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Negotiated Settlement: Keeping the End in Mind

Educators understand that our best life most often occurs when we stop waiting on life to give us opportunities for growth and instead seek out relationships and resources to live on purpose. Life is short and remembering that fact enhances our perspective and improves our decisions.

We recently made some decisions with the end in mind, recognizing that settling certain matters in advance would protect our family and ensure the best outcomes. Negotiating through the different scenarios and factors wasn't easy, but it was an important process for us to leave the right legacy. 

Have you settled up? Have you resolved the issues that give peace of mind and restore relationships? Is there clarity in your intent?  Do you know where you're going?




You only live twice:
Once when you’re born
And once when you
look death in the face.
— Ian Fleming 

Tammy and I settled on some important decisions over the last few months so that our children don't have to settle matters once our journey on this earth is complete. Settling down isn't in our plans anytime soon, but death and taxes remain inevitable.

Creating our estate plan required negotiating an endless list of questions. With the guidance of an expert attorney, we figured out the best options. Then we purchased a couple of nearby cemetery plots posted on Facebook Marketplace. That isn't the customary way of purchasing such property, but it actually worked out nicely for us.

It's a bit odd to ride by one's own future grave site. Sobering perspective is gained through these important decisions, reminding us that each day is a precious gift that we should live to the fullest, refusing to settle for less.

If you live each day as it was your last,
someday you’ll most certainly be right.
― Steve Jobs

Purpose comes into focus when we settle up, which is powerfully motivating as we battle against the distractions and the destructive behaviors that can so thoroughly consume our time. When standing before our Creator at the end of time, it would be great to be able to accurately testify: I wisely invested all the time, talent, and treasure you gave me.

What would be different if today was lived as if it were our last? Thinking in this manner tends to create greater urgency, greater energy, and greater results.

Our legacy is etched into the minds and hearts of others because our influence runs deep. Because we are educators, they will retell stories about us―whether favorable or not.

The end never comes at the right time. 

First go and be reconciled to them;
then come and offer your gift.
Settle matters quickly with your adversary.
— Matthew 5:24-25

Settling up on matters with family, friends, colleagues, and others is an astute move. Life is simply too short and too valuable to waste it on fights and ungraceful grudges.

We understand that conflict is part of this path, but we refuse to linger long there because the cancer of resentment and vengeance devours a heart that's made for joy.

While every person will die, too few truly live the life for which they were created, and so we let go of anger and the will to be right in order to attain a greater destiny.

Settle up this week, my friend, negotiating the twists and turns of life with distinctive courage and humility. Remembering your greater purpose, taking the path of humility and restoring relationships.


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