Creating Memorable Moments in Life

This past weekend, I was able to experience a very special memory that will be shared by thousands of people for memoriesyears to come. Orrin Woodward and the other LIFE business founders welcomed Wayne and Raylene MacNamara to the Policy Council.

It was only a year and a half ago that Lisa and I had the same life-changing experience. There is no amount of money or material thing I could buy to surpass this experience and honor. As I watched Wayne and Raylene on stage, a rush of memories flooded my mind. The memories were not of the new house, new cars, or other material blessings that came to me. They were of friendships, late night coffee, getting lost on road trips, crying over others’ struggles and victories, and the list could go on forever. Most of my material things age and deteriorate while my memories seem to become more significant with time.

One of the LIFE business co-founders Chris Brady explains my experience in this great article. Enjoy the day you have been given and create a memory to cherish forever.

God bless,

Dan Hawkins


Memories vs. Material

This bad economy is really poorly timed, mostly because it’s happening right while we’re alive to experience it.

We’ve come out of a credit binge where easy money was available at low interest rates. This drove up a false housing market and now that the bubble has popped, millions are “upside down” in their homes (meaning they owe more than they’re worth on the open market). Jobs have dried up, income has gone down, and the bills (and the interest they carry) left over from the heady days of the boom are not so much fun now that we’re in the bust. Retirement savings are greatly diminished, and people are being forced to work longer than they had planned. While all this makes for some nauseating blame-games at the political level, at the practical level where real people live it’s a joy stealer.

Add to all this a materialistic culture that relentlessly sells us on the lie that more stuff will equal more happiness. If we could only have that latest gismo, buy the bigger house, drive the fancier car, watch that latest flat screen tv, play the newest video game, and wear sophisticated clothes, our lives would be more fulfilled and happy.

The biggest reason we believe a lie is because somewhere, deep down inside, we want it to be true.

We actually like material possessions and the latest shiny objects. We would dearly love to believe that they bring fulfillment and happiness. What could be easier? We fall for the lure of pleasure as happiness and pile on the purchases, rarely stopping to wonder why real fulfillment eludes us like the edge of a fog in a morning field.

But here is one thing I’ve learned: it’s hard to be less than happy when you can be happy with less.

I’m no minimalist. I am blessed beyond description and have nice material possessions myself. But I have come to realize that I want to spend my money a little differently than I did when, to borrow a phrase from my father, I was “younger and dumber.” After all, what is aging for if not to absorb a little wisdom? Something must accompany the gray hair and wrinkles. Therefore, I made a purposeful decision to spend more of my money on memories instead of on material.

Think about it. Does a new car or a trip with your family generate more special moments and lasting memories? How many memories do you really have of that item you just had to purchase (and likely therefore finance) eight or nine years ago? Yet how many moments with friends, family, and loved ones can you recall from throughout your life? Which do you value more?

Two and a half years into the experiment, here’s what I’ve discovered since making the decision to prioritize memories over material:

1. Life is simpler and less cluttered. Material requires upkeep and attention. Memories are maintenance free.

2. Memories don’t charge interest. Instead, merely show them interest to keep them fresh.

3. Memories keep, while stuff wastes away. This is true of our affections, too. Some of my oldest memories are the dearest, while my oldest stuff is just junk.

4. More resources (time, attention, money, etc.) are available for other (and usually more important) things. Giving and sharing are more fulfilling than buying for one’s self.

5. It’s easier to focus on one’s purpose in life. Orrin Woodward has a fantastic way of looking at this in his latest book, RESOLVED Primer, page 18, where he suggests that our Purpose is shown to be at the intersection of our Potential, our Passion, and our Profits (or fruitfulness).

6. Life is more stress-free (and therefore fun) when living well below one’s means.

7. Money diminishes in importance in your life (and thereby occupies less of your thoughts) when you aren’t demanding so much of it.

8. Happiness exists more in little things than in big things, anyway.

How has this economy changed your thoughts about money?

Where do memories rank in your heirarchy of priorities?

What changes can you make today to decrease your material consumption and increase your memory generation?


Chris Brady

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13 thoughts on “Creating Memorable Moments in Life

  1. Great post Dan. So glad to have witnessed your moment. I’m sure it isn’t even the best of your memories. Thanks for sharing, and what a great post by chris Brady.

  2. Dan, thanks for sharing this with us! That is the type of blog that the entire country could benefit from reading. Can you imagine a world where people, through self education, lived by mature principles rather than believing every lie (or marketing tactic) that was shoved down their brain? My family is grateful for all of the work Steve Leurquin, you, and all of the PC leaders do for the future generations of this GREAT country. You are GREAT Americans. We appreciate most your willingness to continue to grow and self educate so you can be prepared to help one more family, again and again.
    God Bless you and your family my friend.

  3. I love how the LIFE business is helping people to create great memories. We are looking forward to taking our kids to Disney World in 2013, because of the incentive trips in LIFE!!!!

  4. Dan,

    Years ago I came to the same decision that memories were more important than things and now that my children have grown to young adults I can tell you it was one of the best decisions of my life.

    Thanks for sharing this timeless article as I hope by continuing to share this message that others will find there memories they can share for a lifetime and beyond.

    Respectfully yours,


  5. What we do in life echoes an eternity!

  6. […] weekend Claude Hamilton, Orrin Woodward & Dan Hawkins will be lighting up the stage in Ottawa, ON for the LIFE Winter Leadership Convention.  I […]

  7. Thanks for sharing this post Dan! Having the different mindset and actually looking for true happiness. That was a great post from Chris explaining where true happiness comes from!

  8. Thanks Dan for lifting up the value of memories! Often, they inspire the dreams we have for the future, too. That was a powerful moment this past weekend. And I remember like yesterday the moment you and Lisa received your ring and pendant. We are anxious to see that for the many leaders on your team….excited about the day we do the same. So, in advance for all the great memories that are yet to be created, THANK YOU DAN AND LISA, THANK YOU LIFE!
    Leah Stadel

  9. Thank you Dan (and Chris) for this great perspective on money vs memories! So many people have them backward and because of LIFE they will learn otherwise!

  10. Thanks for the post Dan. I know my world view has drastically changed for my wife and I since being part of the LIFE community. Or priorities have completely shifted towards God, family and business in that order. Thankfully this opportunity has Given us the vehicle for us to financially not have the stresses of our spiraling economy, which allows to focus on creating some life long memories.

  11. Thanks Dan and Lisa for helping to create many magical and memorable moments for so many. Thanks to everybody that is a force for good in LIFE! Lots of magical and memorable moments ahead in 2013!!!

  12. Thanks for your thoughts and for sharing Chris’s article!!! That was an awesome moment at the Major to see Wayne and Raylene get recognized for PC — what was great is you could tell it was more about the relationships than the money just from the emotions from them and Claude and Lana and all the way up to Orrin. What a great time to dream on the future success for our family and our teammates!! Thanks to the leadership for always making it a priority to lift people up and recognize achievement! I LOVE this business.

  13. Dan, Thanks you for posting this blog! It is true, as I get older I realize the importance of what my Mom used to say to us kids and still says; ‘It is the memories I am making with you kids that I hope will stick with you forever, the money spent isn’t the important part.’ It has taken me a while to really grasp what she meant by those words and even writing that quote caused tears to rush forth. I know one day she will be but another precious memory and that is painful to think of now. I imagine how great it will be to be able to hang out with my parents during the day and have them live with me the way their parents did as they were aging, there are so many more memories left to create, this is just the beginning!!
    Stealth 180!

    God Bless!

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