Jim Burson blog The Coaching Connection; Make Each Day a Gift; www.JimBurson.com

What is an ultimate gift, anyway?

I recently read The Ultimate Gift by Jim Stovall. If you could pick one gift to receive in your life, what would it be?

A job that pays $250,000 or more?

A division I head coaching job?

A new car and house?

Inherit a fortune?

The book was about an older rich gentleman who died and left his billions to his family. The one exception was his twenty-something grandson, who he thought was not quite ready to handle the money. He felt the young man was spoiled and had been given too many things in life.

The clues that he was presented with were that he must find the gifts in twelve areas. The following list is from The Ultimate Gift and the descriptions are paraphrased from the book.

1. The Gift of Work

He who loves his work never labors!

2. The Gift of Money

Money is nothing more than a tool. It can be a force for good, a force for evil or simply be idle.

3. The Gift of Friends

It is a wealthy person indeed who calculates riches not in gold but in friends.

4. The Gift of Learning

Education is a lifelong journey whose destination expands as you travel.

5. The Gift of Problems

Problems can only be avoided by exercising good judgment. Good judgment can only be gained by experiencing life’s problems!

6. The Gift of Family

Some people are born into wonderful families. Others have to create them. Being a member of a family is a priceless privilege which costs nothing but love.

7. The Gift of Laughter

Laughter is good medicine for the soul. Our world is desperately in need of more such medicine.

8. The Gift of Dreams

Faith is all that dreamers need to see into the future.

9. The Gift of Giving

The only way you can truly get more out of life for yourself is to give part of yourself away.

10. The Gift of Gratitude

In those times when we yearn to have more in our lives we should dwell on the things we already have. In doing so, we will often find that our lives are already full to overflowing.

11. The Gift of a Day

Life at its essence boils down to one day at a time. Today is the day.

12. The Gift of Love

Love is a treasure for which we can never pay. The only way we keep it is to give it away.

What would be your ultimate gift? For me, it is the realization that the gifts we now have are enough and that they only get better if we give them away.

As the author writes, “In the end a person is only known by the impact he or she has on others.”

This past week my daughter Jamie, her daughters Madison and Margo, my son Jay, with his boys Jess and Ty (Lee now lives in Tennessee), came to visit and share moments wrapped in love. My wife Jennifer was in New York, sharing love with a friend who recently lost her husband.

I received an ultimate gift of family and the return home of Jennifer. Every day is an ultimate gift if you can find gratitude in what you have today and hope and love in what you will receive tomorrow.


Because I’ve referred to The Ultimate Gift so extensively in this post, I want to be sure the author receives full credit. If you want to know more, here’s a link to the author’s Facebook page or you can learn about the book here. Publisher: David C. Cook; New edition (June 15, 2001)

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