Most people who come to me for financial guidance have some kind of financial monster under the bed; something they feel is huge and scary and will harm them. For some, it’s not having enough money set aside for retirement, for others its debt, others still have regrets for how they handled a financial decision in the past.
The so-called “monster” is something that needs to be dealt with, but our problems are never bigger than we are…unless we allow them to be. That doesn’t mean there aren’t things that could be changed in order to improve our situations, but most times the monster isn’t nearly as scary as we believe it to be.
This is why talking to my clients about their lives and values – and not just their money – makes perfect sense to me. When you turn the proverbial lights on and look under the bed, you realize there aren’t any monsters there, after all, just the ones you created in your head.
Now I’m not trying to minimize these fears -that wouldn’t be very nice. What I am saying is that we all have our concerns about doing the “right” things with our money but, as much as I AM a financial planner, no matter what happens, it’s really not the end of the world. It’s just money.
Sure, some choices and life paths may take us down roads we’d rather avoid but these same roads present us with challenges that – upon getting past them – allow us an unprecidented experience: achievement, realization, perspective. Isn’t that what we all want, after all? Well, how else are you going to have these things unless you’re forced into the circumstances that bring them into being? How many people, honestly, are willing to take on certain life challenges just for kicks? Mmmm hmmmm, thought so.
So, I guess my message is to love, forgive, understand and accept yourself (and your partner, if you have one on this journey). We’re all doing the best we can with the tools we have. If you want to obtain more tools, I invite you to schedule some time with me or someone like me. We’ll give you ideas, suggestions and alternatives to improve your situation or, at the very least, give you a confirmation that you’re doing okay.
Photos courtesy of ClipArt