Raised Healthy, Wealthy & Wise offers a positive look at healthy adults raised in affluent families.
As a philanthropic and strategic engagement coach, with multigenerational clients that range from traditionalists and baby boomers to millennials and even generation z, reading this book was an instructive lesson on what parenting strategies are effective in instilling values, work ethic and responsibility in the next generation. Lessons learned in this book are applicable to families in any income bracket.
Healthy adults have:
- the ability to earn their own money
- the motivation toward a personal goal, (an appropriate yet challenging goal)
- a grounded sense of self (self sufficiency) and do not define themselves by their money
- optimism, resilience &discipline
Healthy strategies for parents include saying no and providing limits for their children. “No” can show that they care about their children enough for the long term even if they disagree with them in the moment. Allowing children to fail without swooping in to be the safety net is also sage advice. We all know and have learned through our own lives that failure is a better teacher than success. Children (and adults) learn through trial and error what approach to life is best for them.
The most obvious lesson is that the way that we choose to live sends messages to our children daily about what’s important to us. There are even studies that show that sharing our family history through storytelling leads to resilience. Oftentimes, our children only know the outcome of the success and don’t often understand the nuances and the rise and fall of life’s journey. The knowledge that the road isn’t (wasn’t) always smooth through the generations leads to a better grasp on what it truly takes to lead a productive and successful life.
One huge takeaway for me is that the prerequisite for happiness is the ability to get fully involved in life, in other words, to find something that gets you into “flow”. To experience flow, you must first understand the principles of work, motivation, and satisfaction. This requires the ability to develop conscientiousness and self-discipline, attention to detail, to think carefully before acting, and the desire and need for achievement. In addition, we must develop tolerance for things we don’t want to do, which often comes in the form of work . We need to learn how to earn money before learning how to spend, invest and give it away. This is not only about earning a living, its about finding a purposeful way to spend a lifetime.
That brings us back to purpose and passion. Edwards-Pitt urges us to focus on talent over passion— What skills do we have and want to hone? What are our values? It takes focus and hard work to uncover our passion and it may take years to “find” it.
In essence, as parents, we do our children a great service by living our values. While we may have material possessions, they in and of themselves don’t make a life. Connecting with people and building our character are the essence of what leads to a satisfying life of purpose.