No Stinkin' Thinkin'
Those in my inner circle know that I like to use figures of speech to convey information. Some phrases are well known such as, “You make your own luck” or “That's just water under the bridge.” Others I modified, “Let’s stop beating ourselves up on what we don’t have, let’s celebrate what we do have.”
I find that as my group and I work with clients, we hear common themes such as “How does my situation compare with everyone else?” or “I wish I would have started saving sooner” and “I wish I would have talked with you earlier.”
I don’t know who taught us what I will refer to as “Stinkin' Thinkin',” but when I work with clients, there is no "Stinkin' Thinkin'" allowed. Our lives don’t mirror the movie “Back to the Future,” offering us the opportunities to go back in time. We will not be able to "put the toothpaste back into the tube.” We cannot live in the past. Those of us who attempt this will only set themselves up for frustration and disappointment all the while allowing today to slip away. Together with our clients, we look to the future to determine what it can be.
I find that when working with individuals within our practice, conversations often become less about their money and more about their lives. I believe a leading reason for this is due to an ancient part of our brain, the amygdala, whose job is to always be on the lookout for danger. When we work with clients, we deal with calming this part of the brain. We believe that if you have fewer fears you will have more room for other stuff, hopefully greater financial confidence and happiness. This plays out in our conversations when we hear our clients ask questions related to:
- Family – Will they personally be ok? Will the kids be ok?
- Health – Their own health, a spouse, a child, a parent, either real or anticipated
- Legacy – Will they be remembered?
- Regret – A missed opportunity that took place in their past
Funny thing is, none of these relate directly to money.
In a future article, I may address all the ways our ideas about money impact us, but not today.
This article I will focus on positivity. So I have the following homework for you. If you are comfortable with these ideas, please work on them. My suggestion? Dump the negative thinking and behaviors I have listed below so you can begin building on a strong, long lasting foundation of confidence.
I am always on the lookout internally, within my group and from our clients for signs they are holding onto the negative habits I have listed below. When spotted we work to correct them with our clients, and with each other.
Stop fearing change
Stop living in the past
Stop negative self-talk
Stop trying to please everyone
On this Fourth of July weekend let’s celebrate what we have. Give yourself a pat on the back for what you have accomplished. Know that perfect is the enemy of good. I think of perfect like the horizon; it’s always ahead of us but always out of our reach, frustrating us and providing an excuse for not moving forward. As my friend Steve will tell me when he detects I have entered the Stinkin' Thinkin' zone, “Let It Go.” My wish for you is to gain the mental strength and clarity to “Let it go”
My last suggestion – be good to yourself – you are the most important person you know.