Good morning, and happy Wednesday!
Is there more to life than being happy? According to this article, it’s really about finding meaning in our lives, and it’s this meaning that makes us human.
Would love to know what you think about this.
I often tell people that my work is all about helping people – especially divorced baby boomer women – make the most of their one shot at life.
Regardless of your personal beliefs, I think everyone can agree with the “one shot at life” part.
But what do I mean when I say I help you “make the most” of your life? Am I talking about a pursuit of happiness, helping simplify your life, making the things that are important to you more achievable, reducing uncertainty, or is it something else?
I believe it involves all of the above, but after reading the article, I realized that my work is really about helping people live a life full of meaning. And meaning isn’t something that can be defined by me, Wall Street, the media, your family or your neighbors. Your personal life of meaning is based solely on what is meaningful to you.
It could involve charitable giving, volunteering, writing that novel you’ve always had bouncing around in your mind, educating your children or grandchildren, having a successful career, developing your spirituality, or pretty much anything else.
Right now – or as soon as you have 5 minutes – grab a pen and a piece of paper (I think writing is more important than typing in this exercise) and list everything in your life that is personally meaningful to you. Now, in a separate column, list everything that’s meaningful to you, but isn’t currently part of your life. And while this is your homework assignment, you don’t have to turn anything in and you won’t be graded, so let the ideas flow.
Now I want you to review this list once a week for the next month. If you need to add something to it, go right ahead. As you review this list, begin to think about what you need to do (or stop doing) to add some of the items from the 2nd column into you life.
This can be the start of your financial life plan if you don’t already have one. And if you have an advisor, I’d encourage you to share this list with them so they’ll know how they can really make an impact in your life. If you’d like someone to review and discuss your list with, give me a call. I’d be happy to help.
I don’t believe a meaningful life has to involve an “eat, pray, love” kind of experience. It can be a very practical pursuit and while it’s meaningful for you, it doesn’t have to involve or be meaningful to anyone else.
And this is why I absolutely LOVE the work I do.
I get to help people explore and ultimately clarify and quantify their unique version of a meaningful life. Then I get to help them live it.
Sometimes they get distracted from what’s really important, and these distractions can include friends and family or the market and the economy. And that’s when I reconfirm what they told me was really important or offer a timely reminder.
For some of my clients this involves taking as little investment risk as possible, and for others who are really motivated to reach some meaningful goals, they might be willing to accept some investment risk.
Remember, it’s about meaning – not about markets.
Does your financial advisor take a “meaning-based” approach to your financial planning, or once the pleasantries and small talk are out of the way, is it really just about your money?
Something to think about.
P.S. – As many of you know, my wife and I have two daughters of the canine variety, Abby & Gracie. We love all animals and our dogs are an important part of our lives. And the next time Abby or Gracie are due for a bath, I’ll take my girls to visit my friends at Perk-N-Pooch. This is a new small business recently opened by a client of mine in Sandy Springs, GA, and I love the idea. If you love dogs, or coffee, or both, I encourage you to stop by and visit. Maybe I’ll see you there.
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