“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.
If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
–The Dalai Lama
As the year winds down, I find myself thinking of the year ahead and how to make it better. Regular readers may know that my father passed away this year and that event has inspired in me a great deal of reflection. And the reflection has filled me with gratitude.
I am lucky that I had a great Dad for 57 years. I’m sad that he’s gone.
In looking forward to the year ahead, I think of four practices that I believe will help me have a great year. I hope these will be helpful to you as well.
Staying in the moment. It’s easy in this culture to focus on the things we don’t have. The media is constantly presenting fabulous new gadgets and experiences that promise to make things great. It becomes easy to think that, “When I get that raise, or when I save XXX dollars, or when my daughter gets into the perfect school, then I’ll be happy.”
This is a trap. It distracts you from this moment. All we have is now.
“There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done.
One is called Yesterday and the other is called Tomorrow.
Today is the right day to Love, Believe, Do and mostly Live.”
– The Dalai Lama XIV
Generosity. Generosity is about giving. But it doesn’t need to be money. It can be the gift of a kind word or gesture, the heartfelt acknowledgment of a co-worker, the compassionate ear to listen to a friend’s troubles or telling your kids that you are proud of them.
Gratitude. As I mentioned, I’m very grateful lately. I’m struck by all the good fortune I have enjoyed that got me to this moment. I have been blessed to be born in a safe place, to loving parents, with enough means to meet all my needs. I was given many great experiences and opportunities to learn and to grow. I have enjoyed good health. Those whom I love have enjoyed good health.
I have tons for which to be grateful. If you take a moment to reflect, I expect you will find many things for which you can be grateful also.
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery,
but today is a gift.
That is why we call it the present.”
— Master Oogway, Kung Fu Panda.
Forgiveness. It can be easy to get angry. Maybe it’s with the stupid drivers in rush hour traffic or the rotten boss or the inept co-worker. Maybe it’s the competition who is stealing your best customers. Or maybe you are angry that you have not made as much progress on your financial goals as you would have liked.
Remember that being angry at others only creates negative energy that you have to deal with. Don’t waste your life force.
“To forgive is to set a prisoner free
and discover that the prisoner was you.”
As we look to the new year, I invite you to:
- Savor today. It’s all we truly have.
- Be generous to those around you.
- Be grateful for all the good you enjoy.
- Let go of grievance, especially with yourself. Forgive and move on.
I’m confident that if you embrace these behaviors, you will make 2020 a fabulous year.
Happy New Year.
Since 2020 is going to be your best year ever, it might be a great time to start a holistic financial plan. If you agree, I suggest you start here. This link will lead you to a few highly trained, experienced financial planners who have attained the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation.
As you visit with financial planners, I suggest a couple things to check:
- Is the advisor always the client’s advocate – a fiduciary advisor?
- Is the advisor only paid by clients, not any financial product manufacturer or distribution network? That would be a fee-only advisor.
These two points help assure that you are working with a professional who is committed to your best interest at all times. It seems sort of obvious to me that a professional would work in this way, but it’s not automatic.
A fiduciary, fee-only, CFP® professional can help you make great retirement income choices and develop a comprehensive financial plan that is driven by your goals and priorities and addresses all aspects of your financial life. With a big-picture approach, you will be better prepared to understand your options at every step along the way.
Yes, I am a CFP® professional. I’m always a fiduciary and I only work on a fee basis. And yes, I’m still taking on a few great families to be part of my financial planning practice.
If this article has you thinking about your own circumstances, contact my office at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am always happy to meet with people who are working on their retirement plans. Dunncreek Advisors does not provide legal or tax advice, nor is this article intended to do so.