We have all heard the importance of investing from an early age. I have tried to do that with my son, Gabriel, by taking him on an annual outing since he was three. The two pictures above show him and our dog at the time hiking into the woods at age four and again this year at age 21. Spending time with him this way is an unparalleled joy. It is one of the best investments I know for the returns it brings on our connection and love. Our conversations are the best, enriched by the layers over the years. At one of our sites, we have buried a time capsule multiple times. Every few years we head back to that location and enjoy reading what we wrote in an earlier age.

There are other rituals that pay similar returns and not all of them are family events. Every December I lead a group of CEOs in a special event I call Carpe Annum (Seize the Year) when we look ahead and envision what is possible for the new year. Every spring I plant flowers in my garden along with spinach and lettuce, and in the summer it is cherry tomatoes and hot peppers that share the space with my marigolds. Approximately every 5 months I get together with a group of consulting colleagues to talk strategy and help each other succeed in our various endeavors. We have all become dear friends. Each activity becomes something I look forward to, a special event on my calendar, pulling me forward with anticipation.

These provide a return that far out measures the original investment and grows stronger and more valuable to me with each successive year. What’s the best part? The return that grows in my heart. When life hits me hard or a particular challenge looms large, I have all these wonderful memories along with the next event to look forward to, sustaining my spirit.

What are you planning this week in the way of spiritual sustenance?

“Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson