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True Wealth Is Measured By Our Memories

by Richard Norris on May 4, 2015

summer, holidays, vacation and happiness concept - group of friends taking picture with smartphone

True Wealth Is Measured By Our Memories

True wealth is less about finances and more about memories. We can lose all our money but, no matter what, our memories are with us forever. When we invest in our moments we create a legacy of lasting memories. Without memories our lives would truly be poor.

There is much talk about the wealth divide today – the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The world tends to measure wealth in tangible assets, but true wealth is actually intangible. True wealth is created through positive and enriching moments resulting in a wealth of memories.

Recently, I headed back to Canada to visit family. I stayed with my mum and helped clear out her bungalow. I discovered a treasure trove of family history – family tree, birth certificates, and loads of photos (some of which I had never seen). Many of the photos brought a stream of vivid memories – family sports, recreation, holidays, successes and good times. Most of these featured my dad somewhere. He was always larger than life and I always looked up to him (and still do). He was always actively involved in what my brother, Andrew, and I were doing. As such, my memories of my dad are plentiful and powerful.

How wealthy are you regarding memories?

My life is full of memories – for the large part they’re all good. Like a bank balance, my memory account is very much in credit. Most of my rich memories have been created from special moments where other people were involved – especially my family and other people who matter most. To me, our true wealth is measured in relationships more than results. The richer our relationships, the richer our memories. The richer our memories, the richer our lives.

When looking through those photos at my mum’s, I realized I was rich with memories of and with my dad. I also realized I was sorely lacking memories where my mum was concerned. This did surprise me. Mum was always there when growing up. Dad worked away from home a lot, but she was the domestic constant in our lives. When dad was home, his focus was on us boys. My brother and I were active – swimming, soccer, skiing, hockey, golf etc. We followed Dad’s example. Mum,however, preferred to sit and watch. Mum was our transporter and carer. When I tried to recall a significant memory of my mum, I confess I struggled. That made me cry. Sure she was not my dad, but my mum has always been an important part of my life. On my return home I prayed to God to remind me of a significant memory with my mum. He replied, “You just had one – the 6 days you invested helping your mum.”

 You never realize the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.

Unknown

People who live life to the full tend to have a life full of great memories. They don’t just exist; they thrive! I’m sure you know such a person. Go ahead and ask them about their memories. I’m sure you’ll need to sit down. I know my dad was such a person. Dad was never short of a story about his life. Friends and family alike never got tired of his army, fishing or construction stories. Dad always came more alive when he recalled his escapades. He had a way of engaging people and making them laugh. I believe his re-tellings became treasured memories for all who heard them.

As with my dad, a key to a wealthy life is to create a wealth of memories with people you care for. When you’re involved and engaged in people’s lives you show them they matter. That strengthens your relationship with them and ensures you will build great memories that will endure forever.

My wife, Nancy, and I may not be wealthy in financial terms, but we prosper exceeding abundantly with memories from when we first met in June 1988. Those memories continue all the way to today and will do so into the future. Particularly since we started our family, Nancy and I have both agreed and made a concerted effort to create memorable moments and events, together and separately, with each of our kids. We may not be able to provide all the material gains for our kids, but we can make their young lives wealthy even now. Each day I set out committed to create wealth and well-being for my family. I work hard to fill their lives with light, laughter, lessons and life.

As I’ve said in previous posts, true wealth is what you have left when you take away the money. We’ve all heard money can’t buy happiness. Sadly, some people have ignored that wisdom. They have chased money and their lives are left wanting. If you’re like me you know someone who has exclusively pursued money. In their pursuit they have made their lives miserable and the lives of those around them.

True wealth is a matter of priorities – money or relationships. Choose relationships and you create a source of endless rich memories. You likely discover a life of happiness. Choose money and happiness will very likely elude you; your relationships will likely be bankrupt. Which priority is your decision. Just know that the one you choose has a lasting impact on you and those who matter most.

A few final thoughts on creating a wealth of memories…

  1. It’s never too late to start building your wealth of memories.
  2. One priceless memory can overcome a lifetime without them.
  3. The best memories arise when you focus on others serving them unselfishly.

There are few people who don’t want to be wealthy. Whilst true financial wealth may elude the majority of us, we can all be wealthy where it matters most – in our relationships. The way to do that is to be engaged and intent on creating an abundance of rich memories that will last a lifetime.

Your Powerplay

This week invest some time with those who matter most to create lasting memories.

#BEGREATER

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Are You Giving The First Fruit Of Your Harvest?

by Richard Norris on April 30, 2015

The Fruit

Are You Giving The First Fruit of Your Harvest?

Giving is an act of generosity that adds to peoples live. When you give it blesses you as well as those who receive. When you give your best first the blessings increase even more.

You reap what you sow. You have likely heard this before. No farmer can harvest a crop unless he has first planted it. This principle of sowing applies not just to farmers with seeds but also with you and me and our resources. Money. Time. Skills. Knowledge. Experience. Etc.

Giving is a Biblical principle. In the Bible, God says , “Freely you have received, freely give.” (Mark 10:8). In other words, what God has blessed you with, you are to give it freely to others. When you do, you will lack no good thing.

Abel gave the firstborn of his flock and it pleased God. Abraham gave offerings of money and livestock to God. The people of Israel gave alms to the poor. God desires us to be giving, to be generous with that which He gives us – first to Him and then to others. It can be friends, church, family, strangers, charities etc.

Since I became a Christian back in 1988 I’ve done my best to be giving. In the first instance, as a family, we give 10% of our income each month to the church. We give it first – our first fruit. We don’t wait to see what we have left over at the end of the month. Do that and there will always be too much month at the end of the money. We’ve done this even through periods of unemployment when our finances got tight. So far, we’ve never lacked for our needs.

When you develop a habit of giving, you are less likely to be attached to things. When you give your first fruit, things will have less control over you. Actually, being giving by nature destroys greed. Greed and selfishness do not become an issue. My wife, Nancy, and I are working to teach our kids this. As a family, every 6 months we go through our stuff to find things we can give away. We sometimes come across some of the kids toys and things that they don’t want to give away. This is a good time to teach selflessness; that things are to flow through our lives to bless others. We are to be rivers not reservoirs.  The kids are much better now at giving things away (and so are we). We’ve learned to give away that which threatens to make us selfish.

People who are generous with their resources never seem to lack that which they need. In my experience, giving people are often the most contented and peaceful people you will ever meet. Interestingly, the most giving people are often the poorest. Our pastor just came back from the slums of India. He shared that when he entered one lady’s shack, she gave the best of what little food she had to her guests. According to UK statistics, those in the lowest income bracket on average give 4% of their income. This is comparatively far more than average for the richest.

How well do you give of your first fruit?

Giving of your first fruit is foundational to your success, however you wish to define it. I have been blessed to know some very generous people. Every one of them are truly living because they are truly giving. They are giving by nature. It’s part of who they are. I often wonder what the world would be like if people were more giving than taking.

Giving is the highest living.

When you give money or another resource freely, it’s a seed in God’s eyes. When a farmer plants corn, he expects corn. The more he sows, the more he reaps. The more he reaps, the more he can give. And this begins a wonderful cycle of abundance. Giving returns more so you can give more.

So…when you sow your time to help others, you will reap time when and where you need it – especially when you name it as seed and for the “crop” you are expecting. Giving your first fruit can be people. Hannah in 1 Samuel dedicated her first born son, Samuel, to the LORD’s service. Giving can be of your skills. I’ve donated my time to pro bono mentoring. Whilst sowing my skills in other businesses, I am preparing a harvest of new business and new skills for me.

It’s not just about giving 10%. There have been times in a new job where we have committed the first fruits – the first paycheck – wholly to God. We believe that in doing so we are blessing the church and our future “harvests”. Each morning since July 1988 I give the first fruit of my day to God. He gets my time – usually the first hour I’m up. I use that time dedicated to prayer and Bible study building my faith and my relationship with God. Only when I’ve given this time do I then go on to other activities. I am convinced that if I did not give God this time, I would run out of time in my day.

If you desire a more abundant life and all that means to you, I strongly recommend you get into the habit of giving – especially the first fruits of all that flows into your life. Here’s a few guiding principles to help you develop this habit and grow a life worth living and an example worth following:

1. Give first – a portion of whatever comes into your life.

2. Be the first to give. Lead the way. You example could be life-changing.

3. Give your best. Don’t hold back. Give the best of what you have. That way nothing becomes too precious and you don’t become selfish.

4. Give obediently. God says give so that when you do, you will be blessed. Who doesn’t want God’s favor?

5. Give joyfully. God loves a cheerful giver. besides, when you give with joy, you get more joy in return. And we all want more of that.

6. Give more than you can afford. Even if it’s just 1% or some other stretch. This stretches your faith and builds your resilience to the ups and downs of life.

7. Give faithfully. When you get into the habit of giving regularly, especially to fill someone elses need, giving becomes integral to who you are.

Human nature makes giving difficult. However, the sooner we develop the habit of giving, the sooner we are living a higher life. When you give your first fruits, you will receive a payback – often better than that which we gave. When you give your best, you will never lack the best.

Your Powerplay

Find a need and give freely into it with your first fruit. No strings attached.

#BEGREATER

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Be A Dream Believer

April 27, 2015

Be A Dream Believer No one likes a dream killer. No matter the dream, it’s worth pursuing. If it’s your dream, go for it. If it’s someone elses, support them. If you can,  feed their dream. In recent months my daughter, Dreanna, has begun to dream of and for her future. In one sentence she […]

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