Two Things That Never Lie - and One That Does

There’s an old adage about how a checkbook and calendar never lie.

A third party can audit your checkbook (or finances in general) and calendar, and make a reasonably accurate assessment of what our Values are. How we spend our dollars and spend our time is representative of what’s important to us. 

But do you know who does lie?

Us - me, you, humans. What we SAY is important to us doesn’t always actually materialize in our actions. Why is that? 

I can think of two reasons: 

1- We don’t really know our Values. We might allow culture, family, or neighbors to project values that seem good or natural to us, and we just accept them, without actually decidedly making them our own.

2- We’re poor managers. Managing money and time requires work, prioritization, and a lot of energy. 

Look, I’m guilty here. Family is a top priority for me, but that third party who audits my calendar might not be able to arrive at a similar conclusion. 

We’re in a no shame, no blame arena - so I’m not casting stones. All I’m suggesting is spending the time to (1) think critically about what’s most important to you and then (2) audit your own checkbook and calendar to see if they support that. If they don’t - should we make some changes? 

And remember that the easiest person to lie to is ourselves. 
Interesting Resources 

1. Fortune - How To Win Any Argument About the Stock Market
Using examples ranging from Bitcoin to Amazon, Ben Carlson does a tremendous job explaining how to win the argument of any type of investment: your time horizon. You can win any argument by simply changing the start and end dates to strengthen your stance. This is why evidence-driven, asset allocation framed, LONG-TERM investing is so important. 

2. Calibrating Capital - A Ship in Harbor
I’ve spoken of my solitude retreats before, and some of you have asked how I go about doing them. So I wrote a piece over at CalCap on this, using the analogy of a ship’s requirement to come in from sea to receive maintenance in a harbor. This isn’t any type of magical formula - it’s simply what works for me. I’d encourage you to make the time to explore some solitude retreats for yourself, and use this framework as a launching point. In fact, if you're reading this Friday morning, I'm on one right now. 
One last thought on the calendar part: in the past I've "scheduled" events that aren't really events. Time-blocking, experts call it. Family dinner. Morning devotions. Physical exercise. Reading. It's something I'm returning to again, and might be one way you can fine tune your own calendar to align your own Values. 

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