The Greatest Gift To Give a Son or Daughter

When my son graduated from college, I wrote a congratulatory note inspired by the author Sidney Greenberg that said:

“It is more important to know how to make a life than a living.”

I’m sure he would have appreciated a BMW more!  Who wouldn’t?

But the greatest gift we can give to our children, to those we love or for that matter to ourselves is the reminder that making a living and making a life are not the same thing. 

We tend to connect a happy life with money, but tens of thousands of psychologists and psychiatrists will tell you that money doesn’t insure happiness.

A recent Gallop study found that the average American by his or her own admission was happy if they earned around $75,000 a year.  After that, happiness did not proportionately increase with their income no matter how high it went.

Rabbi Greenberg leads us to this —  “The indispensible requirement for mastering life is mastering ourselves. We learn to live when we learn to give.”

As a Professor of Music Industry at the University of Southern California I was asked by graduating students:  “How can I be successful and make a lot of money?”

My answer.

Don’t try. 

Just work hard at being excellent doing something for which you have a great passion.

Ironically, the richest people may have money but they don’t always know how to make a life.

We can make that adjustment today.

Pursue passions not dollars.

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