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Week 43: Weekend reading for health, wealth and happiness

By Sam Instone - October 22, 2020

It's been a year like no other.

A global pandemic.

A sudden shift to a bear market.

Unexpected oil price drama.


Fear, uncertainty and disruption to our normal routines. 

This has had a monumental impact on health, wealth and well-being.

Most of us want to do things to make ourselves feel better.

The problem is that we choose to do the wrong stuff.

When times get tough, we tend to start eating unhealthily, go inward and avoid people, or just plop down and watch television.

But, as you know, there are better, more evidence-based ways to cope!

With the wake of World Mental Health Day and our campaign to raise awareness of mental health issues and marshal support for well-being more broadly, I've therefore begun this week by sharing the 'top 5 favourite coping tips' according to science from Internet sensation and Yale Professor, Dr. Laurie Santos. This has some golden nuggets to remind us all how to cope better, including a great ending about the 'RAIN' technique.

Looking at the impact on personal finances, even the multi-billionaires have been harshly reminded that the number one rule of investment is diversification or not putting all your eggs into the same basket...

Financial well-being is about safety and freedom, now and later. This means navigating your 'money life' with aplomb and achieving the flexibility to pursue a meaningful life.

While 'rich' may be described as the accumulation of more, true wealth is the ability to underwrite a life that is meaningful to you.

And the good news is that everyone can achieve this because it's not a number, but a mindset. And while this mindset involves work and accountability, calibration of purpose with planning and the alignment of money with meaning - none of this is related to market movement or 'traditional' wealth management, but is encapsulated in the process at AES that we call 'All About You'.

I have continued to enjoy a course this week by Brian Portnoy who describes 'funded contentment' as involving the appreciation of the rhythm between wanting more and having enough.

During Berkshire Hathaway's 2017 annual meeting, Warren Buffett discussed the importance of his eventual successor as CEO having a 'money mind'. You can find out if you match up in this Monevator article entitled 'Do you have a money mind?'

While the short-term ups and downs in the stock market garner all our attention, true investors know long-term returns are the only ones that matter and Ben Carlson talks about this in his article 'How comfortable are you holding stocks for 30 years?'

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 'Five Powers'. In sum, great leadership is rarely about appointment, nor use of force, nor reward, nor your awesome list of impressive qualifications. It's about how you make people feel.

This week's meditations

"Happiness is what you get right before you want more happiness."
Don Draper, Mad Men

"A win doesn't feel as good as a loss feels bad, and the good feeling doesn't last as long as the bad. Not even close."
- Andre Agassi, Open

Questions for you

How will you make others in your team feel today?

What's most important to you?


Enjoy the ‘light’ reading and happy weekend! If you liked this post, please share it with others using the icons at the top, or just forward them this blog.


Dr. Laurie Santos' '5 favourite coping tips'

Michele McDonald's 'RAIN' technique

AES's life financial planning process 'All About You'

Brian Portnoy's description of 'Funded Contentment'

Warren Buffet's '2017 Berkshire Hathaway annual general meeting comments'

Monevator's article 'Do you have a money mind?'

Ben Carlson's 'How comfortable are you holding stocks for 30 years?'

David Labouchere's article 'Five Powers'