4 Long-term Commitments You Should Not Underestimate

. Currier. Marriage Certificate. , ca. 1848. New York: Published by N. Currier. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/2002710019/.

After 17 years of marriage, I reached a point in my life where I could no longer wear the ring my wife gave me on our wedding day; it just no longer fit on my finger and I needed to have it resized. Over the three hours I was without the ring while it was being resized by the jeweler, I could not help but focus on the life-changing commitment I had made to my wife all those years ago. That commitment has continually served as a solid foundation in my life that has made cultivating multigenerational wealth for myself and others possible. Therefore, if you are wanting to cultivate multigenerational wealth, then long-term commitments are essential to have in your life.      

The types of long-term commitments such as the one mentioned above, however, are rare, require careful consideration, and should be difficult to renounce. These commitments may look different for each of you, but they should be long-lasting (think in terms of decades and beyond) and offer you support, strength, energy, resources, and/or benefits over extended periods of time. Many of you already have these types of long-term commitments in place in your life, but you may not be aware of them or take them for granted (because your ring has not needed to be resized recently to remind you of these commitments). Whether you are needing a reminder or are looking to establish new long-term commitments, the following four long-term commitments are worth considering to prevent you from unnecessarily limiting the wealth potential you are striving to cultivate within and across generations.

1) Self

For as long as you exist, you should maintain a solemn, life-long commitment to take care of yourself in such a way that does not inhibit the fullest potential that you can achieve in life. Too often, the various long-term commitments we make in life to others, careers, and causes (just to name a few) can undermine or overshadow the important commitments we make to ourselves. You are the only one who can make the ultimate life-long commitment to your own wellbeing that no one else can. Without such a commitment to yourself, your ability to cultivate any type of wealth (e.g. health, intellectual, financial, spiritual, social) over your lifetime will be limited. Therefore, if you are serious about cultivating multigenerational wealth for yourself and others, then take specific care to make and maintain healthy, long-term commitments to yourself. At the very least, those commitments should include maintaining healthy eating habits, exercising, keeping your mind active, spending time with others, engaging in meaningful work, and interacting with your surroundings.

Prague. Crippled children. Frankie writing a letter to his parents. Prague Republic of Czechoslovakia, 1919. [26 November date received]
Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/2017670695/.

2) Learning

Having worked in the areas of admissions, advising, and teaching in higher education for multiple decades, I have interacted with too many students and their parents who have a fixed mindset that once a degree, certificate, or training program is completed, that type of focused, multi-year, learning commitment does not need to be repeated in the future. This mindset is wrong and will limit the potential wealth you might be able to cultivate and grow for yourself and others over time. Learning should never stop in your life. Whether you are 5 or 82 years, there are always parts of your life where your existing knowledge does not enable you to satisfy the needs, wants, and/or desires for yourself or others. What skills and knowledge enabled you to make friends and do well as a kid in school or young adult entering the workforce will be woefully inadequate at later stages in life when you are trying to help your child that is struggling with reading in primary school or attempting to grieve and administer the formal and informal wishes of a loved one who has recently passed. While you might not be able to learn everything by the time you need to know a particular skill or bit of information, making a commitment to life-long learning will leave you better prepared to handle or adapt to whatever arises in your life.

3) Responsibility

Your thoughts, words, decisions, and actions have many possible consequences that may appear immediately or later in life. Because it can be difficult to track or determine when or how these consequences will manifest over extended periods of time, long-term commitments should not be randomly or easily assumed. You have a responsibility to yourself and those potentially affected by what you do to seriously reflect upon the long-term commitments you decide to make in life and what their subsequent consequences may be. For example, making a long-term commitment to a particular career or spiritual community can result in having and missing out on having meaningful relationships with certain friends and family members that affect the growth potential of your social or health wealth over a lifetime. By remaining mindful of your responsibility to reflect upon long-term commitments, you will help to reduce the number of long-term commitments that can limit your ability to cultivate wealth in the long-run. Furthermore, maintaining this awareness of your responsibility throughout your commitments should also help to ensure that you periodically re-evaluate which long-term commitments are worth keeping or ending as you progress through the different phases of your life.

Grant, Gordon, Artist. The Public Health Nurse She answers humanity’s call: Your Red Cross
membership makes her work possible / / Gordon Grant. United States, None. [Between 1914
and 1918] Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/00652153/.

4) Others

You did not come into this world alone, and if you are reading this, multiple people from different generations have helped you reach this point in your life. Some of those individuals you have interacted with have made long-term commitments to educating others (e.g. teachers) which have enabled you and others to cultivate various types of wealth for generations. Other individuals, such as family members, childhood friends, and members of your local community, have made long-term commitments to constantly look out for your wellbeing and offer you support at different times in your life that have helped you build and enjoy much of the wealth you have today. As the sub-title of this blog indicates, cultivating multigenerational wealth cannot be done along, but together with others. Therefore, an essential factor that enables anyone to cultivate any type of wealth must include making and maintaining long-term commitments with and to others that are 1) respectful, 2) genuine, and 3) of equal or greater benefit to yourself and others. If your present long-term commitments with and to others do not exhibit these three qualities, then they are preventing you from cultivating the multigenerational wealth that you potentially could in a lifetime and might need to be ended so that you can devote your time, energy, and resources to other long-term commitments.

As you evaluate the four above long-term commitments, you will realize that they are not easy to make or sustain for extended periods of time. (My wife can attest to that being married to me.) While their ease may not be guaranteed, what I can guarantee is that making these types of long-term commitments in your life will make it possible to cultivate multigenerational wealth in areas and levels that you could not do through short-term commitments alone. So I encourage you to use this post as an opportunity to prompt you to make a list of at least 6 long-term commitments you have made thus far. Then spend some time considering the value of those long-term commitments and whether they should be maintained or ended to create room for new ones…oh…and also to remember to resize your wedding ring (or watch, bracelet, etc.) before your circulation gets cut off.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *