If you have ever listened to Dave Ramsey, there is a good chance you have heard him say “go and change your family tree”. It is a beautiful saying that paints a wonderful backdrop for our motivation to make healthy and wise financial choices. The idea being that the money choices we are responsible for now can and will affect your children and family. These are huge shoes to fills, and they get even bigger when broaden the perspective to grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Let’s not operate out of fear though. Be encouraged by that fact that if you stop your family’s reliance on debt, or align you decisions with your values, or even make wise investment choices, those choices will positively affect your family tree for generations to come. Think about being the grandparent that your great grandchild points to in photo albums and say he is responsible for changing the family’s relationship with money.
You can see that power of this principle at work when a couple’s perspective changes upon hearing that they are pregnant. The ensuing scramble to undo or right their financial ship is often frenetic. Too often those changes die and shrivel, as life, not us, starts to take control again.
The beauty of the saying is that is takes our focus off of us, and gives us something bigger and more wonderful to live for. When we hang on to those types of higher purposes, we receive long lasting sustainable energy. When we are motivated by short sighted and selfish goals, the changes are often short lived.
For those without immediate family, don’t be discouraged either. The trick is to find motivation from goals that are bigger than ourselves, and not on things that lose their appeal when the next new invention or model comes along.