This year's given everyone an opportunity to reset.
To change direction and perspectives.
To take a step back, re-focus and rebalance...
Consider what you truly value, what you don't...
And how you should spend your valuable time and energy.
Many things have been beyond your control this year.
It's important to accept what you can't control and focus on the things you can...
And the things that matter.
Take a look at this sketch.
Carl Richards creates loads of brilliant pictures that simplify complex issues, but this is one of my favourites.
And I think it speaks not just to our financial lives, but to our complex, sticky, tricky, emotional lives as well.
We only have so much time, energy, and attention.
Only so much we can focus on.
So how do we decide where to place our focus?
Carl eloquently explains:
"When I’m trying to answer that question, I think back to this sketch, take a step back, and ask myself two questions:
- Does it matter?
- Can I control it?"
Unless the answer is yes on both counts, you can stop thinking about it!
For me, the list of things I can stop thinking about includes:
- Whether my children get into college or not (because I can’t control it).
- Whether I could have saved £5 on groceries by going to a different store (because it doesn’t matter).
- Whether the stock market is in flux right now (because I can’t control it).
- That guy who cut me off in traffic (because it doesn’t matter).
As I drive home from work, NOT thinking about any of those things, I am suddenly freed up to think about the things I CAN control and that DO matter.
- How I treat my children, regardless of whether college is a good fit for them or not.
- How I can get my shopping to align with my values.
- How I behave when stock market fluctuations happen.
- Learning to count to 10, taking a deep breath, and letting go when other drivers act like jerks.
Just imagine what might happen if you quit worrying about things you have no control over and quit obsessing over things that don’t matter.
Where else might you be able to invest that extra time, energy, and attention?
People often worry about stock markets and when they are volatile (such as around elections), gold prices often jump.
Any investment which has recently risen in value will receive media attention, so people want to know if they should react.
Our friends at Stewart Partners in Sydney share our belief that investing should be founded on evidence as opposed to speculation or emotional bias.
They have created a great article called 'Does gold belong in my portfolio?'
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 Emotional Energy.
In this article, he shares ways to create inexhaustible emotional energy with the help of some useful habits and rituals.
A question for you
What am I not doing that I know I should be doing? Why?
Life isn’t just about figuring out what to do. The real challenge is (not so) simply doing the things we know we should be doing.
This week's meditations
“My best skill was that I was coachable. I was a sponge and aggressive to learn.” - Michael Jordan
“Rivers do not drink their own water; trees do not eat their own fruit; the sun does not shine on itself and flowers do not spread their fragrance for themselves. Living for others is a rule of nature. We are all born to help each other. No matter how difficult it is… Life is good when you are happy; but much better when others are happy because of you.” - Pope Francis
"Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems, wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenge, wish for more wisdom." - Jim Rohn
Stewart Partners' article 'Does gold belong in my portfolio?'
David Labouchere's article 'Emotional Energy'
Dr. Laurie Santos' '5 favourite coping tips'
Monevator's article 'Do you have a money mind?'