Create Memories, Not Regrets
Our weekend trip to Chicago
Its been over two years since my wife and I have been able to take our annual trip to Chicago. This past weekend we were finally able to make it back. The stops to our favorite restaurants Bavette’s and Gibsons were fantastic as usual. Shopping was expensive and busy like it always is. The walks were windy because of course it’s the windy city.
One of our conversations that stuck with was a discussion about what to get our son for his upcoming birthday. Kids love toys and everyone gets kids toys. But after that initial excitement and after playing with them for a bit they move onto the next. Some toys get played with again while others don’t.
Toys bring instant gratification to kids. It’s fun in the moment but doesn’t really give lasting memories. Once they get a toy they never ask for that toy again. They have it and have moved on.
We asked ourselves, how many times do our kids ask to go places or do things again that they’ve done in the past? It’s all the time! They want to relive the memories already and they’re only 3 and 5.
The experiences and time spent together is what they enjoy and obviously remember the most. It’s the parks, zoos, adventure parks, overnights at places they’ve stayed, Disney, etc. It’s creating memories for them. That’s some of the best things we as parents can do.
I often reflect on a viewpoint I have on buying “stuff.” Material possessions provide instant gratification. Not long term happiness or memories.
Think back to the memories that you have as a kid. What do you remember? Is it the toys and stuff that you were given to play with? Or is it the time spent and the experiences with your parents, grandparents, family and friends?
It’s not the toy that you got at 10 years old that you remember. It’s what you did with your family at 10 years old that you remember.
As adults we are no different. Our fondest memories have come from experiences and time spent doing things we enjoy with our family and friends. The items we’ve bought provided instant gratification at the time, but that high has since faded away.
I wanted to provide my employees with a lifelong memory this year. So for their Christmas gift and our annual Christmas party, they along with their spouses are all going to stay at a resort. They’re all going to go somewhere that’s going to be a memory for them instead of buying them “stuff.” Do you remember all the gifts that your company has given you? Or do you remember the experiences that have created memories?
Ask yourself, what is it that you’re truly working for? Are you working every waking hour to save money to do things when you’re retired? Why wouldn’t you do things now?
Don’t let the feeling of regret haunt you. If you died today is there any regret? Is there something you wish you had done?
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