Holiday Traditions: Holiday Book 2021
Updated: Mar 14
Answer: The title of this year’s book gifted to Bernhardt Wealth Management clients.
Question: What is “The Answer Is . . .: Reflections on My Life” by Alex Trebek?
Earlier this week I shared about one holiday tradition at Bernhardt Wealth Management; making contributions to charities in honor of our clients. Our other tradition is to send a book to our clients. After reading The Answer Is . . .: Reflections on My Life by Alex Trebek, I decided to make it our annual gift book for two reasons.
First, I enjoyed the simplicity of this book’s plain language and short chapters. From the beginning, Trebek, long-time game show host of Jeopardy!, notifies readers that he is not an eloquent writer. Instead, he sums up the highlights of his life with brief narratives–some amusing and some touching. It is a quick and relatable read, written as if he is having an informal conversation.
Second, Trebek’s lack of literary skill didn’t bother me because I was caught up in his stories and perspectives. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love personal stories. Whether I’m getting to know a client, interviewing a leader for Profiles in Success, or recounting a tale from my own life – I believe in the value of our stories.
Like most people, despite his many achievements Trebek didn’t think he had anything of interest to say about himself. He was known for avoiding the limelight…even insisting he never be referred to as the “star” of Jeopardy!, believing the focus should be on the contestants. He was quite an activist and philanthropist, too. But from his perspective these things didn’t make him special. It was just who he was. It wasn’t until he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and nearing the end of his life, before he finally agreed to share a few stories with the world.
Do you find yourself thinking, “No one wants to hear my story.” “I’m just an average man or woman who carved out a life and did the best I could in my career and for my family and community.” Your life may seem ordinary to you, but it might appear extraordinary to someone else. Every story you tell is a chance to help someone realize they are not the only person to deal with a similar challenge. Speaking up about your experiences is an easy way to connect with the people in your life. What feels mundane today will fascinate future generations.
There is no need to wait or take your story for granted because no one else has had the exact same experiences and perspectives as you. Be a good steward of your story by demonstrating gratitude for the countless happenings that have made up your life thus far and share them openly with others.
Here are organizations making it easy to tell your story:
StoryWorth: Once a week, receive questions via email to be answered. At the end of a year, your stories are bound into a keepsake book.
StoryCorps; Follow a simple 5-step process to have a conversation about your life that is recorded and archived.
Family Star Productions: Arrange to have a one-on-one interview with an internationally published entertainment journalist who will write a complete Legacy Profile using your own words.
Also, check out resources in your community. One of our clients, Lyle, enrolled in a course through a nearby public library that walked through the process of writing a book about your life. Lyle liked the structure and guidance it provided.
May your New Year be blessed with peace, love, and joy and may 2022 be a healthy and prosperous year for you!