The purpose of this book is first to create awareness in families that

it is the birthright of every family to be a powerful unit for generations

to come. Second, I want this book to create the awareness in

families that it is the birthright of every family member, as individuals,

to have the opportunity to unlock their highest potential for their

ultimate fulfillment, meaning, inspiration, and prosperity. Third, bonds

of affinity that exist between family members are stronger than blood

bonds. It’s important to form bonds of affinity if the family is to continue

for generations as a powerful family. Fourth, it is my heart’s desire

to assist families for multiple generations to develop the know-how,

the skills, and the human behavioral understanding to keep the family

vision growing until the momentum of the snowball keeps on to

such an extent that the impact and influence of that vision will be felt

seven generations from now. Fifth, I wish to assist families in becoming

inspired to create and maintain a family vision for multiple generations,

to empower the family in transforming the proverb “from shirtsleeve to

shirtsleeve in three generations.”


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xiv Preface

From Shirtsleeves to Shirtsleeves in Three Generations

In Japan, there’s an expression, “Rice paddies to rice paddies in three

generations.” The Scottish say, “The father buys, the son builds, the

grandchild sells, and his son begs.” In China, “Wealth never survives

three generations.” Around the world there are many variations on this

theme, all used to describe the tendency of the third generation of a

family to squander the wealth obtained by the first generation.

According to studies, only 30 percent of family businesses built by

one generation are passed on to their children, and only 10 percent of

those businesses ever reach a third generation. One reason suggested

is that the third generation doesn’t possess the same set of values,

work ethic, and perspective because of their very different experience

growing up.

The first generation struggles hard to rise above their current conditions

in order to achieve a more comfortable life for themselves and

their family. They work hard, diligently save their money, and by their

later years have something of value to pass on.

Their children, the second generation, grow up as a witness to their

parents’ struggle and understand the value of hard work. Although they

now live a comfortable life, they can remember a childhood filled with

frugality and perhaps even poverty. Because of this, they make educational

and financial choices that help them build on what their parents

created. By retirement, they have, most likely, acquired even greater


The third generation, however, has no memory of want or struggle.

They’ve only known a life of plenty. When the family wealth is passed

onto them, they lack the values and skills necessary to maintain the

health of the assets. If universal proverbs and small business statistics

are to be believed, the third generation squanders the resources their

parents and grandparents worked so hard to achieve. Thus, the threegenerations


Figure 1 shows the etymology of the word wealth.

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Preface xv

FIGURE 1 Etymology of the word wealth









The word wealth in Middle English is welthe, which refers to weal,

on the pattern of health. Wealth means well-being and prosperity. It is

the right of every person to be prosperous and live with well-being and


It’s also the right of every person to have the following


To live an extraordinary and exemplary life and to raise culture and

society through it

To serve vast numbers of people. It is in service to others that meaning

of life increases

To develop a transcendent mindset about money and wealth and to

understand the universal principle of fair exchange

To have access to higher education for mental empowerment

To have access to specialized health care for optimum health and


My Story

Changing the predictive outcome that follows the “from shirtsleeves

to shirtsleeves in three generations” proverb has taken on tremendous

value to me.Why am I doing whatever it takes in an attempt to find out

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xvi Preface

how? It’s common knowledge that a void drives a value on something;

whatever we perceive to be missing, we strive to fill it. This is certainly

true for me, and the reason lies in my story.

My father grew up with wealth yet when he died, he was

financially dependent on his children. As the daughter of parents

who lost all our family wealth (they were the third generation),

I wish to raise awareness, facilitate the mindset, the desire, and

the appropriate skills for my children and me to transform the

shirtsleeves-to-shirtsleeves-in-three-generations proverb to enable our

family to create and grow family wealth for multiple generations. In

that way, we take action to live extraordinary lives that raise the culture

we live in and obtain the best opportunities to grow and expand our

family for the ultimate fulfillment, well-being, and prosperity of every

family member for multiple generations. By doing this, we have a

greater opportunity to invest in our world society and contribute to

the raising of world standards in education and health. Our wealth

can unlock more opportunities for education and health worldwide.

Family wealth through generations is not exclusively for the benefit of

the family, because it’s through the acts of service and unlocking of

opportunities for society that family wealth transcends the generational

family to become the cosmic family.

We do not resent our parents for the actions and choices theymade.

I amgrateful that through their choices I developed a big void regarding

generational wealth. That void has given me a life purpose and meaning.

I can use their lack of insight and knowledge as a springboard and

through study, research, and practice, I can find inspiring ways to transform

the cycle for my family and, in the process, empower my children

and their children and their children—for multiple generations.

I’m certain that I’m not the only parent who has asked myself the

following question: “I’m spending so much time, energy, and money

on my children’s mental development by sending them for the best

education, but what am I doing to educate them about understanding

human behavior and being financially wise?” Acquiring knowledge,

understanding human behavior, and being financially skilled and wise

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Preface xvii

will be the three most important influences I can have on the next

generation’s lives. By sharing the gift of knowledge, human behavior

skills, and financial skills and wisdom, I share the gift of empowerment

in all areas of life.

True Family Wealth

A family’s true wealth consists of the following:

The talents, personalities, and genius of each family member.There is no

higher value in the balance sheet of a family than human capital. Each

individual family member is an asset (and a liability) and each family

member is a valuable source of knowledge, a potential contribution,

and an inherent value because of the unique individuality.

The family’s story, or narrative. Every family has an origin and a history

and the narrative of every family is unique, playing an important role

in the development of society worldwide. Each family’s narrative is a

beautiful and colorful piece of a masterful tapestry. The choices and

decisions of your previous generations have a direct impact on your

life right now. You come from their choices, decisions, and actions.

Your choices, decisions, and actions will equally have an impact on

the next generations for years, decades, centuries, millenniums.Who

knows how far reaching the effects may be?

The mental capital of the family—the mental abilities and exposure to

education represented by the family members. Growing up in a family

with the financial means to afford excellent education to the family

members contributes to the advancement of the mental capital of the

family. The different life experiences, exposure to global experiences

through travel, and exposure to knowledge all contribute to wealth

of the family’s mental capital.

Emotional intelligence of the family. Families with exposure to

wealth have more opportunities to develop their emotional intelligence

simply because they can afford to pay for mental health

services, personal life coaches, and programs and seminars that

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xviii Preface

teach emotional intelligence. They have exposure to books, online

products, international conferences, and tertiary education—all of

which help develop their self-confidence and self-esteem. Money

does not buy happiness, but money can buy many opportunities for

self-development, empowerment, and emotional intelligence.

The family’s health and vitality. Physical wealth refers to the opportunity

to have optimal health conditions. Good health increases with

specialized medical services, a healthy diet, and physical exercise, taking

supplements, and the awareness and desire to look after your

health. The more educated families are, the more the family’s purpose

and vision encompasses something bigger than themselves. The

more themembers of a family feel of meaning in their lives, the higher

the value they place on health and vitality, because the body is treated

as the vehicle to take extraordinary service to the world.

A healthy family is a wealthy family.

Social network and interactions. Familymembers build a network over

their lifetimes. Families do not live as islands, and the quality and

endurance of social networks and interactions add to the impact and

influence of each family member as well as the family as a unit. Like

attracts like and the quality of friendships and social networks is a

reflection of the endearing characteristics of the family. The lack of

quality friendships equally reflects the lack of the family to build

endearing friendships with significant people outside of the family


A family’s financial wealth. Family wealth is built by a man (husband,

father) or a women (wife, mother) or by a man and a women

(husband, father and wife, mother) who perceive a big void in

their financial well-being and therefore in the financial well-being

of their family. This big void acts as the driving force and intrinsic

motivation to build wealth for the family. The void, or absence

of financial means, becomes the fuel in the family-wealth engine.

Money is a form of energy. Money as a form of energy flows

where it is valued and appreciated and looked after and where it

has a purpose beyond acquiring material things. Once the wealth

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Preface xix

creator understands the snowball effect of wealth creation, the

wealth being created often takes on a more significant purpose; its

purpose becomes bigger than just creating a great life for the family.

The wealth creation transforms into a vision and legacy for the

family, sometimes for generations. Philanthropy becomes part of the

family’s outreach into society and the meaning of the family wealth

creation lifts up many individuals and families. This is also when the

shirtsleeves-to-shirtsleeves-in-three-generations proverb starts to be

a factor for the family to consider.

Why Are You Reading This Book?

It’s highly likely that you’re either the visionary and wealth creator of

your family wealth or that you’re the next generation and you wish to

shift the energy of the shirtsleeves-to-shirtsleeves-in-three-generations

proverb. You may also be a professional service provider to high-networth

families. This book is written with the intention of providing

some answers to the big question: how do we change or transform

the cycle of the shirtsleeves-to-shirtsleeves proverb? Can we even

change it at all? Since energy can’t be eliminated, perhaps it can only

be transformed.

In his book Family Wealth, James Hughes tells us, “Family wealth

is not self-perpetuating. Without careful planning and stewardship, a

hard-earned fortune can easily be dissipated within a generation or two.

He hasmade a valuable contribution in proposing a theory and method

for practicing successful wealth preservation.Throughout my writings,

you’ll find James Hughes’s work has had a significant impact on my

way of thinking and understanding the preservation of family wealth.

I am deeply grateful for his impact and influence on my understanding

and thinking.

Sir Isaac Newton said, “I’d rather stand on the shoulders of giants

than in their shadows, for then I can see further.” James Hughes is

one of the giants on whose shoulders I’m standing to see further.

I have indeed spent many hours pondering a possible transformation

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xx Preface

of the energy of the shirtsleeves-to-shirtsleeves proverb. This book is

my contribution to offering possible ways to do that.

Another giant on whose shoulder I’m standing is the human

behavior specialist and polymath, Dr. John Demartini. Throughout

this book, his impact and influence on my understanding of human

behavior will be keenly evident. He has taken my understanding of

human behavior where my training as a psychologist could not.

My wish is that the combination of many masterful minds will

shine light on the transformation of the energy of the shirtsleeves-to shirtsleeves







What You Perceive

Is Missing Drives You

Every person has unfulfilled wishes and dreams. As human beings, if

we keep on perceiving something is missing, we feel unfulfilled. It’s

the perception of emptiness, or a void, that becomes the driving force

for a person to take some action or perform some service and gives it

priority and importance.Without a perception of the void—the feeling

that something is missing—people often will lack drive.

It’s important for moving forward and for the creative process that

people perceive a void in their life. The emptiness creates the driving

force and the creative force of innovation. When individuals become

truly frustrated with their circumstances and they know life can be better,

creative forces enter the mind and innovation is born.Most of life’s

comforts and enhancements were born out of frustration with what is

and the desire to have something better and different.

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Passing the Torch

When you’re content and successful, that can be the ceiling for you.

But when you have a feeling of discontentment and a perception that

you’re unsuccessful, the driving force to make a change and to create a

better life is born. From birth, our inabilities and discontentment assist

us in our milestones. For a baby, the frustration of being immobile

creates the desire for movement. For a young child, the frustration of

not being comprehended creates the mastery of language. Whatever

you perceive is missing in your life, you wish to have.

When a person is sick and has ill health or injuries, health and physical

vitality become a priority of high value. When a person perceives

himself or herself to be dumb or ill informed, mental empowerment

becomes a high value. The man or woman with a perception of social

isolation desires friendships and social networks. The person without a

family or a couple without children often develop the desire for a family

and having a family becomes a high priority. People without a vision

and a life purpose seek meaning in their lives. When it’s time to choose

a career or a vocation, the search for service and finding a vocational

purpose becomes of high importance. The search for money and the

absence of money can become a strong driving force and a high priority

for the man or woman who perceive lack of wealth as creating pain,

suffering, challenges, and feeling unsuccessful.

Whatever you perceive ismost missing in your life becomes that one

thing you seek. Whatever you’re seeking, you’re willing to spend your

time on it without hesitation, and nobody has to remind you to attend

to it. You’re thinking about it a lot and it dominates your thoughts.

What becomes important to you, you wish to read about and learn

about, and you have a hunger for knowledge about that topic. Anything

you’re curious about and desire to know more about will prompt

you to put in the time, energy, focus, and dedication to learn about

it. You’ll have the intrinsic motivation to equip yourself with wisdom

and knowledge on that subject. Just by watching what a person reads

or searches for on the Internet, you can get a strong indication of what

the most important priorities are for that person.

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What You Perceive Is Missing Drives You 3

Perceiving a Lack of Money

and What That Can Ignite

I’ve heard many people’s stories over the years and I’ve read enough

biographies, books, and articles about successful and financially

empowered people to know that most of the time, a perception of lack

and void is the innovating trigger for wealth creation.

A family who consulted with me shared their family story, and it

echoes many other stories with similar narratives. The first generation

(man or woman) moved at a very young age from one country, which

at the time of exit was in a financially disempowered state, to a country

with better prospects. Some of these .migr.s are as young as fourteen

years old. The young man or woman arrives in a foreign country—the

proverbial promised land—with very little money, education, or possessions.

The individual narrative will be different after arrival, but typically

the story goes like this:They start working as blue-collar laborers,

learn to speak the language, and start to make an income. This humble

beginning—and the dire need for money for pure survival—ignites

in the man or woman the extraordinary character traits of survival,

self-growth, entrepreneurship, innovation, creativity, and perseverance.

The first generation—with the high focus, attention, time intensity,

high drive, and dedication to fill an empty wallet—develops a highly

concentrated and narrow focus on wealth creation. The struggle leads

to the development of character, determination, the willingness to

work hard, and perseverance. Many of them become larger-than-life

figures. It’s understandable that when a void gets filled and what has

been missing is provided, the idea of ownership is an easy next step for

the person creating the wealth. It’s undeniable that what you perceive

to be your highest, most important priority becomes your identity and

your destiny in life. It’s inevitable that your focus, intention, attention,

intrinsic motivation, time intensity, and inspiration become part of

who you are, defining your identity, what your life demonstrates, and

what you’re known for.

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Passing the Torch

What are the most important mindsets and life-long habits that

these individuals develop when they focus their intention on creating

wealth—first of all, narcissistically, for improving their own lives

and second, altruistically, for improving the lives of their family? These

mindsets and habits are recommended for every generation. Just as

money can grow like a snowball in a family, the same is true for mindsets

and habits.They can also grow like snowballs in a family until the

mindsets and habits become part of the family’s DNA.

They Have a Vision for Their Family’s Wealth Creation

They know that the secret to creating and growing wealth for their family

is to have a big enough reason to want to do it.The desire to grow

and create wealth to buy more things is not a good enough reason,

although wealth does make it possible to buy more things. A bigger reason

makes it more worthwhile. They chose to create and grow wealth

for their family to give them the best as well as to make the world a

better place. Imagine how fulfilling it would be if you, like Bill and

Melinda Gates through their foundation, focused on increasing health

conditions worldwide. In Family Wealth, James Hughes says, “A family

can successfully preserve wealth for more than one hundred years if

the family governance and practices are founded on shared values that

express the family’s differentness.”This can only be done if someone is

creating and holding the vision for the family—a vision for at least a

hundred years.


They Adapt the Best Strategy and Priorities to Create

and Grow Their Family Wealth

Whenever I ask a group of people, “Who wants to be financially independent?”

most people put up their hands.The reality is that less than

1 percent will become financially independent. To enable you to be

true to your hearts’ desire to create and grow wealth for your family,

you need to develop the right strategy, mindset, and priorities to do it.

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What You Perceive Is Missing Drives You 5

Set your attention on it, spend your energy on it, read and learn about

it, talk about it, think about it, and be inspired about it. Learn to create

and grow wealth through great service delivery and a strategic building

up of wealth. Forget about quick fixes and overnight success. Strategies

build wealth.

They Adapt the Eighth Wonder of the World

Albert Einstein referred to compound interest as the eighth wonder

of the world. They understand the eighth wonder and know their

money grows, even while they’re sleeping. They develop the healthy

habit of saving. Saving is another way to look at paying yourself first.

The wealthiest people in the world keep a big portion of their wealth

portfolio liquid, another form of saving. The more you save, the more

money flows to you, because money goes where it is appreciated. Your

emotions, thoughts, and feelings about your wealth will be less volatile

the more you save, as your savings acts as your cushion.

They Learn to Manage Their Emotions about Money

Warren Buffett is famous for his wealth accumulation and for saying,

“Until you learn to manage your emotions about wealth, you will not

get more money to manage.” Feelings of guilt, fear, shame, and uncertainty

are not the feelings of a wealth creator for the family. Instead,

they develop the skill to make swift decisions with certainty and listen

to their own genius inner voice. They learn life skills to manage their


They Value Teaching Their Children Good Money Habits

They start when the children are young and make it their focus and

aim to teach them good money habits. They know children learn the

most by watching them.They neither spoil them nor become a scrooge.

I have to add that the most powerful families that build generational

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Passing the Torch

wealth for the benefit of the family and society start with educating

their children when they’re very young. Many first-generation parents

who create wealth, however, do not focus on financially educating their

children, and they often raise financially disempowered children. For

these families, the proverb is waiting to come true.

They Understand the Importance of Husband and Wife Teamwork

The axiom “Behind every great man there’s a great woman” indicates

that one’s chances of success increase if one has a great partner. A study

by Brittany C. Solomon and Joshua J. Jackson of Washington University

in St. Louis shows that “having a conscientious spouse can boost

your income.” Such couples know that the more closely they’re aligned

and working as a team, with the same goals, vision, and dreams for the

family, themore successful they’ll be in creating and growing the family

wealth. The wealth creation is not the job of one person. They understand

it’s a joint effort of supporting each other and delegating tasks

and functions to each other to make the “business called their family”

more streamlined.

They Develop the Habit of Delayed Gratification

We live in a time of immediate gratification—having what we want

without delay. Until you make peace with the habit of delayed gratification,

you’ll prefer spending your hard-earned money rather than

growing it.The wise wealth creators save their money until they have at

least three to six months of income saved, then they study investment

options and start to invest. By offering a great service or product, earning

money through fair exchange, saving, and investing money, they

steadily grow and increase the wealth they’re building for their family.

They have a long-term vision and take the steps toward it daily, and

they do it with delayed gratification as their mantra. They don’t compare

themselves with the Joneses. Rather, they compare themselves to

their own goals, dreams, and vision.

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What You Perceive Is Missing Drives You 7

The Power of Knowing What’s Most

Important to You

You can waste your time, energy, and focus if you allow someone else’s

priorities to obscure your own authentic priorities and what is most

important to you. This is one of the dangers rising generations face,

meaning all the generations following the first generation of the family.

The larger-than-life first generation can come across as so successful,

so certain, so overpowering, and so prescriptive that their dominance

can lead to the projection of first-generation priorities onto following

generations. It’s the birthright of every person to live his or her dreams,

hopes, wishes, goals, and vision—not someone else’s.

In his book The Voice of the Rising Generation, James Hughes

explains the rising generation as follow: “The rising generation is not

simply young, or second or next. Most fundamentally, it is an attitude

or a state of mind. A rising generation is defined not by biology or

finances but by psychology. The core element of this psychology is an

awareness of growth, possibility and hope. As a member of the rising

generation you recognize that you are far from finished. You may have

barely begun.” As the first generation has clearly identified and lived

their lives according to what is of highest importance to them, so it is

the birthright of every following generation.

How Do You Know What Is of Highest Importance and Priority to You—And Why

Is It Important to Know?

Socrates said, “A tethered specimen is very valuable for they are magnificent

creations. And that, I must say, has a bearing on the matter of

true opinions. True opinions are a fine thing and do all sorts of good

as long as they stay in their place, but they will not stay long. They run

away from a man’s mind, so they are not worth much until you tether

them by working out the reason.Once they are tied down, they become

knowledge and they become stable.”

As long as you look at life from a perception of lower value and

uncertainty about your role, purpose, contribution, and uniqueness,

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Passing the Torch

you will live life according to the voices from the outside and those in

your life whom you perceive to have the most certainty. Your uncertainty

about what you value as highly important for yourself will be

overshadowed by the more certain opinions of others. If you look up

to your first generation as the powerful and certain ones, the captain

of your ship, that focus can have the devastating effect of minimizing

your own drives, and you can then easily confuse what you perceive

they want from you as what is truly important for you.The biggest gift

a man or a woman can give himself or herself is to know with certainty

what is of highest personal value, importance, and priority.

What are the signs that you’re living your life according to what is

of highest importance and priority to you?

• You use words that affirm what’s important to you. You use words

that affirm you love doing what you’re doing, you’re inspired by what

you’re doing, you feel it’s your destiny to do it, and you choose and live

to do it.

• Your life shows with certainty what is of highest importance and

priority to you. That’s because you dedicate your life to the actions,

focus, and achievement of what is of highest importance and priority

to you. You continuously think about what is important to you. You

love to talk about what is important to you and you direct conversation

to the topic and themes you value as most important to you.

You wake up and become animated, and your self-confidence and

self-esteem strengthen when you’re focused on your highest values

and highest priorities.

Dr. John Demartini, human behavior specialist and polymath,

writes in his book The Values Factor: “Knowing your highest values

vastly increases your patience and perseverance. When you seek to

achieve a goal that aligns with your highest values, you increase your

patience, integrity, and leadership.”

You can ask yourself high-quality questions to help clarify what is

of highest value, importance, and priority to you. I believe the following

compilation of questions by Dr. John Demartini is concise and

revealing. Answer each one with at least three items and make sure

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What You Perceive Is Missing Drives You 9

they’re authentically your answers and not merely how you wish things

to be. If you answer with items representing your wishes rather than

reality, you’re not going to determine your true authentic values, high

priorities, and what’s truly of importance to you.

Demartini Value Determination Questions

1. How do you fill your personal and/or professional space?

2. How do you spend your time?

3. Howdo you spend your energy and when you do it, it energizes you?

4. How do you spend your money?

5. Where do you have the most order and organization?

6. Where are you most reliable, disciplined, and focused?

7. What do you think about, and what are your innermost dominant

thoughts? Exclude negative thoughts.

8. What do you visualize and realize?

9. What is your internal dialogue? Exclude negative self-talk.

10. What do you talk about in social settings?

11. What inspires you?

12. What are the most consistent long-term goals you have set?

13. What do you love to learn and read most about?

Once you’ve answered all thirteen questions with three items per

question, you’ll have thirty-nine listed items. Notice the repetition

in the listed answers and find the answer you’ve repeated the most,

then the answer you repeated the second most, then the answer you

repeated the third most. By counting the answers you’ve repeated,

you’ll be able to determine which answer appeared as most important,

second important, and third important. This way you can determine

your highest values, top priorities, and what is most important to you.

Here is an example of a hypothesis of the answers and highest

values, top priorities, and what is most important to a successful and

authentic, true-to-him-or-herself rising generation with a heart for

growing and preserving the family wealth:

1. How do you fill your personal and/or professional space?

• Books on self-development and self-empowerment

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10 Passing the Torch

• Business and financial magazines and newspapers

• Computer used for research on trends and patterns in the marketplace

2. How do you spend your time?

• Reading books on self-development and self-empowerment,

business, as well as financial magazines and newspapers

• Working in the family business

• Socializing with friends

3. How do you spend your energy?

• Exercising in the gym

• Working in the family business

• Reading

4. How do you spend your money?

• Saving and investing

• Books, magazines, and newspapers

• Lifestyle

5. Where do you have the most order and organization?

• My reading material

• My work schedule

• My social calendar

6. Where are you most reliable, disciplined, and focused?

• At work

• My reading and research

• Exercises

7. What do you think about, and what are your innermost dominant


• How do I grow the family business in my own vision?

• How do I grow my own finances and become successful in my

own right?

• Who will be my ideal life partner?

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What You Perceive Is Missing Drives You 11

8. What do you visualize and realize?

• Expanding the family business globally

• Finding the ideal life partner

• Growing my own finances

9. What is your internal dialogue?

• How do I grow the family business to be on all the continents?

• What is happening in the financial world?

• What do I want in the ideal life partner?

10. What do you talk about in social settings?

• What I learn in the books, magazines, and newspapers I’m


• Business and what is happening in the financial world

• My family

11. What inspires you?

• Successful families

• Successful entrepreneurs

• Visionaries

12. What are the most consistent long-term goals that you have set?

• Making my mark in the business world

• Growing my own wealth

• Having a successful and fulfilling marriage and family ofmy own

13. What do you love to learn most about?

• Business

• Finance

• Self-empowerment

When you count the items most frequently repeated—from first to

sixth—you’ll see the following hierarchy of values, priorities, and high


1. Business

2. Finances

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12 Passing the Torch

3. Self-development

4. Family

5. Social

6. Exercise

What this hierarchy means is the following: this person is dedicated

and is assigning high value, importance, and priority to the items on

the list as mentioned. That is a high indicator of success for this person,

because whatever you focus on, dedicate yourself to, fill your mind

with, spend your time on, and set your goals for, that is where success

appears. It’s one of the most important pieces of information and

insight in understanding and knowing yourself—knowing your hierarchy

of values, priorities, and what is truly important to you. This is

your authentic self and your true self. “Know yourself, be yourself, love

yourself,” said the Oracle of Delphi.

Live Your Destiny and Leave Your Mark

“There are [people], who by their sympathetic attraction carry nations

with them and lead the activity of the human race.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every person who has ever been born and those still to be born has

a reason, purpose, mission, and destiny. It does not matter the family

you’re born in or the vision your parents have for you. What matters

is what you wish to do with your life. What is of utmost importance

for you is to know what you consider most important and what you

want to be known for. When you have no idea what’s most important

to you, you can feel overwhelmed—filled with anxiety, insecurity, and

uncertainty. Fortunately, this information is not hidden fromyou. Your

life, your actions, your words, your language, your choices, and your


decisions demonstrate it. It is showcased to the world.

Your hierarchy of values—what you perceive to be of highest

importance and priority for you—is your purpose and ultimately your

destiny. What you perceive to be missing in your life becomes most

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What You Perceive Is Missing Drives You 13

important to you; therefore, you can confirm the words of Clarissa

Judd, director of the Demartini Institute and a master Demartini

Method facilitator: “Voids become high values and translate into life


There is a proverb, with variations around the world, that says famQ1

ilies go from “shirtsleeves-to-shirtsleeves in three generations.” Being

born in a family with financial means can distract you from the desire

to create wealth, since you don’t perceive any void in wealth or financial

means. Being born into family wealth creates a unique set of voids,

and every next generation has to face the challenge of being born with

the so-called “golden spoon in your mouth.” This advantage can create

the false illusion that money comes easily, and entitlement and a lack

of self-achievement and self-preservation can develop. Unless the rising

generation develops a clear sense of self with their own unique vision

and mission for their lives, the shirtsleeves proverb might very likely

become true for the family.

Because the first generation perceived a void relating to money, creating

money to keep the wolves at bay became their vision, mission,

and destiny. The same must be true for every generation that follows.

The difference is that for the succeeding generations, the void is not a

lack of money and finances. They’re born into a family with wealth and

financialmeans. But for every individual born in a family with financial

means, a different void develops. Every person makes decisions about

how he or she perceives life, and every perception is made based on

lopsided perceptions.No point of view or perception is based on an ultimate

truth. Every point of view or perception is made using the lenses

through which the person views life.This perception acts as a truth for

the observer, but with artful human behavior skills and high-quality

questions, any perception can be changed. Therefore, every man and

woman will form unique perceptions, through his or her own lenses.

Whatever you perceive is missing in your life will become a perception

you wish to change.The bigger the desire to change what you

perceive to be missing, the more it becomes your telos, or your purpose

or destiny. Your life will also demonstrate what you wish to change

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14 Passing the Torch

because you’ll make it a high priority of great importance to you. Just

as the first generation wished to change their financial destiny, the

following generations are wise to ask themselves what they wish to

change in their lives and what action steps they’re prepared to take to

bring the changes about.

You were not born to build your parents’ dreams. Neither were you

born to build any other family member’s dreams. You were born to

make your own dreams come true and to build your own ideal life.

Whatever you dream of making of your life, whatever your burning

desires are, whatever you dedicate your life to fulfilling is your destiny

and will become the mark you leave on the world. Ask the following

question over and over until you get more certainty: What do I want

to be known for? What do I wish to dedicate my life to?

From your biggest frustrations, innovation is born.Discontent with

what is, your disappointments, and your distress awaken your creativity,

goal-setting, and action steps that bring the changes you wish for.

You know things could be and should be better, but you just don’t know

how to make them better. You decide to walk toward the problem, not

dance around it, and you create your mission, vision, and purpose, and

thereby your destiny. It’s right in front of your eyes and has always been

there, in your frustrations, your discontent. That’s how your destiny is

born. When you awaken the genius in you through your sheer discontent

and you have a burning desire to make a change in your life, you

take another step in the direction of your destiny and the mark you will

leave with your uniqueness and extraordinary approach. Nobody has

your voids, nobody has your perceptions, and nobody has your dreams

and wishes to do or have things differently.They combine to make your

unique and extraordinary contribution to the world, and only you can

do it in the way you will do it.

Your perception of your disappointments, challenges, pain, losses,

failures, and lack of success all become your driving force and the big

bad wolf you wish to escape. Through your action steps, your decisions,

your choices, and your attention and intention, you create that which

is of highest importance, highest value, and highest priority to you, and

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What You Perceive Is Missing Drives You 15

that’s how your purpose and destiny are formed. When the expectations

on you to perform certain duties concerning the family wealth do not

make your heart sing and are not your heart’s desire, that is valuable

feedback to you: it is not your thing.

People who desire to live an extraordinary life, authentic to what is

of highest importance to them, develop the following habits:

• They never ever give up. They are “I can” people, saying “I unhook

the t from can’t.”

• They find what they love to do—and dedicate their life to it. It does

not matter what it is, as long as it is what they love doing and it

makes them tap dance through their days. Living a life with joy and

meaning contributes to feeling purposeful and fulfilled.

• They live with a vision and purpose. Every person is born with

a purpose and a reason for being. It’s no secret what your purpose

is, because your life, your actions, and your decisions reflect your

purpose. Your purpose becomes more tangible as you translate it into

a vision. No matter how big or small you perceive your vision to be,

it is uniquely yours, and nobody can have the same vision as you.

The world needs everyone’s vision. Your vision comprises your acts

of service to others and yourself.

• They leave a legacy. When you start to think about and plan the

impact you wish to have, you can choose how far ahead you wish

to think and plan. Whether you think small or big, its takes up the

same time and space in your mind.What is the gift you wish to leave

to your loved ones, your community, your country, and the world?

What is the outreach of the purpose you wish to have? Why not

think in terms of generations? The plans and thoughts take up the

same time and space in your mind as a one-generation thinking.

• They have a master plan for their life. Plan how you wish your

life to unfold in all areas. What about growing your spiritual awareness,

your mental power, your vocational service, your financial prosperity,

your caring family relationships, your social leadership and

impact, and your physical health and vitality? How will your life look

16 Passing the Torch

when you’re focused on being empowered and inspired in all the areas

of your life?

There are three powerful steps to master planning your life:

1. Have a burning desire for your life.

2. Take definite action steps to achieve your burning desire.

3. Develop an attitude of gratitude.The more you count your blessings,

the more blessings you will get to count.

You are here for your reason, your destiny, your life, and your

dreams. Know them. Live them. Be them. Give yourself permission

to be authentic and true to yourself. By doing this, the snowball

of perpetual motion of visionaries, visions, destinies, and legacies

will be built for your family. The purpose of family wealth then

takes on a much bigger form. It is the right of every family member

and every generation to live fulfilled, prosperous, meaningful,

and impactful lives. Nobody is born to live someone else’s life,

dreams, or vision. Living your own authentic life will break the

shirtsleeves-to-shirtsleeves-in-three-generations proverb in your family.

Hence, the biggest contribution you can make toward building your

multigenerational family—where every member in every generation

has the privilege to a fulfilled, meaningful, and purposeful life—is to

live a fulfilled, meaningful, and purposeful life.