Values, Money and Happiness

Carl Richards is a hero of mine. Long-time readers may recall many of his Behavior Gap sketches over the years featured prominently in these letters. 

The one above is in the top 3 of my favorites. (I think - that’s an impossible task to rank them.) 

It’s also perhaps one of the most challenging ones to apply to our lives. 

If we want to apply it, we have to define three different areas of our lives that aren’t naturally defined for us: our values, our use of money, and our overall happiness. 

However, when we DO take the time to define each one, magic happens. 

I was recently with a long-time and dear client of mine. 

We were talking about the challenges she was facing in these Covid times - some isolation, a sense of loneliness, a loss of control. 

We were talking about her values - family, friends, and community. 

We were talking about her use of money - specifically in the distribution stage of her money life. 

And then we brainstormed ways we can actually spend more money to fund different activities - new and old - that might bring her some more happiness by funding more things that line up with her values. 

I’ve experienced - both personally and professionally - that at times we get tunnel vision in our singular focus of achieving different financial goals, however noble they may be. And we lose sight of - or maybe never take the time to even measure - how our use of money is aligned with our personal values. 

Money isn’t an end in and of itself. But it can be an amazing tool if stewarded correctly to the right things. And to do that, we have to spend the time to get super clear on what our values are and then measure how we’re using our money to fund them. 

Interesting Resources

Jason Zweig
Three ways to get paid for your words:
⁃ lie to people who want to be lied to, and you'll get rich
⁃ tell the truth to those who want the truth, and you'll make a living
⁃ tell the truth to those who want to be lied to, and you'll go broke

The Fear Side of Enough
7 min read | CalibratingCapital (me) 
A bit of a follow up to the podcast I linked to last week, when my friend Justin Castelli asked me what scares me about defining Enough in my life. I couldn't stop thinking about it after he asked. And this blog post is the result - five different fears or concerns of establishing Enough, and some ways I plan on hedging against them. 

How Can We Gage Our Own Success?
2 min read | Retirement Field Guide 
"Generally speaking, we know the things that make us feel satisfied, content, and happy. It’s rarely the fleeting top-of-the-mountain experiences. The things that truly matter in life are non-material and non-experiential. It’s relationships. It’s making a contribution. It’s having an impact. Amazingly, none of the things that matter cost anything at all. They just require time, a little effort and caring for others."
Personal note here with a question.

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