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Monday Morning From New Hampshire August 4, 2008

Posted by shaferfinancial in Uncategorized.
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Thought I would take a break from the intensity of the last couple weeks of posts to talk in general about building your own life.  Just like I won’t tell you how to invest your own money, I also can’t tell you what is important to you in your life or how you would want your life to go.  For me, I enjoy the summers and ski season here in New Hampshire, while enjoying the fall through spring in Florida.  Just a few minutes ago I had a conversation with my son on something that was important to him and then had a conversation with a business partner about a deal that is going down with us.  This ability to be active in my son’s life as well as being an active investor is also important to me.  So I have designed my life to be able to accomplish all this. 

The second thing I have folks do in the Shafer Wealth Academy is to build a vision board that encompasses how they want to live their life.  You would be surprised how hard this is for most folks.  Do you want to continue to work in your field?  For the same company?  Own your own business? Live in the same place?  Live in multiple places?  Travel? etc.?  The truth is most people never assume any of this is possible.  Well, it is.  One job the media accomplishes is to fill people with fear.  Whether it is having your kid kidnapped, being the victim of fraud, losing your home, losing your money, the media tells you to be concerned/aware of the risks.  The truth is all this fear sells, if demands of folks to watch, to be aware of the risks.

The media tries to tell us that it is in the business of a public service to warn folks about risks.  The underlying assumption is that you can protect yourself against all risk.  The truth is the opposite.  You can’t protect yourself against bad things happening to you.  All you can really do is to look at the evidence of what works and what doesn’t and move on from there.

What I am saying is that since there is always risk in living, why shouldn’t you design your life the way you want to live it?  Why should you live how your boss, your teachers, Wall Street, Big Business, the media, tell you to?  I know there is comfort in the herd, but think about what is lost by adhering to the herd’s standards. 

When I was in graduate school, I had a professor tell me that I would not become a college professor, because “it was to hard” and “not worth it anymore.”  I was mad at him for a time being.  But even then I realized he was the wisest of my professors.  He was very good at sizing up people and also a stickler for adhering to reality.  I was among his last student before retirement.  He turned out to be right.  And even more important was that he instilled in me the importance of discerning what reality is really like, and using that as a basis for making decisions.  He was a mathematician by trade (PhD U Cal Berkeley) and a sociologist by inclination.  I often think about what I gained from my graduate school experience, and often I realize it was his perspective that has served me the best.

This is what I try to bring to my students at the Shafer Wealth Academy; to discern what the reality of their lives really is.  Then to look at what they really want their lives to be like.  We then bridge that gap as best as we can, as fast as we can.  But we always use evidence as our guide.  I believe as human beings, that is all we can do.

Gotta go, my son is melting down as 6 year old’s do sometimes! Sometimes I gotta remember I asked for this life :-).

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