We all have people in our lives that help shape us in who we are today. Whether we realize it or not that’s what’s called leaving a legacy. I am thankful for two men in my life that helped me shape not only who I am, but what kind of legacy I want to leave behind.
My Grandfather: Charles “Chuck” Wray
My grandfather was a banker for his entire career. He started back in the days when a mortgage was less than one page long (today a mortgage is almost twenty pages). I remember growing up watching him help anyone regardless where they stood financially. They way he approached people with a smile and made them laugh within the first few moments of conversation were simply amazing. There were many stories he shared with me that taught me life lessons on how to be smart with money. Both my grandfather and my grandmother lived a full and wonderful life and they did so while living a frugal lifestyle. One of the biggest lessons I learned from him is that money does not make you happy; it is having quality relationships with God, family and friends that matter most.
My Father: Gary Bennett
If there was one word to describe my father it would be passion. I have never met a more passionate person in my life. My father was a very hard worker and had a strong work ethic. He may not have worked in the financial industry, but he did have some very important lessons he taught me when it came to money.
Some of the sayings he used to say were:
- Don’t try to keep up with the Jones’s
- Even if you buy a new car, it still will need to be fixed
- Always work hard and earn an honest living
- Give 100% or get out
- Never lie, cheat or steal
- Read books (even ones you may not like)
- Somebody’s always going to have it better and somebody’s always going to have it worse
Both of these men passed away this year. It really hit me when my grandfather passed away how much of a legacy both of these men had instilled in my life. Even though this blog has a lot to do about the financial part of a legacy, there is so much more to a legacy than just money.
This is why I am a financial coach. I love helping people no matter how well or not so well they are doing with their finances, and I do so passionately. It warms my heart to know that God has woven together these characteristics in me from the two most influential people in my life. Both of these men came from different backgrounds, different experiences and yet their lives influenced me in a powerful way.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving take a moment and reflect on who has influenced your life and ponder what kind of legacy you want to leave behind and who you want to leave it to.
Who has had the most impact on your life?
What are you doing today to impact the next generation for tomorrow?