Embrace change and focus on the big picture
Reminder: The Bermuda Islander Financial Planning Primer Book One: The Dawn of New Beginnings – Your Personal Back-2-Basics Financial Review to Dramatically Improve Your Lifestyle is being published weekly Step by Step – 1-18 with accompanying podcasts.
Last week, January 23, 2021, we reviewed the first three of The Five Individual Identity Financial Health Components.
1. Valuing yourself
2. Becoming a brand
3. Setting goals
Today, we focus on
4. Embracing change
5. Focusing on the big picture while assessing where you stand with your finances.
So what does it mean to be “financially healthy”?
Succinctly, individual identity attributes are in harmony with one’s relationships in work, family, relatives, partners, community and your money.
In other words, individuals needed to understand that “you have to take care of yourself first”. Bringing your personal relationship to money into equilibrium means better equalisation of harmony in your life.
Change is a constant, both inner personal challenges and outer circumstantial changes.
Change is hard. Inner change means overcoming entrenched personal habits, particularly how one values oneself (or not).
Outer change is often totally unexpected, literally forced upon you. This type of change can be a heavy blow to psyche and finances; regrettably, the devastation of Covid-19 needs no further explanation.
On any personal level, there are thousands of poignant examples of individuals who have overcome negative, insidious labels placed on their personal self-worth; labels that if absorbed and believed as true, greatly impact how an individual’s opportunities manages their self-esteem and their finances for a successful life.
For a young person, it takes incredible determination, faith in oneself, the willingness to change how people think of you, to overcome that mantle of being classified – where it so often starts – growing up, in school as “lazy, fat, stupid, moronic, incompetent, aggressive, disruptive”.
All names dismissively classifying an intelligent individual who could not learn conventionally. While most of these labels no longer exist in decent people’s current vernacular, they are still abhorrently employed as denigration tactics in political and power circles.
Contemporary, proactive education counselling professionals are highly skilled today to work with and build confidence in children – helping them navigate the mysteries of reading, writing and communication that are so taken for granted by the rest of us.
Such help was scarce, expensive and the need not well-understood many years ago.
Years ago, when working with some older individuals seeking financial advice, it was an amazed realisation that these were successful business individuals, both men and women, who could not read!
Yet, though highly dyslexic, they had managed to thrive professionally and personally.
Imagine how determined to change and adapt one has to be to memorise everything, or to place one’s trust in other individuals to access the right pertinent information?
Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Atlantic is dyslexic. See him sharing encouragement with young dyslexic students at https://tinyurl.com/y5fsj8st
On a basic community level, abrupt change – even terrible, tragic losses to the human spirit – can provide positive incentive and support for us all:
• To take better care of ourselves and our families
• To plan better as best we can for contingencies
• To avoid complacency (and placate guilt if not impacted) by reaching out empathetically to those seriously affected who are just barely holding up under stressful circumstances.
According to Counselling Connection “life is a dynamic balance of negatives and positives, and focusing on the positive aspects of change can be the difference between growing under duress and thriving in any environment, or experiencing continuing stress and anxiety”.
Realise that no matter how much we hate getting out of our habitual comfort zone, change inevitably happens:
• We cannot control change, but we can anticipate change – very often there are far more impending signs, both positive and negative, than we realise.
• Be alert to your world around you, change can start in very subtle ways.
• Be willing to adapt. Determination and a positive attitude can provide coping mechanisms. Ignoring, denying or fighting change creates more stress than change itself.
• Don’t be afraid of failure.
• Look for opportunities outside the box to succeed.
The key is to accept change while devising plans to use it to your advantage including better management of your health and your finances.
Set your radar to be alert to the big picture: what is going on in local/global economic and related environments?
Our Bermuda economy had it so good for so long – back when. Jobs were so plentiful, could not even be filled by Bermudians. Quit a job, a new one the same day, even with benefits. Unemployment almost did not exist.
Always be alert. Watch, listen and read for signs of changes, first in your local job/consumer market.
What happens on the world stage, may trickle down far faster than anticipated to local economies.
Look for disruptions of the normal, new ways of conducting business, politics, money, investments, changes in other areas such as digital technology and currency, consumer spending patterns, travel industry news, re/insurance, internet-based fluctuations, and the like, in locally, near neighbours’ geographical activity, internationally, and globally.
Don’t make cost a deterrent; multiple news media sites do have free sections without paywalls. Libraries offer media access as well.
At a minimum, you should be reading, watching or listening to any of the following:
• OECD – Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
• Bloomberg USA
• The Guardian UK
• The Financial Times UK
• The Globe and Mail Canada
• Bermuda: Re + ILS – The best source for carefully curated Bermuda #reinsurance news and analysis.
Next week: Part 3, the final part: achieving financial health is to know exactly where you are in your personal financial management. We review a financial checklist to help keep your finances in equilibrium.
The Bermuda Islander Financial Planning Primer Book One: Dawn – features Step Three Embracing Change – download or read for free. https://www.royalgazette.com/bermuda-islander/
Positive aspects of change, https://tinyurl.com/y26xxn8t
Changing Habits, https://tinyurl.com/y2x6jkqr
• Martha Harris Myron, CPA JSM, a native Bermudian, is an author, international financial consultant to the Olderhood Group Bermuda, and financial columnist to The Royal Gazette, Bermuda. All Proceeds from these articles are donated to the Salvation Army, Bermuda