At the Alchemia Group we are helping our clients think & act differently in regards to their wealth and its impact on thier family - because we know it is more than just numbers and plans, it's the Balance of Art & Science with Pragmatism and Vision.
As an amateur photographer I’ve learned that the really great photographers find the interesting in the common aspects of life. (I wrote a post about this which you can find here.) Appreciation is a muscle that needs to be built and maintained. Without appreciation taking things for granted becomes the norm. When we really appreciate what we have and what is all around us we find greater satisfaction with life and the constant desire for more is significantly reduced. Here is a simple game you can play to help develop and maintain a sense appreciation for life and all you have.
Pick up a small magnifying glass (like this one from Amazon) for each family member. Next pick an ordinary object like a quarter, a photograph, a pencil, or a postage stamp. Take 5 minutes or so and really study it under the magnifying glass. Write down 6 things you noticed. For example on a quarter you can see the bow tying Washington’s hair and on the back there are a variety of scenes depending on the mint year. If you happen to be looking at an older coin think about the journey it took to get into your pocket! I have a silver dollar my grandfather gave me over 50 years ago and it was old then. Share what you see. Now, look around the room and write down six things you notice that you have taken for granted but are actually pretty important to your life. If you take five minutes every day to do this you will begin to see and appreciate life in a new light.
The advanced version involves noticing things about the people around you. I’ve done this exercise with families on a number of occasions. Put names on individual pieces of paper and then each person draws one from a hat or bowl. Next, write down six things you see and appreciate when you look at the other person. Doing this regularly, at every Sunday dinner or holiday dinner etc., will strengthen your relationships.
What does this have to do family and wealth? Two important points. First, when you really see and appreciate something you will be a better steward of that something. Second, the more family members see and appreciate each other the better they will be able to interact with each other, make joint decisions and find mutual empowerment in family wealth.