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Look For Joy

I want to start off by addressing the obvious. Writing is hard right now. Creativity has been difficult for people across the spectrum of my profession, as we are seeing the same things everyone else is seeing - infections, job loss, and confinement. These things have their effect on our lives. That said, much like joy, creativity is something that you can latch onto in these difficult times as a reminder that removing one’s freedom of movement does not remove their freedom of expression.

Creativity and joy have a lot in common as it turns out. Both are things that have an aspect of intentional action and an aspect of emotion. Both are rare right now, but both are very much needed. So let me tell you some stories about joy from this week.

This week a client of mine asked permission to do something that was a part of his ideal life. He’s been seeking a dream car for a while and every time he talks about it, his smile gets a little bigger. This week he told me he found it. The Porsche 996 C4S that he wants is available.

Clients don’t come to me just because they want to be financially successful. They come to me because they feel a misalignment between their current actions and the life they want to be living. For this client, he was now living in alignment with where he hoped to see his life go, and it shone through him in pure joy. I told him he could have the car whenever he was ready to buy it. The light got even brighter. Then we began to figure out the details. Following the conversation, he was so excited that he emailed me pictures of the car! Which I loved, because I love cars and I love seeing my clients happy.

This week a separate client of mine came back to me with a simple statement. “I’m retiring at the end of July. Or at least, that’s my plan.” We sat down for the first time in a while with the intention of actually figuring out what was possible. It turns out, we’d made an accidentally amazing thing happen. His portfolio, last year composed largely of his employer’s stock, was diversified at the end of the year last year. It was barely down as of yesterday, which is amazing given market conditions. Better yet, we’d created an intentional cash reserve for when he decided he was ready to retire. He wouldn’t have to blow up his portfolio to step away from work.

The relief and joy that washed over my client’s face was heartwarming. This was the moment he’d been hoping for since we started working together. He could step away whenever he was ready, like at the end of July. Now we’re just going to work on the finer details of his retirement, such as which health insurance he’ll be taking. The money is all there, and so is the excitement.

This entire post may seem like a humble brag. “I’m so great, I help my clients do amazing things!” I do help my clients do amazing things, but it’s because they’re great. Not me. I simply wanted to take a moment amidst all of this chaos and change to highlight that amazing things are still happening every day. Life has changed, but it is not all doom and gloom.

Hopefully this post encourages you to seek out your ideal life. Look for joy. We’re all craving those highlights right now, and I’m sure if you shared yours, they would be celebrated.

If you aren’t experiencing highlights, let this be a turning point for you. Seek the personal or professional help you need. Make a plan for how to get those moments filled with joy. And if you don’t know how to make a plan, my colleagues and I are here to help.

Finally, I wish you all the best during these tough times. Stay safe and healthy.

Tags: Life Planning, Financial Life Planning, Ian Bloom