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Paying it forward

Growing older is not about getting old. It’s more about growing. And growing never gets old. You grow and learn for all of your life – it’s not something you get to pause. It happens all by itself as you live, work, play and love. There’s a lesson to be learnt every day and many lessons each year.

Now imagine yourself as a curator – the custodian of a wealth of knowledge and wisdom accumulated over many years. What are you doing with your collection of expertise?

A while back, I read a blog by Chip Conley where he says that “our wisdom is not our possession.” It’s meant to be shared. Wisdom is what nourishes our society and makes it stronger. What better way to add value and give back to others than to cultivate all the sage lessons you’ve accumulated in your life and then pay it forward.

You can pay your wisdom forward in many ways. By sharing your knowledge: teaching your skills, mentoring someone younger, developing someone’s talent or simply using your experience and standing to facilitate opportunities for other people.

Last year, I was invited to speak at the FPI Convention. Instead of taking the stage and presenting the talk, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to cultivate wisdom by sharing the learning experience across generations.

I invited four young women who represented the WiFN (Women in Finance Network) to share their stories and talk about their personal journeys in the financial planning industry. I loved the opportunity to facilitate the session, and I felt so privileged to be nurturing the experience-base and learning of these ladies. I’m also pretty sure that the conference delegates walked out of that session having learnt far more than they thought they would. We learn from each other, and as much as the younger generation learns from us, they also teach us something.

I did a lot of talks last year! Especially after the launch of my book, but this was by far the most rewarding and joyous experience!

Learning and sharing what I know has always been one of the first items I add to my vision board each year. I’m constantly in awe about how much I learn from every Chartered client I meet. It’s the wisdom that’s shared with me that gives me the content for writing my books and the lessons I teach.

Sharing your wisdom rewards both you and your intern, and each nugget of wisdom you share makes the world a better place. But these types of experiences don’t just happen. Sometimes you have to look for opportunities to uplift others and help them get where they want to go.

Pairing your wisdom with someone else’s expertise may just lead to unimaginable growth for both of you. And that’s the real value of paying it forward.

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