I began writing my weekly thoughts to you last Easter, nearly one year ago. My initial purpose was to share information, be a resource if you will, to help us all not feel isolated. My purpose quickly morphed into three tenets that I still try to achieve: Can I provide something that is helpful? Can I find something interesting to share? And at the very least, can I make it entertaining? I’ve been asked on more than one occasion, “Why do you write that stuff? Why don’t you send out stuff on the markets?” Honestly, you can get “stuff on the markets” nearly anyplace you want. That being said, we are going to begin providing (compliance approved, of course) investment related material very soon. We’re still trying to determine the best way to implement that process. When I sit down to write to you for the time being though, I want to write about things in our lives, and get the focus off of investments. To me, living a better life is not dependent on the investment markets. We have some control over how we live our lives; we don’t have the same control over the markets.
How can we go about living a better, or more appropriately, a more purposeful life? First, you have to determine what that looks like and means to you personally. We are all different after all. To start, I’d suggest looking at what is most valuable to you. Once you know your own values, and have them clearly defined, you can take steps to live those values daily. I’ve provided this tool previously, but I’ll include it again: https://www.think2perform.com/
Another way to help live a purposeful life, to steal a phrase from Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, is to “keep the end in mind”. Simply put: what outcome do you want to achieve? Here are two women who were great examples of living a purposeful life.
“Boy, you can’t die with me.” Those weren’t the last words my grandmother said to me, but they were part of the last conversations I remember having with her in October, 2006 (yes, she called me “Boy”, she also referred to my wife as “Girl”). Grandma Rosemary was dying. She knew it, and she actually called it. She was ready to meet God. We know this because she actually said those words. I, on the other hand, was not ready for her to meet God just yet. I was also scheduled to leave the country within the week on a military trip to Germany. As I talked about taking myself off of the trip, Grandma called me to her bedside. She told me, in very clear terms, that I would NOT ask to be relieved from my duties. That’s when she said, “I am dying; that is my job now. Boy, you can’t die with me. Your job is to still live.” Even to the end, that woman had a purposeful drive and mind.
Seven years later I shared that story with my two younger brothers when we were at the hospice facility when our Grandfather passed away. A short six months later they re-iterated those words to me as we said our final good byes to our Dad. Rachel heard this story this week, and had the opportunity to share her love with her grandmother one more time. I also shared it with Sydney this past Wednesday as she sat on my lap. We had just hung up the phone with her grandparents, and she had just told her grandmother, “I love you!” A few hours later my mother in-law, Connie Link, passed away.
Unlike my Grandmother, Connie’s mind was no longer sharp. It had been failing her for a few years. She did, however, still live purposefully. She and her husband, Dave, had a goal to live in the mountains of Colorado. The saved feverishly throughout their working years and were able to live in those mountains for the past 24 years. One can say that they did “keep the end in mind” and planned accordingly.
Please remember that we are “here” and available for you as well. If you have any questions or concerns, financial or otherwise, please do not hesitate to call or email. If you have friends, family, or neighbors you feel would benefit from a conversation with me, I’m more than happy to have a call or jump on a Zoom meeting with them.
As always, I hope that you are doing well, and staying safe & healthy!