4 ways to improve the view of your day

Do you ever wake up and just lack energy, motivation and start to sink under the burden of the day ahead, worrying about everything which may or may not happen, and looking at everything with dread?

Maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s a virus – there are probably loads of labels or reasons you may add to justify it – but maybe, there is something far more positive you could do. Continue reading “4 ways to improve the view of your day”

Big Issues v Small Issues – which causes you the most upset?

The next time you have a major issue in your life, once you have dealt with the immediacy and handled what is essential and urgent, take a second to reflect on how you handled the situation. How did it work out for you, how well did you cope, function, and react to what was happening and what needed to be done.  The chances are – that you have handled something big and meaningful far better than a less significant issue – let’s have a look…

Dealing with a minor issue

Firstly, you are putting together a piece of flat packed furniture (not IKEA, as their stuff seems to go together really well), nothing seems to fit, a few screws get put in the wrong place, you have to rebuild it several times, you stand on (and burst) that little glue packet which is never any good, and gradually the situation builds to great annoyance and frustration. Tools fly across the room and everyone else in the household wisely stand well clear. Obviously a less than useful reaction to the challenge in hand.

Dealing with a major issue

Secondly, your child is ill, they call out to you in the middle of the night to find that they have vomited all over themselves, their bed, their floor, and are in quite a poorly state. Immediately you jump into autopilot, whatever is going on can be dealt with, and nothing phases you at all – wow, what a reaction.

Surely the big reaction should go with the big problem?

Take a step back, with a rational mind for a moment, what should be the toughest situation to deal with? A bit of flat packed furniture which will not quite go together, or a room covered in vomit and an ill child? Obviously, without any emotional attachment, as a snapshot, the DIY fiasco should be the easiest to cope with, but why is it not ?

Who is this problem really about?

Stand back and ask that question – I am making this all about me?

Take the ill child, the focus is on them, helping them, easing their woes, you dedicate yourself to others, serve them, and aim to make them feel comfortable.  Whilst the situation is not perhaps awfully savoury, that doesn’t seem to matter at all, you do what needs to be done.

Turning now to the DIY frustration, this is all about you, your failure, your frustration, your inability to complete the task. Anger towards the ‘useless instructions’ becomes a vent for your anger towards yourself, the annoyance also follows that path. You start to make up stories in your head, spiralling ever onwards into greater and greater anger.  It is all about you, and that is where the problem lies.

Is money the same as other emotional experiences?

Yes! In exactly the same way, decisions about money, investing and planning can also affect you in different ways.

Take an investment, if you can accept that the market is the market, and that no-one can predict the future, no clever fund manager can accurately time the markets, and that the person bragging about their ‘stellar performance’ will most likely be talking about a very short snapshot in time, then your investment journey will be far more peaceful (it is about someone or something else – the market not you).

On the flip side, trying to pick stocks, when to buy, when to sell and when to hold will lead you into the DIY avenue of frustration, anger and disappointment (now it is about you and your ego). Key to success is understanding that what happens just happens (that may not sound scientific, but it is true) in the markets, and that by sticking to a well thought out plan is wisest way not to lose money through emotional decisions.

Be it DIY, ill children, investment strategies or anything else which may cause you worry and anxiety, at Serenity we understand that it is about your whole life, not just the money. So remember, take a second to ask yourself ‘who is this about’. See if you are attaching stories to your own emotions and making them spiral out of control. It’s just about you, and most of it is made up anyway.

Together we can bring some Serenity to your life

What’s missing from financial planning?

Is financial planning just about numbers?

Anyone who has ever come into contact with a Serenity financial life planner will be more than aware of our passion for not just financial planning, but financial life planning.

Why is Financial Life Planning important?

That small four letter word ‘life’ may not seem that significant but it epitomises the whole point of all of us being here. The whole purpose of being on the planet is about life, and without that key element, perhaps there is no point, no purpose, and no logic.

In this article in Forbes, George Kinder, the founding father of Financial Life Planning explains the huge difference between financial planning and financial life planning.

What is the difference between Financial Planning and Financial Life Planning?

In short, one deals with people’s money, the other focuses on their lives and happiness first, then sets to work around the money part. In a way, it is comparing living to living life.

Surely investments and pensions matter most?

To quote one of our very great friends Andy Hart of Maven Adviser, ‘no adviser ever got a letter from a pension policy asking for help’.

Surely Financial Planning is no place for emotions

Emotion drives decisions, and decisions drive life, this is when we finally figure out that people’s emotions drive everything. To understand emotions, and ultimately our clients’ drivers through their lives, we need to listen to them, not project our opinions on how clever we think we are.

How does a Financial Life Planning relationship look?

It’s all about having a deep and meaningful relationship with our clients through their lives, not a synthetic relationship with their money for as long as it lasts. Without that deep relationship, we are just continually guessing at what may be best for our clients, guesses which may have a long term detrimental effect on their happiness.

Together we can bring some Serenity to your life

 

Back to school – but do you know what your child actually does?

Do you know what your child does each day at school?

It is so easy to pack children off to school, taking it all for granted.  On the walk home, if you are lucky, you may find out what they had for lunch, maybe even the latest playground drama, but frequently very little (especially when the fancy dress reminder happens the next morning with 10 minutes notice).

How tough is school for children?

So, what do they actually get up to?  What is it they do?  Once we understand this, maybe we can then be a little more forgiving when the classroom angel turns into a frenzied tornado once they get home.  

Away from the confines and expectations of the classroom and need to conform, home is the safe haven, the place where they can feel at ease – even if that is somewhat different from how we perceive the ideal behaviour.

This article from the Huffington Post is a real eye opener as to what are children actually do each day – it’s impressive to say the very least !

So what do children do at school each day ? 

Choose any and all from this list – a creator, a thought leader, a mathematician, an author, a reader, an orator, a proof-reader, a scientist, a navigator, a sportsman, an artist, a negotiator – the list goes on! It’s even tougher if your child has challenges with their reading such as dyslexia – those children have to so much harder all day.

You can see what perhaps the angelic behaviour doesn’t exactly hold out until bed time.

What about you?

Turning to yourself, after a day of pressing the pause button between listening to co-workers apparent stupidity and responding in a far more professional manner, back at home, where it is unusual to be sacked, fired, or put on a warning, it is far easier to let fly with less than productive words.

Maybe both us and our children want the same thing after a day of controlling emotions – a snack, a snuggle, a story and an early bedtime.

 

Together we can bring some Serenity to your life.