Things change when you start to think about the next generation, about what will happen with your business, money and assets.

That’s when the first 4 Keys change somewhat, and the next set of Keys come into play.

Your passion isn’t necessarily your spouse’s or your children’s passion. Your style of communication and relationships maybe isn’t the same as everyone else’s in your family. And what you like to learn (or how you learn) may not be the same as everyone else’s.

When a family is seen in the broader context, the first 4 Keys may be expressed like this:

  • Human Capital. Allowing each member of the family to have free will to be receptive to their individual creativity, and to give pleasure and knowledge to the world for the pure joy and beauty of doing it.
  • Financial Capital. This is broader than just having a family budget. It also includes training the next generations. For example, using allowances (a set amount of money that kids receive or earn) to teach about budgeting.
  • Social Capital. This consists of the links, shared values and understandings in society that enable individuals and groups to trust each other and so work together. This is especially important to wealthy individuals, who often feel generally misunderstood and isolated. Related is the need for a method of resolving conflict within the family. And having relationships with others who can help you
  • Intellectual Capital. Encouraging each member of the family to develop his or her unique area of expertise.

In addition, you as a family leader need to start incorporating the last 4 Keys:

  • Self-esteem. Teaching the next generation to have self-esteem based on their sense of resilience and self-worth, as opposed to being based on external factors (like money, sports cars, big houses)
  • Responsibility. Teaching the next generation about personal responsibility and holding others accountable.
  • Road map to guide future generations. Giving the gift of your perspective and vision in a coherent and organized format. A formal example would be creating a Family Constitution. A less formal method would be a letter to your children to help guide them, such as saying you want them to work together, resolve conflicts outside of court, but that any family member is free to leave if he/she wants.
  • Family office. Implementing a system of governance that will continue even after you’re gone, as in a family office.

In this week’s podcast I discuss my own struggles with self esteem, and what I did about it.

Here are the stages a person goes through in developing a healthy self esteem:

Self-awareness – the first stage of developing a healthy self-esteem.

During two months in 2012, I spent time each day meditating. The point of meditating is to develop a self-awareness. To be present to the “now” as Eckhart Tolle talks about in his book, The Power of Now. This helped me begin to feel more alive and to stop focusing on all the various worries in my life.

Self-appreciation – the second stage of developing a healthy self-esteem.

I grew up thinking that co-dependency was normal. My mom (as a nurse) liked having patients (and me as a child) to rescue.

I remember not being able to express my feeling or desires as a child without first testing the waters and seeing how what I wanted to say might make my mom feel.

An embarrassingly late example of this was when I was a freshman at Indiana University-Bloomington. I was in the music school, and hated it. I really wanted to go to business school, but my mom (for whatever reason) threw a tantrum and insisted that I stay in music school. We compromised and I ended up getting a History and Music double major. But I still acted out of a codependency – making a decision not based on what I wanted but rather based on how it would make my mom feel. I have learned to stop acting based on how it makes others feel.

Self-acceptance—the third stage of developing a healthy self-esteem.

The opposite of this stage is being judgmental. Here’s a personal story to explain this stage.

When I was about 13 years old, I was at a music camp to learn bagpipes. My roommate was a student that was a couple of years younger than me. The camp was two weeks long, and I think he went the entire first week without showering.

I most remember the smell of his feet when he took his shoes off. The weekend between the two weeks was mostly for relaxation, and there was kind of a party. For some reason, I felt like beating up the younger student for not taking a shower. Of course it was not fair. And in retrospect I feel really bad.

But at the time, I was being judgmental and feeling better than him. (In actuality, I did it because it made me feel slightly better for a brief time.) Now I would handle the situation much differently. I would do this thing called “talking” by expressing how his not taking a shower affected me and ask if he could be more considerate.

Finding pleasure internally (as opposed to always looking for pleasure in outside things and people)—the fourth stage of developing a healthy self-esteem.

I’m not talking about The opposite of this stage is having a strong group identity. For me, the “self-identity” rug was pulled out from under me when I learned that I wasn’t actually Irish. I had really clung to that idea. Instead, I’ve had to learn how to just be a good “Paul Deloughery.”

Self-love—the fifth stage of developing a healthy self-esteem.

The opposite of this is having strong expectations and needs. This “should” happen or that “shouldn’t” happen. Working through the Byron Katie system set forth in her book The Work helped me get over this.

In the end, I realized that the world works perfectly the way it is. The angry driver who cuts me off while driving “should” do that because he is unhappy somehow. Perhaps he’s getting a divorce. Or maybe he just lost his job. Everything works perfectly. If you drop a glass, it will break. If it floated in the air, something would be wrong with the laws of physics and there would be something to actually worry about.

Self-actualization—the sixth stage of developing a healthy self-esteem.

The opposite of this is the needy child syndrome. I’m afraid that I feel into this trap for too long of my life. I have spent most of my life as a serial monogamist – going from relationship to relationship because I felt the need to have someone to love, recognize, accept and support me emotionally. I have gradually learned to respect myself enough to know that I can do exactly what I want and to have fun, regardless of whether I’m alone or with others.

Freedom—the seventh stage of developing a healthy self-esteem.

The opposite of this is feeling self-important and having your “buttons” pushed. Have you ever gotten in a mood when it seems like nothing is going right, the weather is horrible, your job stinks, and you’re late for an appointment? Everything seems to snowball out of control.

This is a self-destructive pattern. A healthy way to approach life is to never be at the effect of anyone or anything. You don’t take yourself too seriously.

Your Turn

Please leave a comment with your struggles with self-esteem and what you did about it.

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