Bigger Picture

The Important Things

Over the weekend my wife finally gave me the ok to share the news of her pregnancy on social media; it seems kind of silly for a grown man to be so excited to post to social media, but I was stoked to share with friends and family that we’d be welcoming our third child later this fall.

As I began to share my posts, a tweet came across my feed that really hurt–stopped me in my tracks. It was a tweet about the passing of Brody Stephens.  If you are a local reader, you know Brody’s story, and if you are an basketball fan you may have seen the story ABC did about him prior to a Warrriors game–he was a diehard Golden State fan.  For readers not familiar with his story, Brody was a courageous 8 year old boy who battled and beat leukemia not once, but twice. His first battle was as a baby, and the second began in 2015.  The Indy Star wrote a great piece about this him, which you can read it here.

Unfortunately, these stories are too common.

But, Brody’s story hit me harder than normal. It might have been because Brody was just a little older than my oldest, Roman. It could have been his love for basketball, also Roman’s first love. It could have been his favorite NBA player was Steph Curry, also Roman’s favorite NBA player. Whatever it was, for a split second I lost my normal optimism and thought, “that could have been Roman”; as I write this, I still tear up. There I was, about to share with the world that my family will be welcoming another child later this year, and Brody’s family was coping with losing him. Ugh.

I regrouped and immediately focused on the blessings of good health that my family has experienced. I said a short prayer for Brody’s family and thanked God for the health of mine.

As the day went on, I continue to think about Brody and then my family. I thought about the important things in my life, along with all of the distractions of life that divert my attention away from those things and people. For me, the most important thing is my family and experiencing life with them. It’s simple. I also thought about how fortunate I am to have the flexibility in life to attend all of the boys’ games, school activities, field trips and be present with my family. Yet, I still fall victim to distractions that keep me from spending more time and creating more memories with my family.

Life presents us with endless distractions, and most of these distractions are out of our control. The valuable time we spend worrying about these distractions is wasted–the outcome is out of our hands, and we cannot affect the outcome. Yet, we continue to remain distracted.

I know this is a blog for financial planning and investments, and I have yet to talk about money–and I won’t. There will be plenty of posts about investments, the markets, financial planning, etc; I have a couple of drafts in the works already. Today is about refocusing on the important things in your life, and coming up with a plan to be able to allocate more of your time and energy on those people and things.

What and who makes you the most happiest?

Need some help, walk through these few steps:

  1. Write down the people and/or 2-3 activities that make you the happiest.
    • Be specific and keep the numbers low–the MOST important things in your life.
  2. Do you spend enough time with, or doing these activities?
    • Be honest.
  3. If not, make a list of the distractions keeping you from them.
  4. Develop a plan to change #3.
    • Be prepared to make sacrifices–it will be worth it.

Now that you have your list and plan, make sure your time and energy are centered around the people and things on your list. The distractions will take care of themselves, and you’ll probably come to find out that most of them weren’t worth your energy.

I’ll share my list with you:

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If you need more motivation check out some of these posts:

Carl Richards: The Behavior Gap-Spend the Money

Carl Richards: The Behavior Gap- Regret Less, Act On Your Wish Lists Now

Ben Carlson: A Wealth of Common Sense-Some Lessons For Living From Older Generations

Disclaimer: Nothing on this blog should be considered advice, or recommendations. If you have questions pertaining your individual situation you should consult your financial advisor. For all of the disclaimers, please see my disclaimers page.