photo credit: Unsplash
“Begin with the end in mind.” −Stephen Covey
In December 2023, the award-winning Netflix series on Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family, The Crown, ended its run. During a recent break, we found ourselves watching those later episodes of the aging Queen at the time of her Golden Jubilee and, later, Prince Charles’ wedding to Camilla Parker Bowles. Most intriguing was the final episode in the series where Elizabeth is surprised by her husband, Prince Phillip, together with a host of advisors meeting with her to plan her funeral events, near her 80th birthday (which, by the way, was 17 years before her death in September 2022).
The advisors called it “Operation London Bridge.” With detailed plans in a thick manual and a miniaturized model of the funeral procession itself, hearse and all, she was asked to consider her final wishes and the end of her reign. “It would be best for all,” said Prince Philip. The Queen was taken aback and uneasy. Does anyone care? Would they show up? Perhaps, but why?
Your Bridge to the Future
We make plans for another week, month, quarter, or year, without much thought of our own Operation London Bridge, our bridge to the future. But how might those plans be impacted if we, like The Queen, have already visualized our future?
- Would we use our financial resources for greater impact?
- Would we invest our financial, relational, and social resources in places that matter to us?
- Could our time now be better spent for greater purpose and enjoyment?
What we do today impacts those future plans more than we might imagine. Later, in the final episode of The Crown, Prince Philip affirms Elizabeth’s decision to remain on the throne until her death. It is the right decision, he says, “… because those that come after you are not remotely ready to take over.” Also, we are each given an opportunity to build our bridge to the future and to prepare our family, to our best ability, to enter that future without us by their side. The longer our perspective on life and purpose, the better the plans we create, and the wiser the decisions we make. And all of this allows us to create a legacy for those who would follow us.
Whether 60 or 6 years from now, what are the culminating plans you’d like to see?
- Are there resources you want available for others, and values you wish to see embraced by your family or culture?
- Are there good works or research you’d like to begin or sustain?
- Are there people or places that you hope might recall your influence or impact?
Your planning may not include miniature models of a procession, or a thick implementation manual, but it is a valuable exercise to plan for your bridge to the future, just as The Queen did. Our shorter-term decisions benefit from a longer-term plan as do the people we care most about.
In personal consultation and in family meetings, sensitively constructed, we consider it our privilege to help people with these essential planning matters. We’d be honored to help you with similar conversations so that your tomorrows, carefully considered, contribute even more meaning to the life you live today.
Please contact Randy at 440-808-1500 if you’d like to talk further about building bridges and lasting legacies.
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Highland Consulting Associates, Inc. is a registered investment adviser. Information presented is for educational purposes only and is not intended to make an offer of solicitation for the sale or purchase of specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.