The Happiness Manifest – Part 4 – Keep Learning

Did I mention how much I enjoy my time on planes?  As much as I lament the time spent not in meetings with clients or teaching someone about the joy of money [or is that just the strange creature that I am?], still I remember, as I am tapping away at the keys or scribbling in my notebooks, how precious this time is for me to do the things that keep me in line with my values.  If you have not seen my business cards, you won’t know that I declare my values right there for the world to see clearly, so that I may be reminded and held accountable to those declarations.

Character.  Integrity.  Growth.

These words mean many different things to different people, as we all come to this world with our separate perceptions, yet I am eminently clear on what they mean to me.  One of the values that keeps me curious and open is Growth.  To me, this signifies my commitment to be a perpetual student – of the markets, of the human condition, of all the whys and wherefores, and of my own ability to be a better human to my community.

In the Happiness Manifesto, the fourth step is …

  1. KEEP LEARNING … pick up a book, start something entirely new, try what your children love on for size, play with knowledge.

There is a correlation to learning and to older people being more active and suffering less depression.  It is postulated that the benefit is not necessarily in the accumulation of knowledge, but in the curiosity.  Learning has a positive  influence on our self-confidence and our sense of purpose, and setting and seeking goals to achieve is known to improve our well-being.

When was the last time that you showed curiosity about your money, about what your advisor was investing in, or in what other choices might be available to you in other types of investments – such as investments in your own education, or in starting a dream?  Are there things that you yearn to know, to discover?   Let your advisor be your guide to helping you articulate those things that make you question.  Enlist their help in becoming playful and childlike with this learning.  Geez, just have some fun!

However esoteric, if you wonder – you should discover.

The Happiness Manifesto – Part 3 – Take Notice

There is something rejuvenating about plane rides for me.  Strange as it may seem, it is a small space of time, in between gate connections and rental cars, that I have a moment to reflect on my life, my relationships and the joy of where I am at the moment.  It forces me to slow down, read edifying books, and write about the things that I am focusing on right then.

So, as we continue the Happiness Manifesto, our next point is…

1.  TAKE NOTICE … Be curious, catch sight of the beautiful moments, be aware of the beauty of your world, reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters.

Research suggests that it is the moments of pausing, reflecting, noticing, that creates a self-regulatory behavior.  So, those moments of meditation, of cognitive behavior therapy or just writing your thoughts on the moments you live will help you to be aware and choose the actions that are more in line with your values and your interests.  It is this awareness – this thoughtfulness – that can inspire us to live our best lives.

So, too, can taking notice of your financial lives.  I know you have heard me say that it is not about the money, and I mean no different here.  Take notice of the things that you do for the money – does it align with your values and your intent in this life that you live?  When you invest, do you look at the results that you aim for, or are you so tied up in the volatile world of that currency that you lose sight of what is truly important in the grand scheme of your life?  If you say to me that your life is not grand, I would want to know why – you are the master of your destiny, so shouldn’t you live a very BIG life?  Create what will inspire you and move you into the life you desire.  Money is just the tool that will get you there, so make it do what you need.

We tend to dream about what we will do later in our lives, what joy we will have when we start living our lives and stop working for money.  I am here to challenge you to find what you love NOW, and start to create the life you want to live so that you can work with the money.  Or, at the very least, make the money work for you and your grand dreams.

And, I would love to hear what those dreams are!  You are welcome to comment or email me and tell me how you are dreaming your best life.  I’ll post some of those dreams here, so you can be held accountable for living that grand life.