiritual focus (some Islamic scholars define Sufism as the inner dimension of Islam which is complemented by the outward practices such as Sharia) who in her words came “to meditate, drink Persian tea, and share stories.” Sufism demands patience and devotion and minimizes the ego through “small acts of love, which meant being kind even when people wronged you.” When she left for college, she lost that foundation of meaningful living, and in hindsight she realized it was that loss that sparked her search for happiness. “I later realized that I had grown up surrounded by people who were leading meaningful lives and had clear answers to exactly what that meant,” Smith relates.
Meaning Over Happiness
She found herself bothered by our culture’s consensus that a “good life” is a happy life. “The people in my life whom I most admired had all devoted themselves to something greater than themselves. My parents, for example, were focused on parenting my brother and me,” Smith says. “Their lives were very full but also very stressful, and they were certainly not happy all the time.” Although meaning grounded in Sufism had been her original experience, she concluded that it is possible to lead a meaningful life without being a religious or spiritual person. But what exactly, she wondered, would that look like? Over the course of five years, she interviewed hundreds of people and perused thousands of pages in the bodies of work of psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy. Smith discovered that Western philosophy originally embraced a notion of happiness akin to the ideas she was developing rather than the modern concept. Certainly, there has long been an interest in happiness going back to Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Their concept was eudaimonia, which has been simplistically and misleadingly translated as “happiness.” A more accurate translation, however, would be “worthwhile life.” (Some authorities have proposed “human flourishing,” which is certainly wellaligned with Smith’s concept of meaning.) According to Aristotle, happiness is the “profit” from living a meaningful life. It was not until late in the nineteenth century that the concept began morphing into its modern version, making it a safe assumption that the Founding Fathers—who were, after all, well-schooled in Greek philosophical thought—had a very different notion in mind when they enshrined the “pursuit of happiness” in the Declaration of Independence. Western philosophy, then, had once held that pursuing meaning in life would produce happiness; to them, pursuing happiness itself would be a nonsensical idea. “I
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felt our culture does not value the sort of life that provides meaning, which ironically is why so many people are unhappy,” Smith observes. The equation of success with happiness smacks of a focus on materialism and financial achievement, but money does not provide meaning. Instead, the five years she spent examining the nature of a meaningful life led her to what she calls the “four pillars”: belonging, purpose, transcendence, and storytelling.
Belonging means having relationships in which “you’re valued for who you are intrinsically” and in which that value is mutual. Shallow relationships—those that attempt to replace love with sex, for example, or membership in groups that value a person for what they believe, oppose, or hate—do not achieve belonging, which is why they are ultimately not satisfying.
Smith defines purpose as “using your strengths to serve others.” Purpose does not necessarily have to come from one’s work (or at least not exclusively), but for many it does. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with that, but it does mean that issues, such as low labor force participation or disengagement from a job, “aren’t just economic problems, they’re existential ones, too.”
Transcendence is the diminishing of self and connection to a higher reality. For those whose meaningful living has a religious context, this is a key function of religion, but in her hundreds of conversations, Smith found people who found transcendence in a completely secular source, such as art. For her, the source is writing: “Sometimes I get so in the zone that I lose all sense of time and place.”
The final pillar is what Smith calls storytelling. Recall that one of her memories of her childhood in the meeting
Emily Esfahani Smith is the author of The Power of Meaning: Finding Fulfillment in a World Obsessed With Happiness. In her book and TED Talk, she argues that we’re chasing the wrong goal—a life of meaning, not happiness, should be our aim. Smith draws on psychology, philosophy, literature, and her own reporting to write about the human experience. Her articles “There’s More to Life than Being Happy” and “Masters of Love,” originally published in The Atlantic, have received more than 30 million hits online. Her writing has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and The New Criterion. She is an instructor in positive psychology at the University of Pennsylvania as well as an editor at the Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, where she advises the Ben Franklin Circles project, a collaboration with the 92nd Street Y and Citizen University to build meaning in local communities. Visit http://emilyesfahanismith.com. house was people telling stories. But Smith’s concept of storytelling is internal, what she describes as “the story you tell yourself about yourself.” Changing that story can transform a person’s life. Some people may need the assistance of a therapist to achieve such a change, but often it can be achieved simply through thoughtful reflection. Perhaps it is no surprise that a writer arrived at storytelling as one of the pillars of a meaningful life. “Being a writer is what I love. Sometimes it’s difficult, and therefore not necessarily happy, but I value writing things that positively affect people’s lives,” Smith notes. “Imagine the value of a parent being able to teach their child how to live a meaningful life—to avoid despair and anxiety and loneliness as an adult. What is that worth?” She continues, “Writing helped me realize two important things: First, meaning is not just this vague concept; there are specific things we need to and can do in our lives for meaning. Second, you don’t have to do extraordinary things to have meaning in your life; you don’t have to become a monk, find a cure for cancer, or start the next Facebook. Acts of service big and small, loving others, having work that you’re proud of—these bring meaning down to earth, make it practical and achievable. That’s what I want people to take away from my work.”n
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REGULAR PLAYFUL PEOPLE WITH KIDS
Filmmaker couple bringing fun and family to the sets, behind-the-scenes, and events of Hollywood. By Jennica Schwartzman
Filmmaker/actor couple Jennica & Ryan Schwartzman (and their sleeping newborn daughter, Winslow Schwartzman) accepting the Best Narrative Audience Award at Bentonville Film Festival
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y husband and I have spent the last few weeks going to the cinema every single day and thanking people for coming out to see our most recent film. Parker’s Anchor is our most recent romantic drama about loss, family, and starting over. Our film also handles the delicate subjects of infertility, divorce, birth choice, and adoption. Throughout our journey on the film festival circuit and then our theatrical release across multiple cities, we were approached many times by women and men alike who were touched by the subjects we explored in our film. There were a lot of hugs. And an occasional tear. This has been a deeply satisfying experience as a content creator. And it brings us back to making movies time and time again. Which is great because making movies is such hard work! Ryan and I act, write, produce—and now—reproduce. We were unsatisfied with the low quantity and less than stellar quality of work that was within our reach during the writer’s strike in 2007. There was a huge drop in opportunity for everyone in the industry and thus began the wild west of the digital world. We went from web content, to awardwinning short films, to narrative theatrically released features, and even a docu-series on filmmaking. Ryan and I have started a family during this firestorm of content creation. If anything, parenthood has ignited our most significant push to make movies together. So, that’s what we do! We make movies and raise our kids in Hollywood. I have been writing articles for MsInTheBiz.com, FilmmakingStuff.com, MotherhoodandHollywood.com, Artemis Motion Pictures’ #WomenKickAss Forum, and the Producer’s Guild of America’s magazine Produced By. I’d like to take this opportunity to interview my husband about his experience making movies and making humans in sunny LA.
JS: Hello Ryan. You are an accomplished award-winning writer and producer having had several of your scripts produced and distributed, a proved leading man in five finished feature films, and an attentive father of 2 silly children who light up when you enter the room. Oh, and also a pretty rad husband. How do you manage to balance your work and family life? RS: I try to keep a couple things in mind. One, is that family comes first. Especially in an industry with so much fluctuation. I find it is very important to not let our family take a back seat when it is the most constant thing in our lives. Two, is that family and work don’t need to be separate, at least in our profession. Yes, there are times that the kids cannot be on set with us or we need some space to write and produce, but as for the rest of the time- if you really try - then it’s not so hard to have your kids with you. We have brought our kids with us to film festivals and events at all ages so far. But in doing so, I try my best to be as respectful as possible to everyone there, including my kids.
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Filmmaker/actor couple Jennica & Ryan Schwartzman on set in wardrobe for “Parker’s Anchor,” January 2016
I am aware that these events are not made for kids. People are there to see films, and they want to see them in the best environment possible, so I don’t bring my kids into the theaters (and I don’t keep them right outside the doors either). We strive to make sure that they are not disruptive. However, I also make sure that the experience is as fun as possible for my kids. Just because we are out in public surrounded by strangers doesn’t mean that I can’t make silly faces or make up stories or be a superhero (or more often a villain) in whatever magical make believe world my kids have created for us. I have had such amazing responses from people who enjoy seeing our kids with us. Most people love kids, especially when the kiddos are polite and having fun.
It All Starts with a Story
JS: We’ve had the pleasure of working alongside beloved experienced actors like Richard Karn, Penny Johnson Jerald, Corbin Bernsen, and Michael Beach. They have each spoken out about having taken roles in our films because of the script and wonderful characters. What is your personal script writing process? RS: I am very fortunate to have a great script writing partner (side note to readers: it’s always good to throw compliments and butter up your interviewer). I like to spend a lot of time playing out the story and working through plot points and fun moments in my head to get a clear idea of what the story is before anything goes down
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Freemont Schwartzman kissing a poster with his Mom & Dad on it at the cinema, AMC Universal City Walk, November 2017 onto paper or computer screen. During this time, I bounce ideas off my wife and brainstorm with her. However, I like to keep a handful of ideas to myself so that once my first
draft is written, she can experience it as close to the way a new reader would engage in twists and turns. Then I start typing. As I write the first drafts, I pass the script off to Jennica to help get through some of the plot points. I then focus on creating the characters and their unique voices and working on trying to make the dialogue as real as possible. I do most of this between the hours of 9 pm and 3 am when the kids are sleeping, with a baby monitor in front of me to make sure they don’t need me. When I write during the day, I often have a little more of a difficult time getting into a good flow, because as I said before, family comes first. So, if I’m writing and my son asks me to play or read him a book, then the writing stops and the fun commences. But I also try to do at least some of the writing while I am with him during the day so that he sees what I am doing. He has an old computer of ours at which he sits and writes or plays with GarageBand while I’m working. And in those moments I just want to keep writing so that he will keep playing and warming my heart.
All in The Family
JS: You and I have been outspoken and complimented for our family oriented filmmaking perspective, education initiative, and taking our kids with us no matter where we go. What has your experience been raising our family in the heart of Hollywood? RS: During pre-production, and then throughout all of our films so far, we have kept the motto of “Just because it’s industry standard, that doesn’t make it right.” And this has been so helpful. It is industry standard to have a nanny or some sort of full time daycare for your children. It is industry standard to leave the kids at home with babysitters at night and to go out. That doesn’t mean they are not good parents, but I want to be with my kids as much as possible. I love them so much and don’t look forward to being away from them. We have brought our kids to meetings with industry professionals, we have brought our kids to set with us, and we bring a bag full of toys for them to play with and an iPad or phone for them to watch something for a short period of time. Doing this shows people who we are; we are regular people with kids. That doesn’t take away from us being able to be talented professionals and our finished films. But our kids are also who we are. We are parents, we are fun people, we are creative loving people who like to bring this childlike creativity and playing spirit to every step of our work. No matter where you are - Hollywood, Arkansas, Maine, Nebraska, or what job you have - you still want to instill good values into your children. So the fact that we are in the heart of Hollywood doesn’t affect us too much, but we are intentional about the choices we make.
JS: Your most recent movie, Parker’s Anchor, has left theaters and will be on DVD shelves January 9) our sex-trafficking crime drama, Ridge Runners, will be out February 2018, director Marc Hampson’s music centered
Jennica Schwartzman, a member of The Producer’s Guild of America, loves tackling a project from idea to distribution. Jennica has been published in the Producer’s Guild Magazine Produced By, she is a guest writer on the acclaimed entertainment industry websites MsInTheBiz.com, FilmmakingStuff.com, Artemis Motion pictures’ #WomenKickAss Forum, & WomenandHollywood.com. Jennica has been asked to speak about her experience on the lauded podcasts “Inside Acting,” “Motherhood In Hollywood,” and “Big Birth Junkie.” She has been invited to speak on film festival panels, and is a teacher and workshop speaker for The International Family Film Festival’s Road Scholars intergenerational filmmaking camp. Some of Jennica’s most memorable articles are shared yearly in the indie filmmaking community: “Film Festival Series Part 3: How to Kill it in your QnA,” “How to Break it to your Parents that You’re an Indie-Work-At-Home-Parent-Filmmaker,” and “Why Can’t I Work on Your Film for Free?” Her films have collected top awards from Bentonville Film Fest, Big Bear Lake Int’l Film Fest, Eureka Springs Indie Fest, Film Fest Twain Harte, Worldfest Houston, Fayetteville Film Festival, The Int’l Family Film Fest, and the highest honor from The Dove Foundation. Jennica and her husband/producing partner/ writing partner, Ryan, have 2 kiddos that seem very supportive but don’t quite understand what theirs parents do. @JennicaRenee @PurposePictures #iwahpf #momproducer indie drama Before The Lights Come Up (on which we both hold leading roles), and your headlining role in thriller The Man in The Trunk will all will be released in 2018… as if that wasn’t enough, what are you working on right now? RS: Right now we are working on spreading the word on all of the films that you mentioned because we want people to see our work. We are proud of it and we have gotten such great feedback from people who see it that we want more people to see it and enjoy it and as Independent film makers with no studio backing, We are the ones doing our marketing and spreading the word on our films. In addition to that, we have a couple different scripts that we are currently writing and very excited to shoot. We are hoping for and waiting for some magical person to show up and offer us some leads on investors who see what we are doing and want to be a part of it so that we can make more movies and we can grow our movies to bigger productions with bigger audiences. On top of all of that, I am playing with my sweet, imaginative little boy and my adorable and energetic little girl. I am being a Dad.n
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HOW WOULD YOU GIVE BACK? Leigh Steinberg Makes a Difference in the Lives of Players and Their Communities
By William Jenkins
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he National Football League is the premier professional sports league in the USA. The NFL TV ratings are still the highest among pro sports leagues, which mean the TV contracts are incredible and the player contracts are impressive. Each year 200+ players are drafted into the NFL, and thousands of agents compete to sign them and represent them to other teams. Those in the first round are the most sought after, and you might imagine agents would do anything to sign them. Not Leigh Steinberg. As one of the premier sports agents, Steinberg seeks to weed out players as much as they seek to weed him out among available agents. He asks each one this question: “If you had one chance to make a difference in the world, how would you give back?” Some players are confused by the question. Their response clearly indicates they care more about the money, what Leigh can do for them, rather than giving back to others. Steinberg says he refuses to represent a player like that. The Steinberg philosophy prepares players for the future, including focusing on a cause they care about, giving back to their community, and starting a foundation that will outlive their own career and make an impact for generations. Steinberg cares deeply about giving back. You can see it in how his agency prepares player hopefuls for the draft and life in the NFL. And you can see it in those NFL retirees who have continued to give long past their playing careers. In 2015, Steinberg began his own humanitarian awards for the NFL owner, front office executive, head coach, player, and retiree who best give back to others. The Steinberg DeNicola Humanitarian Awards are presented annually at the Leigh Steinberg Super Bowl Party and Maxwell Football Gala. The award recognizes outstanding individuals in the NFL community that devote and dedicate their time to address community issues and the welfare of humanity. 2018 will mark the fourth annual Steinberg DeNicola Humanitarian Award. Steinberg points out that many players also purposefully try to address issues that impact the next generation of
Leigh Steinberg is CEO of Steinberg Sports and Entertainment, the premier boutique agency for any individual, organization, or entity seeking to add exceptional value to their endeavors. Leigh has represented many of the most successful athletes and coaches in football, basketball, baseball, hockey, boxing, golf, etc., including the number one overall pick in the NFL draft for an unprecedented 8 times in conjunction with 62 total first round picks. Leigh is easily distinguished from others within his profession by his passion for giving to those less fortunate and his endless campaign to make our world a better place. Leigh is often credited as the inspiration for the Oscar-winning film Jerry Maguire. Leigh wrote a best-selling book, Winning with Integrity, providing insight on how to improve life through non-confrontational negotiation. Furthermore, Leigh’s most recent book, The Agent: My 40-Year Career of Making Deals and Changing the Game, details his decades of dominance in the sports industry and sheds light on overcoming his personal struggles to launch his comeback. Leigh has been rated the #6 Most Powerful Person in the NFL according to “Football Digest” and the #16 Most Powerful Person in Sports according to “Sporting News.” He resides in Newport Beach and has three children. Visit www.steinbergsports.com. players, starting with high school athletes. 2017 Steinberg signee Patrick Mahomes went back home to Tyler, Texas and sponsored a football camp for youth there. 2016 signee Paxton Lynch took clothing from his Nike contract back to his hometown. And these are just a few. As Steinberg seeks to expand his business into representing players in baseball and basketball, Leigh emphasized that giving back transcends sports and impacts our culture. Steinberg points to boxer Lennox Lewis, who Steinberg represents. Lewis sponsored a campaign emphasizing that real men don’t hit women. Lewis emphasized that the goal was to change the way adolescents think for the better. Steinberg also sponsors an Agent Academy (15 so far) that teaches up and coming agents about recruiting, negotiating, branding, marketing, and setting up a charitable foundation for players – Steinberg’s goal is to raise a new generation of sports pros with ethics and values and skills. On the following pages we are featuring four of Steinberg’s former clients who have all now retired from the NFL and moved on to successful second careers. However, we are featuring them because of how well they give to others. Enjoy!
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Troy Aikman Gives Back to Student-Athletes
Troy Aikman is a Hall of Fame quarterback who played for the Dallas Cowboys, leading them to 3 Super Bowl titles in his career 1989-2000 and currently a sportscaster. Troy is the chairman of the Troy Aikman Foundation, a charity to benefit children that has recently become part of the United Way of Dallas. Recently Troy Aikman gave back to his alma mater, UCLA, in a big way. Aikman donated $1 million to the program’s Wasserman Football Center. Aikman said, “By making this contribution to UCLA Football, it’s clear that I am, and always will be, a UCLA Bruin as well. My time at UCLA helped mold me into the person I am today, and I want the Bruin student-athletes that come after me to have the same opportunity I had to achieve their boyhood dreams.” Visit aikman.com.
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Warrick Dunn Provides Homes for the Holidays
Warrick Dunn is a star running back who played for both the Tampa Bay Bucs and Atlanta Falcons 1997-2008. Warrick established the Homes for the Holidays (HFTH) program in 1997 and started Warrick Dunn Charities (WDC) in 2002. The HFTH program rewards single-parent families for reaching first-time homeownership. HFTH recipient families are chosen through a partnership with Habitat for Humanity affiliates and WDC with complete home furnishings and down-payment assistance. HFTH has assisted over 150 single parents and over 300 dependents in Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Tampa, and Tallahassee. In 2006, one of those homes happened to go to Deshaun Watson’s family, who was quarterback of the 2017 Clemson Tigers National Championship football team and NFL quarterback in his rookie season. Visit wdc.org.
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Steve Young Impacts Health and Education Across the Globe
Steve Young is a Hall of Fame NFL Quarterback, 1985-1999, perhaps most remembered for his spectacular 1994 season as NFL and Super Bowl MVP. Young founded the Forever Young Foundation in 1993 as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization focused on passing on hope and resources for the development, strength, and education of children. The Foundation serves children facing significant physical, emotional, and financial challenges by providing them with academic, athletic, and therapeutic opportunities currently unavailable to them. Development projects include Forever Young Zones and 8 to 80 Zones, which provide technology and multimedia labs for those living in underserved communities and state-of-the-art interactive play areas and music therapy facilities in childrenâ€™s hospitals. International initiatives include the building and expansion of schools in Ghana, Africa, as well as enhancing health, educational, and athletic opportunities for Ghanaian youth. Visit Foreveryoung.org.
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Rolf Benirschke Helps Endangered Species Research
Rolf Benirschke is a star kicker who played for the San Diego Chargers 19771986. In 1980, Benirschke kicked off a wildly successful campaign to raise funds to support conservation projects at the San Diego Zoo’s Center for Reproduction of Endangered Species (CRES). He called it Kicks for Critters, pledging $50 for every field goal he kicked during a game, and he challenged San Diegans to pledge at least $1 for every field goal he made. By the end of his career, Rolf and thousands of football fans had raised more than $1 million to help endangered species. Since his retirement, he has continued his work with the San Diego Zoo and volunteers with the San Diego United Way, Boys & Girls Clubs of East County. For 36 years, Rolf has been providing inspiration and encouragement to patients around the world who live with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, colorectal and bladder cancer or other circumstances that can lead to ostomy surgery. He is the national spokesman for The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), and The Rolf Benirschke Award was created in 2015 to honor community members who have made a significant impact locally for philanthropy, giving back, and leaving a lasting legacy. Visit rolfbenirschke.com. n
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How Will You Change Th Make The Most Impact With Charity
l Animal Rights, Welfare, and Services l Wildlife Conservation l Zoos and Aquariums
l Early Childhood Programs and Services l Youth Education Programs and Services l Adult Education Programs and Services l Special Education l Education Policy and Reform Scholarship and Financial Support
Community Development l l l l
United Ways Jewish Federations Community Foundations Housing and Neighborhood Development
Arts, Culture, Humanities l Libraries, Historical Societies and Landmark Preservation l Museum l Performing Arts l Public Broadcasting and Media
Resources for Intelligent Giving: www.charitynavigat
l Development and Relief Services l International Peace, Security, and Affairs l Humanitarian Relief Supplies
l Environmental Protection and Conservation l Botanical Gardens, Parks, and Nature Centers
l Diseases, Disorders, and Disciplines l Patient and Family Support l Treatment and Prevention Services l Medical Research
Research and Public Policy
l Non-Medical Science & Technology Research l Social and Public Policy Research
Human and Civil Rights l Advocacy and Education
l Religious Activities l Religious Media and Broadcasting
l Childrenâ€™s and Family Services l Youth Development, Shelter, and Crisis Services l Food Banks, Food Pantries, and Food Distribution l Multipurpose Human Service Organizations l Homeless Services l Social Services
The Art of Family By Jamie Yuenger
never expected to become a confessor. When I founded StoryKeep in 2010, I was focused on the craft of storytelling itself—on pacing, narrative arcs, and the like. After all, my dream was to make documentary films and legacy books for families that were studio-quality. But having worked with over 80 families, I’ve come to appreciate that my work goes beyond mere documentation. It’s about turning secrets into stories that strengthen family bonds and promote healing. At first, I was struck by how many storytellers of all stripes volunteered secrets to me. Often the secrets come out in preliminary, off-the-record conversations. “I’ve never told anyone this …” a client will say, or, “Only very, very few people know this … .” Stories of divorces, family drama, wartime scars, private thoughts and feelings— every family has them, and it’s my job to bear witness and keep confidentiality. It’s also my obligation to avoid topics that clients want to keep out of their projects. But the thing is—and this truly surprised me at first—storytellers often end up bringing
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these exact subjects up “on the record.” They pause and take a deep breath; I can feel them deciding whether they can trust me. And then they exhale, and the previously un-sharable comes out, often with a smile of relief. In that moment of opening, transformation happens. A new possibility is made available. Like all of us, they want to
Jamie Yuenger is the Principal of StoryKeep, a New York City based firm that specializes in documentary films and museum quality books for families. Jamie founded the company to forge a new genre of storytelling, one that merges state-of-the-art filmmaking and book design with personal history. Before founding StoryKeep in 2010, she was a radio reporter for WNYC (New York’s NPR affiliate), the co-host of a live, daily TV show, and a folklorist. Jamie acts as the director and interviewer on most projects. Learn more and see samples at www.storykeep.com Photo caption by Tory Williams and StoryKeep
be heard, to unburden themselves, and discuss the most important moments and challenges in their life. I have seen a patriarch share a secret on the record, one he specifically planned not to reveal, only to open the door for his children to finally share their true feelings. This hidden-away piece of their family identity was peeled back like the rind of an orange. In the breaking of skin, zest and fragrant oil hit the senses and woke everyone to a beauty within. This former secret became the most valuable part of their film. The dry disconnection that had existed alchemized through discussion into sweetness. Seeing this transformation occur on screen could not be more compelling. Secrets don’t come out by accident. I’ve learned that when a storyteller shares something highly personal on camera, what they really want is to incorporate that secret into their family’s identity. The art of family stories, as I call it, involves turning those secrets into life-affirming narratives that bind family members together in love, forgiveness, and understanding.
I’ve come to see that my work must go far beyond mere documentation. StoryKeep has to create art that captures the heart and mind, art that’s personal and powerful enough to carry stories across generations. The revelation of secrets is certainly not the only way to compel viewers or readers to pay attention, but when the time and place is right, the art of family secrets can bind people in a love that’s unbreakable. n
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Three Steps to Save Your Legacy in the New Year Immortalize your family’s cherished photos, documents, and memorabilia for generations to come. By Margot Note
s the new year starts, we reflect upon the last twelve months—the soirees, the sorrows, and the surprises of our lives. Celebrations during the winter holidays have reconnected us with our families. Together, you may have reminisced about past gatherings, heard family lore, or created new traditions. The importance of documenting memories of a passing era becomes even more evident as our loved ones grow older. We imagine we will always remember the moments that now seem most important to us, but memories are fleeting. Lifelong remembrances are one of our most priceless possessions. Preserving our papers and photographs—the physical manifestations of our family’s story—fulfills a need for our sense of identity and permanence. Your photos and letters have fascinating histories, including how and why they survived generations. Will you give these artifacts the care they require? As a new year’s resolution, commit yourself to saving your legacy. I’m an archivist, a professional who preserves historical papers, photographs, and other materials. My job is to harness history and protect the primary sources that historians use to decipher the past. Often, people think of archives as only concerning the materials of generals and kings. Not so. One of the most important developments in history in the last few decades is the recognition of social history and the lives of everyday people. This connection to the past is why shows like PBS’s Finding Your Roots are so popular. People love to learn about those who went before us. It’s our need to understand ourselves and how we fit into the world that intrigues us. Archivists teach people to immortalize their families’ cherished photos, documents, and memorabilia for generations to come. The caretakers of these precious holdings inherit boxes overflowing with memories but are puzzled on how to start preserving their heritage. Archivists can help you showcase the special stories, traditions, and keepsakes of your ancestry. Creating an archives is a priceless family resource and one of the most rewarding projects you’ll ever undertake.
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Start with three easy steps.
The first, and most important, step is to take your family history items out of harm’s way. Remove your family materials from the basement, shed, garage, or attic as soon as possible. The solitary act of moving them out of these locations will prolong your documents for decades. These areas are terrible for the preservation of your papers and photographs for many reasons. Basements are too humid and can flood. Attics and sheds experience extreme temperature and relative humidity fluctuations. Garages expose your archives to humidity, heat oscillations, and toxic fumes. All of the locations harbor pests like insects, mice, and other animals that can damage or destroy your collections. Other poor storage areas are rooms with washers, dryers, or machinery that gives off heat, and areas near air conditioning units, heat vents, or pipes. If you’re unable to start organizing your archives right away, a more suitable storage area would be an internal closet in your home. Closets protect against heat, light, and moisture.
The second step is to survey your family history materials, which allows you to assess the entirety of your collections. When you take stock of everything you have, you can see the natural groupings of similar items, as well as to start to prioritize the parts of the collections you would most like to protect. Gather them all in one place and see what you have. A dining room table is a perfect place to inventory your materials. How many boxes of papers do you have? Boxes of photos? Photo albums and scrapbooks? Diaries, deeds, diplomas? What are their conditions? Record what you have. Archives, museums, and libraries use a box- or folder-level scheme for their collections. They do this because the grouping of materials provides more context than individual items; the value of a record lies in it being part of a larger body of materials. An inventory will provide a box-bybox list and the structure for more details in the future. Note an important item—such as a photograph of your father receiving a Bronze Star Medal—but concentrate on the group level in most cases. Also note items in poor shape. Summarize as much as you can, and look for groups of materials and their unifying theme. Having a sense of how much materials you have will help you determine a number of archival folders, enclosures, and boxes you will need to rehouse them so they are protected from the environment. Companies such as Gaylord Archival, Hollinger Metal Edge, or University Products sell archival products online and through catalogs; you can browse also archival storage solutions at your local Container Store.
Margot Note is an author, archivist, and consultant helping individuals and organizations harness their history. To learn more about her services, please visit margotnote.com.
The third step is to seek guidance. Historical societies, libraries, archives, and museums in your area occasionally offer free or low-cost family history workshops to discuss preservation techniques. Some archives provide tours of their storage areas so you can see how historical materials are housed and accessed for generations. You can find resources for family historians at the National Archives (www.archives.gov) or the Society of American Archivists (www.archivists.org). YouTube videos offering preservation basics, books at your local library, and blog posts abound with helpful advice for family archivists. My book, Creating Family Archives: How to Preserve Your Papers and Photographs, simplifies the principles and practices of professional archivists so that anyone with a passion for their history can apply these techniques to their family treasures. Based on archival practice, the book offers step-by-step advice that is easy, efficient, and economical. I wrote the book (and my online content at margotnote. com/blog) because I wanted to help everyone protect their treasures using techniques that professionals in the finest museums around the world employ. If you require more assistance, consultants can create a preservation plan for your collections, after an on-site visit or phone consultation. The plan will guide you in caring for your collections in the safest way possible. For my clients, I outline what to preserve, the archival supplies needed, the most reliable parts of your home to store your archives, and other specific recommendations for care and handling of your collections. Organizations such as the New England Historic Genealogical Society offer Family Archive Packages, where professional archivists process and describe your family materials for you. A family archives will become a source of historical reference for current and future generations. You and your family will soon enjoy the strengthened relationships, richer communication, and feelings of belonging that preserving memories has brought to thousands of lives. You will come to understand history as you never did before. You will discover the traits, temperaments, and talents that connect your family through generations. You will realize that you are a member of a much larger group than your immediate family. You are part of history. Are you ready to preserve your past, enrich your present, and inspire hope for your future? n
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A Fishy Taste of Early Retirement
Finding Meaning When Work Isn’t a Necessity By Laura A. Roser
t’s Tilapia Tuesday again,” my fiancé says. We’re in a small mountain town in Costa Rica, staying with friends who decided to pack up and leave their jobs and the Salt Lake City snow behind about two years ago. They now find themselves in a tropical paradise with two rambunctious dogs, one clever cat, a beautiful custom-built home (with a guestroom for us to stay in for two weeks), and a network of retired ex-pat buddies who gossip, drink, hike, and birdwatch together. This is the second Tilapia Tuesday I have been privy to. The fish tastes the same as the week before, and the town gossip hasn’t progressed much. As I sip my licuado de piña and frantically check my iPhone for the eighth time in the last two minutes, it dawns on me that unless my perspective drastically changes in the next 30 years, I’m going to make a terrible retiree. I can’t imagine a worse hell than measuring time by Tilapia Tuesdays and trying to fill my days by wandering from bar to bar to chat with friends about who’s not
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keeping up his yard. I need projects. I need goals. I need intellectual stimulation. When I asked one of our gracious hosts if she would ever go back to work, the answer was, “No way. My job was hell.” Life is pretty good for her now: she goes running several times a week, volunteers at the animal clinic, has an active social life, and visits with friends and family from back home on Skype.
Laura A. Roser is the founder and CEO of Paragon Road, the #1 authority in meaning legacy planning. For more information about meaning legacy planning services, visit www.paragonroad.com.
Maybe I’m just a workaholic. No one else seems to think my business goals are that interesting or important. “You need to disconnect … Relax a little,” is the prevailing wisdom from my Costa Rican friends. Still, a part of me wonders: Is this all I have to look forward to? You spend your life working and grasping for something better, easier, more pleasurable, and then when you get it, you become bored. In his book Homo Deus, Yuval Harari writes, “The most common reaction of the human mind to achievement is not satisfaction, but craving for more.” Although Yuval makes a good point, I don’t think all of humanity is doomed to a life of dissatisfaction. I believe the answer to a life of meaning lies in finding what connects you with your soul’s joy center and then
continually reconnecting to that source. For some this connection comes through their faith, for others family, and for others the creative process. Each person must find his or her own way. One woman’s hell could be another woman’s paradise.
Finding Fulfillment in All of Life’s Stages
Even though no one can tell you how to live a fulfilled life, there are some hints you will find when observing the experiences of others. In their book Just Enough, authors Laura Nash and Howard Stevenson studied many top executives. What their findings revealed is that these executives were successful monetarily but often felt they were lacking in relationships, family connection, work-life balance, and character development.
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Their study came up with four metrics that matter most in creating a meaningful life:
Happiness: Experiencing pleasure or contentment in and about your life. chievement: Accomplishing goals that compare A favorably to others who have strived for something similar.
Significance: Positively impacting the people you care about. egacy: Using your knowledge, values, and L accomplishments to help others with their future success.
When you develop each of these metrics, the authors found, life takes on a heightened sense of purpose. As we age, it is even more important to stay balanced with each of these metrics. If we have spent years in the achievement zone, for example, and neglected a sense of personal happiness, contentment, or pleasure, itâ€™s easy to become burned out. These are the people you see working themselves like mad and longingly looking up at a picture of a beach in their cubicle. Not a fun way to live.
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All We Have Is Now
OK, so I know there are stages to life—ups and downs, times of striving followed by relaxation, and so on. But, on the whole, it’s a really, really good idea to figure out how to live a fulfilling life right now. Why? Because there is no tomorrow. If you’re always waiting for the future to reach your ideal destination, life might just pass you by. If you’ve learned to enjoy the journey, retirement won’t become some life-saving oasis to rescue you from overwork, but a new phase of life with an evolved sense of meaning.
The Benefits of Age
The especially cool part about aging is that the significance and legacy metrics become more important and applicable. You’ve spent years mastering skills, learning the ins and outs of life, and perfecting your career. Sharing your wisdom and helping others reach their dreams can become a great source of satisfaction. Spreading your knowledge is a way to give others a leg up and make an impact. Of course, no one is going to be content every waking moment. But if you find yourself looking around and wondering if there is more to life, it might be time to consider how you’re spending your time. Is there enough pleasure and contentment in your life? What about achievement? How have you helped others lately? What are you doing to leave a legacy of significance? If that doesn’t work, you can always head to the local bar, grab a tilapia taco, and catch up on the latest gossip. n
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ENDURING There are families of enduring greatness. They have achieved excellence in times past, yet continue to pursue what made them great. They have stories to tell. They embody high character, are celebrated throughout history and loved by all who know them.
Whatâ€™s your legacy?
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WHAT THEIR STORIES REVEAL
Getting to the Heart of What Matters to Your Clients By Susan Turnbull, Personal Legacy Advisors
ADVICE FOR FINANCIAL PROFESSIONALS
ou occupy an extraordinary position for those you advise, at the intersection of practical and profound. Your clients trust you to deliver technical solutions to serve ends that are ultimately very personal, but attached to general concepts like values and legacy. Limited face to face time increases the challenge of reaching clients. How can you encourage clients to talk easily about what’s most important to them? How do you identify the values that define and motivate them? How might you help them articulate a down-to-earth, actionable vision for legacy? I have found that story can help you greatly. Get a client to tell a story from their own lives voluntarily, and you’ve opened a door to a conversation that can help them find words for what seems ineffable. Let’s consider what asking for – and listening to – a story can do.
l Legacy Conversations Cards Facilitator Set: 12 large prompt cards with follow up questions on the back. l Life Legacy Cards: Smaller version of the facilitator set, blank on the back l 60-minute downloadable tutorial giving helpful suggestions l Available on www.legacytoolkit.com and www.personallegacyadvisors.com
describe a place you love.
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Advisors. All rights
Stories are treasure houses.
A story is a window into the life of a client. No intake form yields the color and character and details of history and circumstances that help explain who they are and what they need and want. Stories remind them of those things and tell you at the same time. It’s in stories where a client’s values are revealed and understood in the context of personal history, experiences, and defining actions. A value or set of values always undergirds a story. A story can be a bridge to subjects that are hard to talk about, like legacy. A story can inspire fresh thinking about the kind of enduring difference a client wants to make in the lives of others and guide a level of planning that defines and reflects their noblest sense of purpose. Brain research proves that a story connects people on a cellular level. What the teller feels, the listener feels, too. That may help explain why telling and listening to a story can be so interesting and pleasurable and produce increased trust, empathy, and ease. You can draw out and use a story in almost any interaction. National story expert Lani Peterson and I developed a 3-step conversational process to help you engage anyone. It is laid out in our Legacy Conversations Toolkit (see side bar), 12 large prompt cards with follow-up questions on the back to initiate story-based conversations quickly and naturally. Understand the principles that guide the flow, and you’ll find opportunities everywhere to deepen conversations instantly.
Follow the three-step flow.
The three-step flow we follow moves from story to values to action.
1. Uncover a story.
A story does not have to be dramatic to initiate the flow. To initiate the telling, ask for something specific. “What was the highlight of your weekend?” Teaching my grandson how to canoe at our house at the lake. That’s the start of a story, one that begs for interesting follow-up questions, effortlessly engages the client, and may contain information that is new to you.
2. Explore meaning and values.
Let the story be a lever to explore the broader context of the experience. “How did you learn to love canoeing?” Well, I got a scholarship to a camp. That experience changed my life. There’s
Susan Turnbull is founder and principal of Personal Legacy Advisors. A professional writer and speaker, her presentations, tools, and services are known for a uniquely personal and practical focus on the qualitative aspects of estate, financial, and philanthropic planning. She the author of The Wealth of Your Life: A Step-by-Step Guide for Creating Your Ethical Will and Across Generations: A Five Step Guide for Creating an Expression of Donor Intent, as well as creator of LifeLegacy Cards and the Life Legacy Conversations Tool, all designed for those who agree that wealth transferred to future generations has both tangible and intangible dimensions. Susan lives in greater Boston.
another story! It’s also a natural opportunity to invite a reflection about values and motivations. See if they can name the values associated with the stories. “What do these stories say about what’s is most important to you?” Relationships with my grandchildren, work ethic, appreciation of nature, family, appreciation for the opportunities I was given were all vitally important to me.
3. Put vision into action.
You now have a natural bridge to come back to the work at hand. “To what degree is it important to you that the planning reflect these values?” You’ve given them an interesting new lens to consider the direction they ultimately want the planning to take. Engage their imagination on the topic of legacy. “Are these the same values you hope others will remember you for?” “How might those values live on in ways that would make a lasting difference in the lives of other people?” I need to develop a succession plan for the lake house; maybe I should consider setting up a scholarship fund to send local kids to summer camp.
It’s up to you!
You have the ability in your hands to develop extraordinary conversations with clients by employing your genuine curiosity and skills in listening to draw on what is always and easily at hand – a story you invite them to tell. You’ll find that it doesn’t take long at all to create a rewarding, insightful, and helpful experience for them and for you. n
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If Your House WAS ON FIRE I By Sheri Kohlmann
f your house was on fire and you had five minutes to grab the items you value most, what would you save? This hypothetical question became a reality for me and thousands of others this October as California wildfires swept through our neighborhoods, giving us little or no time to react. As the hot orange sky swirled with ash and soot, overhead a helicopter circled, declaring, “This is a mandatory evacuation. All residents must leave now!” A lifetime of accumulating possessions, and a few moments to decide what is worth saving, and what is not. I always said that if my house was on fire, the first thing I would grab would be my mother’s family history book published in 1929 in Arkansas. This little book, which is now worn and tattered, is one of my most treasured possessions. In this book, I learned about those that came before me: the people, the faith, the values that made me who I am and determined my place in history. They didn’t leave me any money or possessions but something worth much more–a rich family heritage and legacy. So, I grabbed my family history book, my dog, and my computer. The rest could burn.
When It Really Matters
When faced with a split-second decision of “What is truly important?” our thoughts turn from stuff to significance. Our hearts turn to values, not valuables.
For years, I worked as a paralegal at a Southern California estate planning law firm. I worked closely with families to help them create a financial legacy. No matter the size of their estate, they all wanted to ensure that their hard work and legacy would continue after their time on this earth. Our clients expressed relief when their estate plan was signed and in place.
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However, they also expressed a certain emptiness, a sadness and sometimes fear that future generations might not understand how that wealth was attained and may not have the wisdom to handle an inheritance. Folks often shared with me their desire to pass along their personal and family stories and some of the wisdom they had gained from their life’s journey. I witnessed the ugly greed that surfaced when one of our clients passed away. Potential heirs began to show up with their hands out. I saw people blow through their inheritances with remarkable speed, exercising little restraint or wisdom. It turns out, most inheritances are spent within 18 months. I began to look for ways to help people connect their stories to their financial legacies. I wanted to help our clients give the same kind of gift I had been given by my mother’s family – an inheritance more valuable than gold.
I found Guided Autobiography (GAB). This incredible process developed by Dr. James Birren was just the ticket! Not only could I help people leave lasting personal and family stories, but the process itself gave folks great insight into their lives. It proved to be healing and life-changing for those recalling and writing their stories.
This packrat has learned that what the next generation will value most is not what we owned, but the evidence of who we were and the tales of how we loved. In the end, it’s the family stories that are worth the storage. - Ellen Goldman, The Bostom Globe What is Guided Autobiography? A trained facilitator guides you through the process of writing your life stories using a series of major life themes. This deeply personal and meaningful process enables the writer to reflect upon the most significant moments of their life, recall important memories, and organize them so that they can be shared and treasured for generations. I went through the Guided Autobiography process myself and found it to be one of the most authentic, richest experiences of my life. I tell folks that GAB is not therapy, but it is very therapeutic. I became a GAB facilitator and have never looked back. Most of us know we have stories and life lessons that need to be shared, but we lack the structure to get it done. The motivation, accountability, and process that GAB provides is the perfect catalyst. Through GAB, I have seen estranged families reunited by hearing simple and honest stories. I have witnessed old hurts, grudges, and relationships repaired. I have
Sheri Kohlmann was inspired by her own family’s legacy, and by the clients she met while working as a paralegal at a Southern California estate planning law firm. Meeting with hundreds of clients, Sheri had the opportunity to hear incredible stories about money, wealth, family and faith. She quickly learned that there was more to excellent estate planning than legal documents and financial investments. She discovered that inheriting wealth without learning the history and values that created it can often be more of a curse than a blessing. As the founder of More Than Words, Inc., Sheri assists individuals, families, communities, churches and nonprofits in getting to the heart of the matter. Her classes and individual coaching encourage people of all ages and from all walks of life to define and share the things that matter most. In addition to her previous work in estate planning, Sheri served as the USA Administrative Director for an international nonprofit organization and as an Account Executive in the litigation support field. She has also strategized and consulted with churches encouraging generosity and legacy planning. Sheri and her husband, Gene, live in Southern California. They have four sons, one daughter, five perfect grandchildren, and Chief, the world’s best Golden Retriever. Contact Sheri at www.morethanwordsinc.com and The Birren Institute at www.guidedautobiography.com.
experienced tears running down the faces of family members as they read stories they had never heard before that helped them understand their loved one for the first time. Mostly, I see people who have lived through successes and failures and have a lot of wisdom, history and love to share - people who want to make a real difference in this world and leave a legacy of significance. I consider myself incredibly fortunate to meet these amazing people and learn from their life experiences.
After the Wildfires
My family and I returned to our home a couple of days after we were evacuated. Our home was not touched by the fire, but some around us lost everything. These fires are a profound reminder that our possessions can be gone in the blink of an eye. What truly lasts and matters is the legacy of love and connection we create with those whose lives intersect with ours. So, instead of buying another piece of jewelry that will sit in a safe and someone will sell the moment you pass from this earth, why not invest some time and resources into reflecting upon your life and sharing your wisdom, values and stories? Generations from now, you will be the family hero for having the wisdom to review your past and look to the future to give those who come after you a profound legacy. n
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5 BEST PRACTICES FOR FOUNDATIONS
Take your foundation to the next level in the new year.
By Sterling Foundation Management
hilanthropy and its challenges are not new. Aristotle, who lived 2,400 years ago, was aware that “to give away money is an easy matter and in any man’s power. But to decide to whom to give it, and how large, and when, and for what purpose and how, is neither in every man’s power nor an easy matter.” Today, the opportunities in the philanthropic sector are larger and more varied than ever.
Leading by Example
James Lintott, chairman and founding principal of Sterling Foundation Management, has served on numerous nonprofit as well as private investment boards. His wife, May Liang, is also actively involved in philanthropic efforts through board membership and together they run their own private family foundation. Unable to fall asleep one night, they pondered the benefits of having extra wealth. They had seen first-hand how wealth did not equate to happiness. One benefit they agreed upon was the sense of wellbeing from knowing they could get access to quality healthcare for their children. They decided that giving this same sense of security to other parents was a shared value for their philanthropic efforts. That began Jim’s involvement with the Children’s National Medical Center Foundation as the chairman of the board for four years, as well as chairman
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of the parent board for four-and-a-half years. Providing world class healthcare for at-risk children in the D.C. area has remained a special cause for him and his wife. Leveraging his vast experience as a lawyer, CFO, and philanthropist, Jim has been on a quest to improve forprofit and non-profit corporate governance. He brings that same passion to Sterling where he helps clients achieve their philanthropic goals in an effective and efficient manner.
Effectively Managing Foundations
Here, we highlight several best practices that offer foundations profound benefits and improve effectiveness.
1. Put Your Goals on Paper
You probably have heard or seen news about the philanthropic efforts from the likes of Bill and Melinda Gates, Chuck Feeney, and Michael and Susan Dell. Similar to others with a passion to do good in the world, they leverage their foundations as a vehicle to meet their charitable goals. Unlike them, most foundations are not as closely followed by the public or reported on by the media. As such, founders should not take it for granted that their mission, goals, and values are well understood or well known, even among family and friends. As
the founder or as a board, take the time to reflect and document your philanthropic goals to help guide priorities, activities, and decisions. Understanding your mission and its drivers are important for both limited life foundations and those planning for perpetuity.
2. Give Strategically
It’s the beginning of the year – do you have a giving strategy in place? Don’t just rely on what you did last year or put off your decisions until the end of the year. Having an intentional plan for giving helps ensure you are making the most of your funds. Consider a more focused plan by giving fewer, larger grants to have a greater impact on your social causes. In other words, go deep versus spreading your giving in small amounts to a large number of charities. Choosing to focus on a select few charities also encourages you to be more familiar with the organization, their programs, and how they operate. It helps you become more informed about how your foundation’s funds will be used and if there are better ways to maximize the use of those funds.
3. Give Wisdom in Addition to Wealth
Many private foundation founders are individuals who were highly successful in their businesses or careers, and have more to offer than just financial resources. Donor’s contemplating charitable donations often focus on what their money can do. However, many charities need not only money but also wisdom and experience. Donors can offer additional support by donating the skills and knowhow that got them where they are.
4. Know Your Charities
Vetting prospective grantees is essential to foundation management. You must have a process in place that helps ensure funds are given to reliable organizations that align with the foundation’s goals. Review rankings from reliable sources, such as financial and philanthropic publications. When available, seek out statistics and reports to determine if there has been mismanagement of funds or illegal activity. Public records, such as annual reports or tax statements, also provide a wealth of information. For large grants or long term commitments, call or visit to learn more about the organization first hand. Although most donors realize that overheard is part of every organization, understand how much of your grant goes to the desired program versus other operational costs.
5. Ask for Measures of Success
How do you know if your foundation’s goals are being achieved? Measuring success or impact is not always simple, particularly for nonprofits with lofty or abstract missions. Before providing funds, ask charities how they measure their program’s effectiveness. The best charities will have thoughtfully considered their measures of program success and be open to questions. Look for measures that go beyond typical quantitative measures such as the number
James W. Lintott, Esq is Chairman and Co-Principal of Sterling Foundation Management. He is widely recognized for his financial expertise working with high net worth individuals and families to reach their philanthropic goals. He is also co-author of the book, Managing Foundations and Charitable Trusts, a leading resource and guide for donors and advisors. Mr. Lintott serves on numerous for-profit and non-profit boards and also runs his own private family foundation with his wife. Mr. Lintott received his J.D. (with distinction) from Stanford Law School, as well as an M.A. in applied economics and B.A. degrees (Phi Beta Kappa) in economics and political science from Stanford University. To learn more about Sterling Foundation Management or receive a free copy of our book, go to www.sterlingfoundations.com or email email@example.com.
of programs, activities, and people reached, and ask for evidence of how they’re impacting their social cause or mission.
At Sterling, we have seen firsthand the impact of charitable giving, which inspires us to provide high quality and personalized care to our clients. Here’s just a few ways our clients’ philanthropy has made a difference:
l Accelerated the development of new therapies in epilepsy to improve patient care l Established a professorship in dementia research at the Mayo Clinic
l Relieved education-related debt through scholarships and fellowships in Virginia
l Provided recovery aid for those impacted by natural disasters in Texas, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, and California
l Supported community programs aimed at helping disadvantaged youths
Environment and Animals Fought animal cruelty and conserved land for wildlife in Florida
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What is Employee Own The evidence is overwhelming.
Done right, employee ownership can transform a company, improve performance and accelerate growth. It can create a sustained competitive advantage, driving business success that builds wealth for founders, investors and employee shareholders alike.
The Beyster Institute at San Diegoâ€™s Rady School Management works to the understanding and of employee ownership effective and responsib model. We focus on edu research and consulting promote employee own and the creation of effe ownership cultures.
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The Power of Belief “We are what we believe we are.” C.S. Lewis By Michael F. Kay
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his C.S. Lewis quote applies perfectly to our view of our money and our life, and could very well define our lives. We tend to see the richness in our lives by defining the relationships we develop and maintain or the difference we make in the lives of others. We may also define the lack of richness in our lives by our inability to keep pace with the lifestyles or material possessions of others. What is most interesting may be the fact that which end of the telescope we look through can be traced back to our early childhood influences. Our money memories or imprints come from what we see, as children, with our child brain and our ability to understand and experience as a child. For example, if you grew up witnessing conversations concerning what other people have or do, you are more likely to see that measurement as normal—and will eventually adopt it as your own. If you grew up hearing and witnessing that money was used to provide security and to help others less fortunate, then that imprint is likely to be your own. Simply, how your parents viewed money and its use impacts you greatly. There is a vast difference between wealth as a number and wealth as a composite of human-based values. Unfortunately, the playing field has been tilted in favor of the former. We are constantly bombarded by advertising and messaging that emphasize a focus and desire to achieve a lifestyle of material possession rather than on centering on our deepest core values. If we believe our worth in the world is a number or a balance in an account, we erase our value as guides, storytellers, and recounters of family experiences and history. Without a clear understanding and vivid picture of our core values, it becomes too easy to stray from a meaningful path to one adorned by the less important.
I started working toward my true calling from an unlikely place. After deciding that a career as a trumpet player wasn’t in the cards, I earned my CPA and worked in public accounting for 10 years. It was my background in finance and my passion for working directly with families that led me to Financial Life Planning. Listening to your story and planning for the life you want makes my job energizing, rewarding, and well … awesome. I founded Financial Life Focus because I wanted to work with people who put your success at the forefront of everything they do; people who understand that finding balance is a journey. We built a team whose expertise and working styles complement each other. We’re people first, and advisors second. We all have preconceived notions about money, but you can build money habits that support your values. You can shape your own money mindset—although getting where you want to be may not be a straight line. Appreciate where you are; value where you’ve been. Let’s plan for your next. Visit financial-lifefocus.com
importance to them, the conversation shifts to basic needs of security, family, relationships, and having a purpose. What becomes decidedly absent is the focus on material goods and the need to impress others. Sure, many people might want to leave a financial legacy, if possible, but not at the cost of leaving something deeper that supersedes the monetary implications.
We do an exercise with our clients called “Money Memories” in which we ask each person to write about their earliest money memories, what they learned about money from each parent, and whether they consider themselves more of a worrier or an avoider. The exercise goes on to ask, “In your heart of hearts, As a Financial Life Planner, I hear clients coming what have you wanted money to give you?” This in and wanting to talk about money and goals. But question goes to, forgive the word play, the heart of further into our meeting, we find that after a short the matter. What is it that reaches deep inside that conversation, they really want to talk about their has meaning? The responses are spectacular, ranging core values and what provides a sense of security. We from simply to “live a life well lived” to “provide shift the conversation in terms of Abraham Maslow’s security so as not to be a burden on my family” to “pay Hierarchy of Needs and what is truly important in educational costs for grandchildren” to the support of their lives. Once the topic of security is covered, the a charity, organization, or another cause that aligns conversation migrates to topics like: what provides with their spirit. meaning in their lives, how they can leave a legacy of love and care, and that they want to be remembered There are no wrong answers when it comes to money for their contribution to the world in more than a and people’s beliefs; there is only how you see yourself financial sense. and what is most meaningful to you. What’s important is that you make the time and space for these thoughts In my career I have seen those who know who they and conversations: to ground yourself to think beyond are and what they believe and those who either have the external influences of your day-to-day money life an obfuscated understanding or have never taken the and create a life plan that reflects who you are and time for introspection. I have listened to some clients what you really care most about. After all, if C.S. Lewis who are fearful about their ability to outlive their is correct, then we can be who we believe we are by resources. But when we talk about what is of greatest integrating our values with our actions. n
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How Meaning Is Driving the Financial Advising Industry By Todd Fithian, Managing Partner, The Legacy Companies, LLC.
inally, industry regulation and public demand is at the root of shaping the future of the financial services industry, specifically related to how advice is being given from a fiduciary perspective, and I couldn’t be happier. For much of our nation’s history, and most of our lifetimes, people have followed a predetermined path. A path set forth by the basic human survival instinct. First and foremost, people worked hard to earn a living and protect their families. The edges of the path became a set of blinders as they navigated the road ahead. The emotions and thought processes that accompanied the journey filled their conscious minds. During this phase, people may have dreamt of and planned for financial independence, but they didn’t take the time—or allow themselves the luxury—to consider how life would unfold once it was achieved. As a result, the affluent and super affluent arrive at the point of financial independence longing for clarity and tasting introspection at greater depth than ever before. Where they once approached wealth as an end game, they now begin to grasp that it was simply a means to an end. Where they had anticipated that wealth would represent freedom, instead it now poses larger and more troublesome questions. What will replace the intensity with which they approached their careers or businesses? What will fill their days and stimulate their minds? What will they do with their excess wealth? How much is excess? How can they provide for their children and grandchildren yet protect them from the evils of affluence? Should they purchase another home or allocate more to charity? And how will society react to the inherently visible decisions they’re about to make? People are wrestling with the most intense decisions of their lifetimes, and advisors are eagerly searching to develop skills and refine their processes to be better prepared and positioned to facilitate this need to discern good decision
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making and outcomes. Advisors must possess a process for carefully, respectfully and effectively taking these relationships to a point at which each client considers them a sounding board in this new and fearful realm.
At the same time, most advisors have spent their careers focused on money as the object of their bounty, building assets under management and charging fees for planning services. Their business has a starting point and a finish line for each service rendered and each plan that’s implemented. These become their own set of blinders that stand in the way of their ability to help clients get their arms around the emptiness and begin to fill it with a new life plan. Advisors who wish to remain front and center in their best clients’ lives, and to build more and more of these
relationships each year, need to address a new planning paradigm. Many affluent clients are finding themselves without any meaningful financial goals to work toward, paired with a lifetime of wisdom and intellectual capital to apply to something. They crave answers to the questions that their subconscious is posing. They yearn for a way to channel their financial resources in new and meaningful ways. Advisors need to prepare themselves to help them get there. The challenge here is that advisors are trained to think rationally. They are taught to have a somewhat scientific relationship with their clients, one that follows the tax code, laces itself through legal guidelines, and follows creative design solutions. Though many clients confide in them, they have not traditionally been paid to dream big, brainstorm, and listen for hours on end. Certainly, those who’ve reached the upper echelon of the profession have built deep and meaningful relationships, but a small percentage of their time together is spent helping clients shape their non-financial future – the one that primarily occupies their minds. It’s time for this to change.
A Chance to Differentiate
In today’s changing landscape, I have more and more advisors asking me, “Todd, how can I be different?” While I believe this question has merit, I believe it’s a bit misguided. I am quick to tell there are several things you can do to be different, but the best advice is to focus on making a difference. By leading with a true intension of making a difference in the lives of the clients you serve and putting their outcomes ahead of your income, you will be different all day long. If advisors make their time together with clients different than the interactions they have with any other advisor, they will make the time to be in the advisor’s presence. Consider the times in your life when you’ve gone through a major transition. Think about the one person who was there to help
Todd Fithian is the Managing Partner of The Legacy Companies, LLC. “ClientCentered Qualitative Discovery is at the core of all we do and it has revolutionized the way the industry thinks and operates; it has changed the way advisors and clients communicate. Through workshops, consulting, proprietary tools, software and online training modules, Legacy provides advisors to families of wealth with an innovative turnkey system of providing clarity where their life intersects their wealth.” Visit www.think-legacy.com or call (888) 649-4591 to learn more. you absorb the pain or perpetuate the excitement. Weren’t you drawn to that individual? People need sounding boards. Without any meaningful financial goals ahead of them, that drive has been replaced by a tremendous void. They have more time for introspection than ever before. It is both invigorating and uncomfortable. Their newfound freedom feels like a prison. Where they once thought wealth would offer freedom, it instead poses more questions: questions that carry greater complexity, weaving family, society and business into a tangled mess. Advisors’ inability to truly grasp this phenomenon leaves clients meandering through this troublesome state alone. The smart advisors are racing to figure out how to more intentionally, more frequently, and with greater skill, lend a helping hand.
The Things We Know to Be True
At some point, everyone contemplates life’s greater meaning. It’s a function of being human – of the sociological make up of our conscious minds and our care for others. For some, the questions tap them on the shoulder daily. For others, their senses have become deadened by the routine pursuit of their financial successes. Once advisors spend a little less time designing plans and a little more time helping clients identify the underlying questions, they’ll find out where they really are in life and what they want most from the relationship with their trusted advisors. n
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The Unique Voice OF LEGACY BOOKS
Preserving Legacies Is an Art—and the Catrons Wrote the Book By Legacy Books
hen John and Barbara Catron began restoring an old schoolhouse and church building in Riverton, Utah, they had no idea where the project would take them. For Barbara, the restoration was a labor of love. Her father’s first wife, Donna Rae Coy, had grown up in the building, exploring the surrounding farmland and enjoying an idyllic childhood. Donna died unexpectedly, only a few months after marrying David, Barbara’s father. “My father married again,” Barbara explains, “and raised a wonderful family with my mother, Karen. But we grew up honoring and respecting Donna Rae’s legacy as well. She was always part of our family.” Along with the restoration of the building, the Catrons also created a history book. As owner of Legacy Books, John thought it would be an appropriate addition to the restoration project. The book featured the Coy family’s contribution to the history of the schoolhouse, as well as
several other families who had settled in the area. “It took months of work to put the book together,” John recalls. “We gathered research, compiled pictures, did interviews, checked facts—you name it, we did it.” The end result—an iconic, restored country schoolhouse and a priceless book titled Riverton Legacy Home—turned out to be a new beginning for John. As the project neared completion, he discovered quite by accident that Abraham Hunsaker, one of the other settlers featured in the book, was his fourth-great grandfather. “Originally, I’d been tagging along as an in-law,” he says. “Now all of a sudden, what we were doing became very personal. Abraham was the first landowner in the area; he once owned land that I own today. Now this project wasn’t just my wife’s, it was mine too.” And that wasn’t all. John realized that he never would have made that connection if people four generations ago hadn’t kept a written record. “The experience was providential,” John continues. “Now everything made sense. This business we’d been involved with for years took on a much deeper meaning. We knew that we
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John Catron started Legacy Books because he recognizes that one of the most important assets an individual, family, or organization can leave behind is their story. Often overlooked or undervalued, this other legacy has potential to impact lives on a much deeper level than money or property. Legacy Books can be an invaluable partner with investment managers, financial planners, entrepreneurs, and family offices alike in assisting their clients in preserving the other legacy that matters.
wanted to do something that would provide the same type of miracles—that connection to generations past— that we had experienced ourselves.”
work on a family history legacy,” John observes. “And once they start, it can be overwhelming for them to know what to do next—and when to stop.”
Preserving legacies is an art—and we wrote the book is the tagline for Legacy Books, a company that is committed to helping people create an inheritance just as valuable as trust funds and estates. Legacy Books’ professional team of writers, editors, and designers partners with family offices, investment managers, and financial planners—as well as families and individuals— to offer expertise in every area of compiling history.
Client Elaine Clements Gardner knows exactly what John is talking about. She had been working on her family history for almost 20 years when she reached out to Legacy Books. Less than a year later, her family history journey came to an end when she slit open a plain brown packing box, cleared away the packing material, and lifted out a gorgeous gold-embossed, blue-leather legacy book. “I held it close to my heart for a moment,” she recalls. “It was still wrapped in cellophane; it wasn’t even opened yet. I’m not a crier, but my eyes filled up with tears. Then I opened the plastic and looked at it. It was exactly what I would have dreamed of if I had dreamed that big.”
“We’re the perfect legacy partner,” John explains. “We can help clients figure out what resources they already have in place, then help them fill in the holes. We provide scanning, interviewing, writing, design and layout, production and publishing. We’re really a onestop shop legacy preservation company.” Perhaps one of the most valuable services Legacy Books provides its clients is help in finishing a project they’ve been thinking about—and sometimes actually working on—for years. “It can be overwhelming for people to know where to start when they decide to
Elaine’s experience is not unique. Legacy Books’ clients all report the same thing—expectations exceeded and a process that ensures their history book is what they wanted. Whether they’re working with individuals, families, corporations, or communities, Legacy Books has the expertise and the resources to help preserve that priceless legacy. n
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Timeless Wisdom: You Can’t Have Legacy Without the Concept of Legacy On Consciousness and How Thought Structures Affect Our Reality By Laura A. Roser
ave you ever wondered if reality is subjective? Is what you’re experiencing similar to what other humans are experiencing? Do your senses interpret stimuli the same way as the majority of people around you? Is reality mostly molded by your thoughts, or is there a concrete reality you’re accurately seeing? Cognitive scientist Daniel C. Dennett has spent his life studying the mind and how it processes information. In Brainchildren: Essays on Designing Minds, Dennett writes: “To put it really somewhat paradoxically, you can’t have consciousness until you have the concept of consciousness.” In his book, Dennett goes on to summarize some thoughts from the work of American psychologist Julian Jaynes (1920-1997), who is best known for his theories about the Bicameral Mind. “Jaynes suggests that history was invented or discovered just a few years before Herodotus, and one starts to object that of course there was history long before there were historians, but then one realizes that in a sense Jaynes is right. Is there a history of lions and antelopes? Just as many years have passed for them as for us, and things have happened to them, but it is very different. Their passage of time has not been conditioned and tuned and modulated by any reflective consideration of that very process. So history itself, our having histories, is in part a function of our recognizing that very fact. Other phenomena in this category are obvious: you can’t have baseball before you have the concept of baseball, you can’t have money before you have the concept of money.” This is an interesting thought—the idea that we need to invent and name things before they can show up in our lives
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and the world. It is said that an increased vocabulary opens up opportunities. When you know certain terms, such as “balance sheet,” “net profits,” or “gross revenues,” your sophistication as a businessperson is enhanced. The same is true of learning the jargon of any industry. In estate planning, words like “will,” “trust,” and “foundation” give you a structure by which to plan your affairs. Before these structures were created, passing on financial assets was much less sophisticated. When I first began trying to conceive what kind of nonfinancial legacy I’d want to pass on to my heirs, the solutions were relatively elementary—at least from my vantage point—because most people I ran into and things I studied had not conceptualized how to package up someone’s essence as a person or cultivate non-financial assets within
a family and pass that on. Thus, the structure of a “Meaning Legacy” was my answer to creating a system by which these non-financial assets (such as wisdom, values, and beliefs) can be transferred to others. Of course, the terms “history,” “money,” “consciousness,” or “Meaning Legacy” are an opening into a world that is made richer by one’s depth of knowledge. As Dennett writes in Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon: “If you can approach the world’s complexities, both
its glories and its horrors, with an attitude of humble curiosity, acknowledging that however deeply you have seen, you have only scratched the surface, you will find worlds within worlds, beauties you could not heretofore imagine, and your own mundane preoccupations will shrink to proper size, not all that important in the greater scheme of things.” This quest for deeper understanding is what makes life rich—discovering worlds within worlds through curiously exploring what fascinates you. n
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