It is common for us to think about our place in the world—from who we are and who we want to be to how we can help others now and after our lifetimes. One way to find or rediscover meaning is by developing your own set of values to help guide your decisions.
Writing down your values can also help cement them, as well as offer a way to pass them on to the next generation.
To begin, make a list. Write down six or seven of your most important values and how they help form your views and passions. Here are some starting-point questions as you reflect:
- Which qualities would you want people to say you possess?
- What would you like people to say about the way you live your life?
- What would you want future generations to remember about you?
- Which values do you share with the people and organizations you admire?
- How do you demonstrate your values in your daily life?
Here are three ways to activate your values:
- Go beyond words. Writing down your values can help cement them—and turn them into a type of legacy letter you can share with your family—but your legacy is more than words alone. If you’re saving everything digitally, add a folder of images and videos that reflect who you are. A shoebox is just as valid a savings spot—add printed photos, recipe cards with your handwriting and other mementos that reflect who you are.
- Involve your family. Talking with your family members about your personal philanthropy gives them a better understanding of your values and could inspire them to follow your lead. Continue the conversation by asking your family members for their thoughts on your values and to reflect on their own.
- Deepen your values through philanthropy. Explore creative ways to give back. Volunteering your time or talents can make an impact. If you don’t have the budget to help today, a future gift to Lions Clubs International Foundation can be a meaningful way to help in the years to come. We are always happy to talk to you about opportunities through your estate plan that carry your values beyond your lifetime.
Extend Your Values
Identifying your values is a powerful exercise that can help you feel good about your place in your community and the world. To discuss ways you can support LCIF and see your values in action, please contact Robert Kanonik, J.D. at email@example.com or +1.630.468.7067.