I decided to watch It's a Wonderful Life after reading some of the letters by Sandy Costa in his book "Humanity at Work". During a key scene when George Bailey (played by Jimmy Stewart) is faced with a critical business decision about the Building Savings and Loan he looks over at the quote underneath the portrait of his Dad:
"All you can take with you is what you've given away"
The "self" is constantly in an evaluation of give and take. T.H. (my Vistage Bud) has a motto for his life - "Give more than you take". And in our balance sheet world that is a good attempt in measuring success. But the quote above goes further - a goal of complete giving. Its message goes beyond physical/tangible assets.
If you were granted a wish to take five things with you (at the end) what would they be? (see blog 9/13/2009 Five and Five Exercise)
Are those the things that are lasting?