Developing Your Family’s Foundational Dimension

My dad was one of my heroes—he taught me to work hard; he taught me responsibility; and he taught me accountability. As my dad was advancing in age, I knew I didn’t want all of his valuable lessons and life experiences to go when he did, so my family and I set about capturing his life sketch. We uncovered great gems, like the story of his family’s Model T Ford. Here’s an excerpt from that discussion:10058231 - vintage car after rain

I remember riding to Salt Lake, and my parents had a Model T Ford. As a boy, I always sat in the front seat with my father, and my mother and sister always rode in the backseat. It was a two-lane cement road all the way to Springville and on to Salt Lake. It took two hours to ride to Salt Lake, especially in the winter time. In the winter time the heater in the car was just a manifold heater. It was just a little plate in the floorboard where the heat would come up from the exhaust inside the motor. 

So my parents would always have bricks; they would heat bricks and wrap them in newspaper so we could put our feet on them to keep warm. We would have one for each of us riding in the car. Then of course when we would get to Salt Lake, we would put these bricks on the coal stove and get them good and hot to come back home and keep our feet warm while traveling. 

These cars didn’t have glass windows—they had these portable things that would snap on with a little twist to keep the wind out and try to keep it warm. We had that Model T Ford a number of years. Later on my father got a new car. It was an Overland. It was a 1925. I think it cost $700 brand new. He had that a number of years until I finally got old enough to drive, and he let me take it a couple three times to drive it on some of my first dates. It had a gear shift, you know. And that’s the first time I learned how to drive a car with a gear shift.

Not only did we get a glimpse into life in the first part of the 20th Century, but with this story our family also gained a greater appreciation for the comforts we enjoy. In total, we captured 130 pages of his life sketch, then added photos and published his book, titled, Glenn Andrew, A Man of Steel—because he was a superintendent at US Steel Geneva Works during his career. This is just one of the many ways we’ve added to our family’s Foundational Dimension.

What’s the Foundational Dimension?

It’s one of the Three Dimensions of Authentic Wealth, a system I’ve developed for our Live Abundant clients that helps them pursue a balanced approach to abundance.

When we talk about how you invest in the relationships and values in life, we’re talking about your foundational assets. These include:

  • Family 
  • Friends
  • Associates
  • Health
  • Well-being
  • Spirituality 
  • Talents
  • Heritage 
  • Character
  • Charitable giving

For a truly full life, you must view your foundational assets as absolutely essential as the other dimensions of wealth. These can often require just as much attention—if not more—than financial assets.

Beyond cultivating these values for ourselves, we can’t just take for granted that our children will be empowered to lead full, productive lives. Our society is seductive in its power to sway us toward attitudes of entitlement or scarcity. We must proactively set goals and put plans in place to nurture our individual and family’s foundational assets. 

There are several practical ways to do this—many of which I share in my latest book, Entitlement Abolition. They include gathering I Remember When Stories, planning Family Vacations with a Purpose, designing a KASH Blueprint (KASH stands for Knowledge, Attitudes, Skills, and Habits), and using tools like The Better Life Circle to learn from our mistakes.

These are strategies that have worked for my family, and they are principles my team and I have helped thousands of people implement. However you approach your family’s values, make sure to do so proactively, so you can build a strong foundation and leave a lasting, powerful legacy.