Powerful changes in today’s world are empowering individuals and consumers like no other time in history. But as our employment, political and social circles rapidly change, we seek ways to cope, survive and thrive under these new circumstances. While providing tremendous opportunities on one end, they challenge our beliefs and security blankets on the other. These changes can at first seem alarming because they not only allow us to be our best but actually demand us to be our best. How do we handle all of this change? What do we do?
The turbulence of our times demands strong finances and habits that can be effective in all economic climates. With the breakdown of employment security, it is a dangerous moment in history not to have our finances in tip-top shape. To face the future with poor financial flexibility and stamina creates a severe disadvantage. Therefore, the economic and job stability we cannot find in the outside world must be created within our own personal finances.
We are taught from early childhood that we must become responsible and functional adults. Yet when it comes to personal finances, we are left mostly to trial and error. We lack direction – a path and a plan to achieve financial freedom – when it is critically important. Financial freedom provides a needed advantage in being able to reach our highest aspirations and our life purpose.
Path and Plan
Without direction, we can easily be led astray by the numerous economic dangers we face in our lifetime: dangers such as recessions and depressions; major investment market crashes; spending above our means; abusing debt; loss of employment; fraud; loss of health or life of a loved one; not having resources to maintain standard of living in retirement or long-term care needs in our senior years. Prudent money management calls for minimizing or eliminating our exposure to these dangers.
Without a path and a plan, you can also lose out on opportunities. Effective money management calls for taking advantage of each opportunity that comes your way.
Who You Are
Intuitively, we know the solution to being overwhelmed by changes is to become centered within ourselves – to feel confident of who we are, what we believe in and what our highest purpose in life is all about. Life is not about how we stand compared to others – it is how we stand compared to what we can be. When we focus on who we are and who we are becoming, we begin to see that outside changes do not alter who we are at the deepest levels. They become either mindless distractions or resources we can harness to get closer to reaching our potential and highest life purpose.
I have previously written posts (and books) on the importance of discipline as well as the necessity of having long-term goals in mind to guide your personal finance and investment choices. When a new client comes in to meet with me, I not only offer them our services (incorporating evidence-based investing and strength-based wealth management) and reduce the complexity of the presentation of their finances, but I try to work with them on their path and plan, so that they can find a clear channel to use the wealth they have worked so hard to accumulate to fulfill their goals, live their best life, and hopefully even create their legacy.
Joseph Janiczek is the founder and CEO of Janiczek Wealth Management. This post was adapted from his book, How to Achieve Absolute Financial Freedom.