Do You Know What Your Highest and Best Use is?

Have you ever wondered what the highest and best use of your life is?

The phrase “highest and best use” is one I first heard used in the context of real estate development a couple of years ago, when I hired an appraiser to give me the value of a piece of property.  He asked me, “Do you want me to appraise the value of the property according to its current use or its highest and best use?”

I had no idea what he was talking about, so I asked, “What’s the difference?”

He replied that if he appraised the property according to its current use, he would determine a value for both the land and the existing buildings based on how they are currently being used.

But, if he appraised the property according to its highest and best use, he would ignore the existing buildings and determine a value for just the land according to its maximum usefulness and profitability, based on its physical attributes, possible zoning options, and what could reasonably be developed there.

I told him to appraise the property according to its highest and best use.

After about two months of research, the appraiser gave me his 1-inch thick report showing that the highest and best use of this property was “commercial” and that it could be developed as a small retail strip mall.  Because of its potential as a commercial property, its value would be nearly double what it was currently as a residential parcel.

So, this got me wondering…how many of us have discovered the “highest and best use” of our lives?  The work or activity that will give us the greatest sense of purpose and fulfillment?  Where we add the most value to our family, our work, and the world?

It is easy to be content living according to our “current use.”  But if we don’t pause from time to time to take a good, hard look at our lives to determine our “highest and best use” we may miss out on what we could be – and miss out on living to our full potential.

Click for more on how to reach your full potential.

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  1. well written and deep
    thank u 🙂

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