Since it's the season for expressing gratitude, something I'm particularly grateful for is that here in Northern California, for the first summer in a long time, we did not experience a major fire. And to be honest, we didn't even have any significant smoke blow in from any other major fires either. I was beginning to think an annual fire was inevitable, but this year was such a welcome break from that trend. We were able to experience beautiful blue skies and sunshine far more than we have in years. And for that I'm massively grateful. What are you grateful for?
"Reflect upon your present blessings—of which every man has many—not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some."
We learn what we live. Perhaps it was family, an individual or even a community that raised us. But regardless of the source, we are taught ways to think, ways to act and ways to view the world. We are also taught ways to avoid pain. Pain and suffering are extremely strong motivators, often stronger than pleasure. When we experience some level of trauma, we consciously and unconsciously learn ways to prevent that trauma from happening again. This could manifest in many forms, including avoidance, disconnection or numbing. That's how we learn to cope, and often times end up passing those same coping strategies along to whoever we raise; perpetuating the cycle. These unconscious scripts can obviously relate to all aspects of life, but it becomes particularly evident with how we handle money. The lessons we learn due to our own, or someone else's trauma, can literally be the difference between whether we simply survive with money or thrive with money. And it's incredibly important to start paying attention to our thoughts, feelings and tendencies when it comes to how we spend, how we save and how we invest -- how we view money in general. Otherwise we may continue living out lessons that end up hurting us more than protect us.
"Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate."
This is going to sound weird, but hear me out... I'm often envious of wildlife. Like, life is SO simple for them; they either survive, or they don't. Black and white. If they find some food to eat, and nothing eats them in return, well that's a pretty dang good day! Even as a kid, I remember fantasizing living in a hunter-gatherer society. And a big part of me still enjoys the thought, to be honest. Because it goes back to that simplicity; I'd have my tribe, who protects me and I protect them. And we basically just need shelter, clean water and food. And if we don't die, that's really freaking awesome. Don't get me wrong, modern life definitely has its perks. Running water? So handy! A king size memory foam bed? The best. Medicinal advancements to keep me from dying from the common cold? Highly enjoyable. BUT, we've also gone and made life really complicated. And, while I admit that I don't think regressing all the way back to the Stone Age is the solution, I have a sneaking suspicion that we would be much better off if we simply got back to the basics.
"The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less."
So many people have expressed surprise by my shift into financial coaching, and I completely understand why; it's not something I've openly talked about before, apart from amongst groups of friends who also love finance. But for years I've been studying the subject of money, through reading countless books and articles, listening to literally thousands of hours of finance related podcasts and audio books and conversing with financial minds far smarter than I. As astounding as this may sound to some of you, I was simply doing it for fun; because I enjoyed the subject. I never planned on doing anything with it. It wasn't until the past couple years that I began having the feeling of needing to do something impactful with my life; to help improve the world in some way. And that's when I realized that if I were to combine the skill set of education and communication that I developed during my 14+ years in the wine industry, with my passion for finance, that I could actually do something really important for people. I sincerely hope I can turn this into something that will improve thousands of lives someday, maybe more. Either way, I plan on giving it everything I've got.
"If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose."
-Bishop T.D. Jakes