Turning the Page
“A great book begins with an idea. A great life begins with a determination.”
When we were born, if we were fortunate to have good parents, they would often talk about with great excitement all the things this child would grow up to be, to do, to be recognized. Sometimes our teachers would pick up the storyline, then onward and upward toward professors and employers, spouses, partners, friends and even our own children. Each would contribute toward the story that is our life. Until they stopped.
Every one of us is like a hard back book. Our spine supports the pages and cover. Sometimes, there is a bright and colorful dust jacket that highlights the author and gives a peek at the story within. Often, this book is less a personal journal and more a guest registry with others filling in their details rather than us crafting each word. The problem is that when others are writing our story, they are also defining our path. We may acquiesce to this story line, even as our inner voices are rebelling. Life is not simple and books can slam shut quickly and decisively if we do not control the prose.
Death, divorce, being laid off, being in a debilitating accident, getting sick or watching any of these events unfold for someone we love are the darkest chapters. Birth, graduations, a new romance, a promotion, exploring an entrepreneurial vision, even retirement are often more welcoming, but can still be fraught with unexplored emotions. These transitions may be honored with a greeting card or casserole, but precious little direction as to what comes next rarely accompanies. We often careen from one life event to another, posting on Facebook or Instagram a few of the best highlights. Those posts may receive many likes and heart emojis, but few valuable instructions are included in the comments.
Because of this reactive stance, we repeatedly learn that change, whether welcome or not, is fraught. We instinctively seek to shield ourselves from any pain from the uncertainty. We often struggle with the cycle of emotions as one chapter ends and before we know what the next chapter will be.
We also lose a key mental ally when we wait reactively for the pages of our life to unfold … we lose the psychological advantage of choice. Even if none of the choices available to us are to our liking, we are already in a better state of mind when we control the choice. Our book’s pages are the sum total of all the choices we have made each day, big or small. Sometimes, people forget that not choosing is also a choice.
Remember, life already takes an innumerable step forward when we approach it proactively rather than reactively. Divorce is far more catastrophic when one party is blindsided. Losing one’s job can strip the most skilled person of their over-arching identify ... no matter if that is a corporate job, that of a home-based parent whose child is leaving or of a child providing care to their parent and the parent passes away. Weddings are often wondrous events of lace and flowers and cake, but there may be jealousy, fear, anger, loss and other unspoken emotions in play.
If any of the parties are unable to move forward, their book can become irretrievably stuck on the wrong page. Sometimes, these transitions are of people who have dictated each page of our book; their loss means that no one is telling us what to do next. Or, the transition comes with rebellion; one becomes resentful of their ghostwriter, but have no idea on how to change course.
Making decisions out of fear or loss often leads to regrettable outcomes. This is why people are often counseled to not make any major decisions, especially financial ones, until a significant amount of time has passed from a transition event.
So what does being one’s own author have to do with financial planning?
We can create our future, not just adjust to it.
What many have never been exposed to is the probability of creating the life they dream of, one that recognizes these chapter starts and stops, and forges a meaningful path to navigate them. It actually is, surprisingly, not nearly as hard as you might think.
Divorce happens. What if ... instead of living with disgust and loathing toward your ex, you can see it as a fresh start?
Your last child leaving the nest will happen. What if ... instead of feeling that your identity as a mother or father is lost, that you are able to be growing right alongside your son or daughter?
Layoffs happen. Even to the best of workers. What if ... you had a plan that would allow you to open up your own business?
Your job is stifling. You hate being a doctor or an attorney or a corporate executive, but you know how proud your Mom is talking about your success. Your parents may have also paid for your education so that you didn’t have student loan debt. To turn your back on a lucrative career may be perceived as turning your back on their love. You want to become an artist, but your mortgage lender has to be paid, your children have to go to the best schools and how will you give your princess the wedding of her dreams? What if ... instead of slowly dying a little inside every day, you could walk away with complete confidence?
If you live long enough, you will need someone to care for you. What if ... instead of feeling like a burden to your children or feeling pressure to leave your home, you had a plan that gave you control and independence until your last breath?
What if …
the chapter that is starting can be BETTER
than the chapter that is closing?
This is absolutely possible. But, this, too, is a choice.
Are you going to be reactive? Do you wait until you have to hire expensive attorneys to argue over who gets the pots and pans? Until you are on depression medication or have developed a poor coping mechanisms like alcoholism and gambling? Do you take your frustrations and fears out on your family ... perhaps starting one of those dark chapters that you’d prefer to avoid? Are you living a life of regret?
- or -
Are you going to be proactive? Do you truly create your dream life? Do you put plans in play today that you can access, both emotionally and economically, at the appropriate time? Do you continually look forward to each new day for all the blessings it can bring and hold gratitude for each day that has already passed? Are you living a life of joy and abundance?
We conquer our fears by moving toward them. Not running away from them.
Evozen is the Evolution of Zen, a desirable state of mind where you feel peaceful and relaxed.
Our proprietary Plan (D)ream financial planning platform identifies everything you would find in a traditional financial plan. But, uniquely, we also integrate 26 key areas that many advisors routinely omit, many of which are fully capable of derailing your ideal life. By taking this expansive and proactive approach to your financial picture, you are able to discern the best-seller that exists in every one of us.
The page is turning. The choice is yours.
To learn more about Evozen Wealth, visit us at www.evozen.com.