13 Jan 2022 Life is Pure Adventure
Every January, we are inundated with articles on New Year’s Resolutions and starting fresh, which sounds especially appealing after the past two chaotic years. One root of the word resolution is resolve, or having a strong determination… which often results in thoughts like these: “I will force these habits into my life! Go to the gym! Read more! Save more! Spend less! No stress!” Those thought patterns tend to create more stress, which is partly why I tend to skip the practice of creating resolutions.
Recently, I re-read a quote from Maya Angelou where she spoke about the potential risk of focusing too much on routines (or resolutions).
Because of the routines we follow, we often forget that life is an ongoing adventure… Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that, the quicker we will be able to treat life as art: to bring all our energies to each encounter, to remain flexible enough to notice and admit when what we expected to happen did not happen. We need to remember that we are created creative and can invent new scenarios as frequently as they are needed.
I find her words so encouraging – the way Angelou calls us to shift our routines into the background and refocus on the adventure of life. Instead of keeping our head down, working through the never-ending to-do list, and just getting through the mundane, she reminds us to look past those tasks and remember that we can view our lives as art. We can still have routines, but they are no longer our top priority when we have a healthy perspective on them.
So how do we know whether we have healthy routines that are preventing us from our life adventure? Are we focusing too much on the routine without reflecting on whether it is helpful or a hindrance toward reaching our long-term goals? Our financial lives definitely benefit from certain routines – like regular unemotional investment rebalancing, checking in on your budget, and automating your savings. But to me, her quote warns of idolizing those routines to the point where we forget the main goals behind our financial habits.
I picture healthy routines as scaffolding – they’re strong, functional, and support us while we do the real work of building our lives, working toward our dreams. The scaffolding itself is not the end goal of any construction project, but you must build out the scaffolding first before you can continue building the actual project!
Partnering with a financial planner offers you the chance to have a financial plan as your supportive scaffolding, so you can continue the work of living out your life’s adventure. We work together to create your initial financial plan, which requires dreaming about your life’s goals, unpacking your current financial situation, and creating a realistic plan to get you there. We implement various financial strategies to help you take steps toward your goals. In the words of Angelou, we monitor your plan and “remain flexible enough to notice and admit when what we expected to happen did not happen,” and create new scenarios when necessary! By naming your goals, and taking tangible steps toward reaching them, you’re building a strong foundation that will offer you freedom to focus your energies elsewhere. We want you to look past the scaffolding and pay attention to your art.
A robust financial plan is one tool we use to provide meaningful advice as you go through life. New scenarios pop up, your goals change, or something doesn’t happen the way you envisioned. When those things inevitably happen, we work together on creating solutions to get you back to your adventure. Plus, you can also rest knowing that we are keeping an eye on your plan and financial life, as well.
I hope you have experienced the freedom that comes from treating life as art. Some seasons are tougher than others and just going through the motions of life is all that is possible. That’s okay. Know that you can lean on us to support you during those seasons. It is a gift to work as a financial planner and to know that our clients trust us to walk alongside them. Sometimes that means we explore new scenarios when their goals or situations change, or we encourage them to stay the course and tune out the distracting noise. Ultimately, we hope that by bringing clarity to your financial life, you can focus your energies back on everything else life has to offer you.
As always, let us know if you’d like to chat.