Each year I do this story with teens and their parents:

I have them make a list of..

three things that give them comfort, three things that they want to accomplish/goals, three people who are important to them, three things they would do with a million dollars, and three things that mean a lot to them.

And them I begin to tell a story about going on a journey, and at various points along the way, they are forced to give  something up.  It might be in exchange for directions, or to lighten the load when the boat they are on begins to sink, etc.  The story continues until there is only one thing left on their list.

It’s purpose is to prioritize, to recognize how much we accumulate and to really ask the question…..what is most important in my life?  It’s pretty effective, there are always audible groans as we get down to the last few items left on the list.

I begin the story by telling them that at the end of the journey they will have the answer to their question (but I don’t tell them what that question is).  This year I want to change the ending  bit.  I want to say that they find a box and when they open the box it contains a folded paper…..on that paper is written: 

That’s where I need your help……any suggestions?  What can the answer to the question be?  What is the question?  What should that paper read?????