Are You Living a ‘Life Well-Lived?’

KCRG’s 9 Who CareWhat is a “life well-lived?”

It’s a term I use frequently with clients and in my new ‘#CedarPoints’ online video series, and it’s an idea I’ve developed after a career of helping others plan their financial futures.

But it’s taken on a new importance for me lately, after a humbling couple of months that included the death of a loved one and an honor as one of KCRG’s 9 Who Care.

A life well-lived is about more than money or assets or wins on the football field. It’s about living in an authentic, passionate way that impacts others. It’s about building a legacy through actions and relationships. It’s developing your human capital and giving back where you can.

The pursuit of that life is why we started Cedar Point Capital Partners in the first place. We wanted to offer more people access to the kind of planning, partnerships and patience it takes to build that kind of life.

You know, when I was a young, 20-year-old assistant football coach at Kennedy High School here in Cedar Rapids, I had so much passion—all I wanted to do was win on Friday night. Thirty-five years later, I find myself measuring those wins a little differently.

While I will always want to win football games, at the end of the night, I’ve found that the scoreboard only tells half of the story. The other half?  Did we improve as a team? Did we prepare to play hard for all four quarters? Did we maintain our composure when faced with adversity? This tells the complete story.

A life well-lived focuses on legacy and impact instead of the day-to-day. Sometimes you can see your impact, and other times, it’s not clear until decades later—a wedding invite, a birth announcement, a face at a funeral, or simply a message on social media. You may not get that immediate feedback, but if you’re doing the right things, you can trust it’s there.

The courage to change

One of my favorite phrases is, “if you want your life to be different, you have to live differently.” It’s true—nothing is going to change until you do. That can be extremely hard, depending on the circumstance, but a life well-lived is about having the courage to try.

I have a coaster on my desk that tells me “do one thing that scares you everyday.” It’s a great reminder to keep stepping out of my comfort zone and say “yes” to as many things as I can. That’s what has created some of my most valuable memories, experiences and relationships.

It’s how you build your human capital.

Creating a life well-lived takes planning and partnerships to ensure you have the capital—human, social and otherwise—you need to make your impact last. That’s what we’re here for.

If you’re ready to start building a life and legacy you can be proud of, reach out and let’s talk. It could be the start of something big.

David Ernst is a partner with Cedar Point Capital Partners, a financial life planning and wealth management firm in Cedar Rapids. For more information, please visit 

*About KCRG’s 9 Who Care
Each year, KCRG-TV9 honors outstanding volunteers throughout Eastern Iowa with the 9 Who Care Awards. Nominations are accepted during the month of November, and focus on a nominee’s volunteer work, outstanding achievements and other honors. Nine finalists are chosen by an independent panel of judges. The 9 Who Care award recipients are featured during a newscast, honored at a ceremony, and presented with a $500 donation to their charity of choice. David presented his donation to Olivet Neighborhood Mission.