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Week 4: Weekend reading for health, wealth and happiness

By Sam Instone - January 28, 2021

Ask any random person off the street what he or she wants more of, and you'll likely get one of two answers.

More money...

Or more time.

A large percentage of the "traditional" financial services industry is built around vending products that allegedly help people amass enough wealth that they can retire and have an abundance of free time.

But is this the right move (assuming these products even work)?

I'm not so sure.

Because just as lottery winners can drown in the unchartered waters of sudden wealth, retirees can submerge themselves in the icy depths of unstructured free time.

This type of "freedom" is the type of thing that many people dream about until they have it, and then realise it's not all it's cracked up to be.

'Money can only go a number of places when you die', meaning you can:

1. Spend it during your lifetime, and to the extent there is anything left over after you die, it can go to...
2. Family and friends you designate through a will, trusts and estate planning, and/or...
3. Charity, and in some cases...
4. Taxes

Spend it, give it to friends, give it to charity, give it to the government. 

That's pretty much it.

Money is just a tool.

So, in reality, it's more about how much progress your investments have made towards funding your desired goals and objectives that you want to enjoy if you have the time to do so.

Professional financial planning helps people develop a game plan for what they'll do with their time both before and after they officially retire.

It's about clarity.

With clarity comes confidence, and then control.

Structure can be a beautiful thing because structure forms habits, and habits build your life.

There's something magical about knowing that every day you'll do X.

Every week you'll do Y.

And every month you'll do Z.

Just like investing, it doesn't feel like you're getting where you want to be quickly enough.

But over time, as Carl Richards shows, those marginal improvements add up.

Incremental improvements

Even research from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of the best-selling book 'Flow', found that unstructured free time requires much greater effort on your part to be shaped into something that can be enjoyed.

This means that if you seek less structure in your life, you'll make things harder for yourself.

And truthfully, many high performance professionals need to be nudged, provoked and motivated to high-speed success.

Very few people can do it alone and if you're looking for trusted advisers in health, wealth or life performance, please email me and I'll tell you who I use.

That's one of the reasons I love to begin my week reading David's blog and end my week at my desk and putting the thoughts that crossed my mind down in writing.

It's a semblance of structure in my otherwise chaotic world.

So therefore, as always and true to my own military roots, the final word is taken by former senior British Army officer, inspirational leader and Ironman champion David Labouchere on 'Certainty and Power'.

He states that anxiety = uncertainty x powerlessness

David asks - how will you communicate better with and empower the people in your life today?


A question for you 

Following David's blog, I decided to start the day by asking myself - What's my biggest danger for today? What am I afraid of?

Because dangers are always about either fear or anxiety.

So what I'm really asking is - What's the biggest danger that if I don't take action on this, I'm going to be more scared about it tonight than I am right now?

From there I asked - What opportunity do I have right now? What am I excited about? What can I do that, if I took action on it, I'd not only be further ahead, but even more excited?

And finally - What strengths do I have that I can actually reinforce today? What's an action I can take that will give me more confidence about the day ahead?


This week's meditations

"Plans are useless, but planning is indispensable."
- Dwight D. Eisenhower

"A goal without a plan is just a wish."
- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

"Failing to plan is planning to fail."
- Sir Winston Churchill

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Have a great weekend and enjoy the ‘light’ reading! 


David B. Armstrong's article 'Where Money Can Go When You Die'

Carl Richard's website 'Behavior Gap'

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's book 'Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience'

David Labouchere's article 'Certainty and Power'