Friday, June 8, 2012

34) Surrogates and Avatars

eplacements and representations.  Who's really on the inside?

Can you make a list of your values?  Have you thought about morality?  Honor?  Integrity?  Loyalty?  Commitment?  Heroism?  Courtesy?  Friendliness?

            Have you experienced really, really low lows, where you came to the fork in the road that separated suicide from salvation?  Have you bravely made a conscious choice to live?

            Have you ever experienced highs so high that you scared yourself, and when you regained your wits, you surrendered to, and celebrated it?  Was it actually everything you thought it could be - the best experience or time of your life?

            Spirit is the third side of the Body-Mind, Spirit triangle.  Some believe it is eternal, or segues to the next part of your existence.  It can be the most important, if not magical part of your life.

            Everything else is left behind; you can't take it with you, unless it's a part of your deeper core values.  Maybe taking it with you is what causes karma.

            Visit with a full-fledged Financial Planner, and discover, or rediscover yourself!  Organizing your physical and mental life frees you to explore your spiritual and emotional lives.

            Isn't that more valuable?  Isn't that a better definition of wealth management?


Friday, June 1, 2012

33) Navigating the Current

'm a retired Aquatics Director; a 30 year veteran of a wide range of aquatic specialties, and non-aquatic cross training in the YMCA System.  The Y had everything; it was a microcosm of the world.

            Every spring that I could, I went off to NE Region YMCA Aquatic School at Springfield College in Massachusetts.  They're affiliated with the YMCAs (the Mind, Body, Spirit triangle is imbedded in their sidewalks).  They have the Art Linkletter natatorium with a 20-foot diving well including an underwater window.  There are movable bulkheads to change the length of the pool.

            The 10-meter platform was removed years ago for safety reasons, but we had used it to have blindfolded Special Populations Instructor Specialist candidates jump off, in order to create a feeling of empathy.

            Compared to most NYC pools, it was amazingly big and diverse.  There was even a rumor that their filtration system used bromine, rather than chlorine.  This would have been a rarity, but have accounted for the blue hew, rather than green with the smell of chloramines.

            We'd work hard and play hard for the better part of a week, and return home certified, exhausted, and ecstatic.

            I would probably be there right now since it's held in early June.

            But I digress.

            What I am telling you is that you should never swim alone, and you can't swim against the current.

            If you are trapped in a current or a rip tide, you swim across it, or with it.  You don't want to panic; you must keep your wits, and be mindful of slowing heading for shore.

            When you're steering a canoe or an upside-down kayak, in rapids, or hit a hurricane while onboard an ocean-going vessel, you don't throw the ship away.  The same with a life plan, a career plan, a financial plan or an investment plan.

You stick with the ship, and decide how, or if, to alter your plan.  You can’t control the water or the weather.  The storm will pass.

            The going gets rough, but you have a vessel, a destination, a chart & map, and a will to survive.

            You must be committed, and patient to ride out the storm, but it will pass.  At times, you may feel sick, tired, cold, and wet; but you must remain diligent and flexible, and on guard, trusting yourself and/or your captain.

            If you like the sea, but don't want to be the captain, you can hire one, leaving the day-to-operations to professionals; if you swim, you can go with a ‘buddy’ or swim where there’s a lifeguard.

            Since there are no guarantees in life (albeit Ben Franklin quipped, "except death and taxes"), it helps to learn what it is about yourself that you can always count on (e.g. knowing how to react in an emergency, body alarms).  It’s also helpful to make certain important, foreseeable decisions in advance (e.g. if a deer walks onto the highway, I am not going to severely swerve to avoid hitting it since I may run into a tree).

            I recommend you consciously learn & state these things.  Then forget about them, and know that they are a part of you, you can count on forever.  This way, you won't have to think about them anymore; instead, you can devote your time to new work, endeavors, inquiries, studies, and skills, and unburden your brain.

            You can live/survive/thrive better, especially when faced with potential threats.

            If you can identify threats, you can also practice preparedness, and devise responses.  This an Emergency Plan, and it’s a strength plan.

            This is part of a larger SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats).

            SWOT analyses work in almost all situations, and are a logical way to prioritize, and strategically plan.

            If you have a life plan, a career plan, a financial plan, an investment plan, a college plan, a parent's long-term care plan, or an estate plan, you know that you've set goals, maybe outlined or identified time-lines, and that you need to monitor and manage the plan.  Simple systems help; KISS (Keep it Super Simple - a more positive interpretation of the acronym).

            If you don't have goals and plans, you're either happy with your life/luck/karma/attitude/etc., or you may wish to consider setting some, either to help attain goals, or at least, feel better for having tried.

            You may not be able to swim against the current, and you may feel like a cork on a fast-flowing river, just bouncing around out of control, but you can learn to guide a raft down rapids, avoid big rocks & waterfalls, and steer to a bank (no pun intended).  These aren't just financial skills, they're life skills

            Do you swim?