Give What You Can’t Keep

Leadership, Life and Style is part of the Stronger, Braver, Wiser publishing stable. We empower leaders to be powerful.

By Scott M. Fay
Author, Discover Your Sweet Spot
I took my son, Andrew, to his first property closing when he was only 12 years old. Since then, I’ve taken him to about a half dozen more. Some of the other attendees were five times his age—most of them experts in their respective field. Onlookers might classify my choice as cruel and unusual punishment. Who would subject a child to what might appear as a boring meeting with a CPA and an attorney? But because I’m his father, I had a bigger reason.
When I was 12 years old, my dad pulled me out of class to join him at a few ministerial meetings. The other attendees seemed ten times my age—most of them experts in their respective field. But he didn’t just subject his child to a boring meeting with pastors and ministry leaders. Because he’s my father, he had a bigger reason, too. Time is short. Legacies are forever.

My father understood that legacies are maintained by investing in others. Rather than a shortsighted perspective for my happiness, he had a long-term vision for my growth. He knew that pouring into me certain ideas and experiences would stretch me and expose me to new types of thinking. He believed specific situations would shape who I am, so he planted within me an environment conducive to my growth.
My dad has a healthy perspective of life…and death, for that matter. He knew he wouldn’t always be around. Some might call this perspective morbid. I call it realistic. When we live like we’re never going to die, we design our lives so they only benefit us. But when we live knowing we’re going to die, we design our lives for the benefit of others, too. Educator Elton Trueblood understood the importance of investing in the next generation. He said, “We have made at least a start in discovering the meaning in human life when we plant shade trees under which we know full well we will never sit.”
My father understood this common truth in an uncommon way. As a result, he knew his impact wouldn’t pass when he passed. He grew those around him and his legacy manifested itself in people, not possessions. Martyred missionary Jim Elliott said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
Those of us who fully integrate The Sweet Spot System™ give what we can’t keep: our very lives. Sometimes we need to invest our time, sometimes our trust, and sometimes our truth. Regardless, we pour into others because we value them and the legacy we deposit within them. In my specific story, step number seven became the greatest magnifier of my success. I didn’t set out to do great or be great. Instead, I invested greatly in others and slowly over time, my work became great because of the people around me.
“If you’re enjoying any success in your life, it’s because someone has gone before you, sacrificed, and paid the price.”

Excerpt taken from Discover Your Sweet Spot by Scott M. Fay, published by Morgan James Publishing, available here via Amazon. More info:

Tony Curl

Tony Curl

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