“Your values and what drives you, your passions, are congruent with how you live your life.”
This morning I was getting caught up on recent podcasts and I finally had a chance to listen to Josh Brown on Mindy Diamond’s, “Mindy Diamond On Independence: A Podcast For Financial Advisors Considering Change” and enjoyed every minute of it—I’m a sucker for anything involving JB.
There was a particular exchange between Mindy and Josh that stood out to me—it really resonated with me. Around minute 54:00, Josh was explaining how he enjoys everything his doing, including helping out other advisors. It was at this point Mindy brought up the concept of living a life of congruency; she explained Josh is fortunate that “your values and what drives you, your passions, are congruent with how you live your life.”
Let me say that again, your values and what drives you, your PASSIONS, are congruent with how you live your life.
Is Congruency In Your Life?
Unfortunately, not everyone has the opportunity to live a life of congruency. For many, life’s circumstances just don’t allow for it—and I will be the first to admit it isn’t fair and I don’t have the answers to fix it. I wish I did.
But, for others, a life of congruency may be closer than they realize.
One thing I’ve learned in nearly 15 years of working with individuals and their finances is many people don’t really know what they want. They haven’t defined their values. They haven’t found their passion, or they believe they cannot pursue their passions. Don’t get me wrong, people THINK they know what they want—but when pressed for details or “the why”, blank stares or “I’ve never really thought about it” are common responses. It’s our job as financial advisors to help our clients discover what is most important, what their values are, and why—it’s how we can help them build a financial plan that will bring financial congruency to their lives, which will hopefully spill over into other areas in their lives.
Given that most Americans do not have a financial advisor, or have never worked with one, it should come as no surprise that many individuals haven’t identified their values and passions to even try to align their lives with them.
A Simple Exercise
Regardless if you have a financial advisor, or not, here’s a simple exercise that will help you begin to identify your values and passions so you can evaluate your current situation—job, relationships, finances, etc. to see if you’re living a life of congruency. And if you’re not, then you can start to take action to find that congruency.
Get a piece of paper and write down the relationships that are most important in your life. Family, friends, colleagues, mentors, etc. Why are they so important in your life? Do you get to see them enough? What would make these relationships even more meaningful?
Next, if you had a billion dollars—money was no object—what would your next five years look like. I have to give credit to my friend Khe Hy for this question. He recently asked this question in a webinar with the Advisor Growth Community™ and it really made me think. I texted him an answer that I’ll keep private for now, but I recently answered this myself. Who would you be spending time with? What would you be doing? What would your days look like?
Next, what about your life today makes you happy? What would you not trade, even for the billion dollars in the question above?
Since this is just to get you started, I’ll give you one more question: what are the principles you hold higher than anything else? What are the personal qualities you are most proud of or wish you exhibited more? And on the flip side, what qualities do you want to improve upon or get rid of?
Random questions I know….and the answers themselves will not lead you to your life of congruency, but it will help you develop an image of what that life would look like. Once you have that image, you can then begin to develop the plan (a financial plan will most certainly be a part of it) to align your values, passions, finances, and the life you’re living.
Be sure to give Mindy and Josh’s conversation a listen—it was outstanding!
Disclaimer: Nothing on this blog should be considered advice, or recommendations. If you have questions pertaining to your individual situation you should consult your financial advisor. For all of the disclaimers, please see my disclaimers page