A conversation between Money and Me
Me: I'm going to live my ideal life without financial concerns.
Money: Good luck with that.
Me: Mark my words, I will.
Money: You're dream'n, but go ahead and humor me with your how?
Me: Three ways.
Firstly by ensuring my ideal life is built on my choices being aligned to my values. And this to be occurring in all areas of my life financially, relationships, career, spiritually and health.
Secondly by ensuring I best manage what I can control.
Thirdly by protecting my capital against emotional choices I may make due to negative events occuring outside of my control. Mindful that these events also present opportunities in such financial storms.
Money: I will fight you every step of the way and in every area of you life!
Me: I too will fight for what I value and what’s important to me. Beyond this money is a distraction to me from living my life in the moment.
Money: Game On!
Me: Game On!
Later in life…
They say “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and this saying is just as true for me and the building of my ideal life.
To date it has taken me twenty years of ongoing planning, education, perseverance, setbacks, extra funding, rebuilds, risks and much more, however by all accounts it’s done.
The match winner.
"Insanity: is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results". Albert Einstein.
So too my path of living an ideal life with no financial concerns has required me to do things very differently than I had done before i.e. expanding my financial planning business to include Cairns (Far North Queensland) and relocating up here on a semi-permanent basis.
Not only has this change allowed me to better prioritize. Today I am better placed to participate in more of the things truly important to me, whilst also being no place else whist doing them i.e. without distractions.
This clarity has also enriched the experience for myself and those who I am with. As I more fully appreciate that money is only significant to the extent that it allows you to enjoy what is important to you. And not worrying about your finances is critical to having a life that excites you, nurtures those we love and fulfills our highest aspirations.
This was a big “Ah Ha!” moment for me. Especially as a financial adviser when you're are told (and buy into the belief) that a financial advisers value is solely based on the amount of money you make for clients, more than helping them to become happier people.
This combination of my “Ah Ha” moment, along with the accumulated knowledge and experiences I'd leant on my own ideal life financial journey continues to shape me as the advisor I am today.
In fact they have become the bedrock of my passion and purpose. This is to support, help and hold accountable all who are willing to do the work required to live their ideal life, without financial concern.
They say success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Living your ideal life without financial concern requires even more than this. It requires you to enjoy your success too.
Here are some tips I apply to my own life:
About Peter Horsfield
Peter Horsfield in an Authorised Representative and Investsure Holdings Pty Ltd ABN 16 050 286 630 as trustee for Horsfield Family Trust ABN 55 609 068 513 is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Infocus Securities Australia Pty Ltd ABN 47 097 797 049 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence No. 236523.
Tropical Beach? Check
Chilled fresh coconut? Check
Island tunes? Check
What does your ideal life look like? What are you doing? Who are you with? Where are you? How are you feeling?
A short time ago I was my own worst boss.
You know the one who is constantly on your back, 24/7 watching you, criticizing you and measuring you. The type of boss that nothing is ever good enough for and when it is; well that's to be expected. Now get back to work!
I was once told to achieve and move forward “the pain of moving forward must be less than the pain of standing still”.
The message I heard was “always be in pain”. I talked this way to myself for over a decade.
Regularly I would wake at 2 am in a cold sweat, fearing about business, my clients, bills, staff, expetations, procedures and more. I worried a lot and all the time. I put on weight, I lost weight, lost interest in everything and became excruciatingly cynical.
Then I chose stand up to myself and my inner bully boss saying "No more! This is hurting me not helping me".
Life is more than money. Money is important but only to the extent that it allows us to enjoy what is important to us.
Where had it all gotten so wrong?
Looking back I remember embracing financial planning (seventeen years ago) because I got to learn about money, help others achieve what’s important to them, and doing so, I could also achieve what was important to me.
Today the same passion to learn, help and live an ideal life still burns within in me; however for a long time I was immensely unhappy because I had bought into the belief (promoted by the industry and media) that my only value was to make clients money and that this was more important than helping them achieve their goals and the things more important to them in life than money. i.e. living an ideal life without financial concern.
To move forward I had to revisit, reassess and document my own values. I had to reconsider my goals and personal milestones and benchmark once more where I was in relation to where I wanted to be. Just like I facilitate with my clients today.
The result? Happiness. Confidence. Peace. Certainty. Empowerment. Inspiration and Clarity.
It’s important to note that these results didn’t just happen simply because I had documented my values, goals and benchmarked them.
Achieving these results required my total commitment to a plan of action, accountability, implementation and activities across all areas of my life, including my relationships, health, spirit, career, finances and new experiences.
Surprising, even to me, when re-aligning my choices to my core values, long standing milestones quickly came within reach and others that I thought were important became less so.
Making choices aligned to my values has enabled me to make better decisions, in less time and with greater confidence. This has also lead me onto experiencing greater peace, enriched experiences, deeper relationships and much more.
Aligning choices to our values is simple but not easy.
Chosing to do so requires 100% commitment, honest conversations with ourselves and those important to us, turning off from low value distractions and patience, however when we begin and are on the path of mastery, the ultimate reward is not a gold medal but the path itself.
I was once told by a close friend that “When you’re going through hell, keep going!”
Today these words continue to encourage and motivate me when I struggle through times of difficulty; even while I’m living here in paradise.
Once a king called upon all of his wise men and asked them, “Is there a mantra which works in every situation, in every circumstance, in every place and in every time – in every joy, every sorrow, every defeat, and every victory – one answer for all questions? Something which can help me when none of you is able to advise me? Tell me, is there any mantra?”
All the wise men were puzzled by the King’s question. After a lengthy discussion, an old man suggested something which appealed to all of them. They went to the King and gave him a ring with words engraved into it, with a condition that the King was not to read it out of curiosity. Only if, in extreme danger, when the King finds himself alone and there seems to be no way out, only then he can read it. The King wore the ring without reading the engraving.
Sometime later, the neighbours attacked the kingdom. The King and his army fought bravely but lost the battle. The King fled on his horse and the enemies followed him. The King found himself standing at the mouth of a deep ditch. If he jumped into it, there would be no way out. The sound of the enemy horses were approaching fast and the King became restless. There was nowhere else to go.
The King remembered his ring and about the engraving. He decided to read the message.
“This, too, shall pass.”
The King read it again and again until something struck him. Yes! This, too, will pass. Only a few days ago, I was enjoying my kingdom; I was the mightiest of all the Kings. Yet today, the Kingdom and all its pleasures are gone. I am trying to flee from my enemies. But just as those days of luxuries have gone, this time of danger will pass, too.
Calm came over the King. He remained still and silent. The King looked around at the place where he was standing and realized how beautiful it was. He had never known that such a beautiful place existed in his Kingdom.
The revelation of the ring’s message had a great effect on him. He relaxed and forgot about his pursuing enemies. After a while, he realized that the noise of galloping horses had receded and that his enemies had lost him.
The King gathered himself and reorganized his shambled forces and fought again. He defeated the enemy and reclaimed his empire. When he returned to the city after the victory, he was received with much fanfare. The whole capital was rejoicing and everyone was in a festive mood. Flowers rained down upon the King from every house, from every terrace as he trotted by. People were dancing and singing. In this moment the King thought to himself, “I am one of the bravest and greatest Kings. It is not easy to defeat me.” In all of the celebration an ego emerged in the King.
Then a ray of sunlight caught the King’s ring and sharply flashed into his eye reminding him of its message, “This, too, shall pass.”
He lowered his gaze and his valiant expression changed to one of humility. He realized, again, that if this, too, is going to pass, it is not yours. The defeat was not yours. The victory was not yours. You are just a player. Everything passes by. We are witnesses of all of this. We are the beholders.
Character building, guts, a rite of passage and increase self-confidence maybe the dividend of overcoming our difficulties however, What if the choices we make are in fact compounding our trouble? What if we subconsciously attract troubles into our life so we have something to motivate, distract, or justify to ourselves? Worse still, what if we don’t even realise our choices are compounding our troubles?
It sounds cliché but in my experience I needed to hit rock bottom.
Worse still, when I thought I had reached rock bottom, something else would happen and it take me even lower. I even made conscious decisions to hurt myself further in my self-loathing state.
My cynical joke, “it’s always darkest before it all goes pitch black”. Obviously I was not having a healthy relationship with myself and this unhealthy relationship only compounded my troubles.
What was my circuit breaker?
I gave up, all of it, all of me. I accepted that I couldn’t help myself. I was broken and for me I needed to experience acceptance without judgement.
After long searching, fighting, hurting, questioning and sincere prayers I accepted a peace offering. I accepted Christ in my life and in doing so accepted peace with God. Why? Because while I might not like myself and others felt obliged and even happy to point out my flaws; along with everything “This too shall pass”.
Peace has given me the courage to reconsider my priorities and embrace new experiences. It has provided both clarity and minimised distractions, enriching far more of my life than I had first expected.
Here’s some Tips I apply in my own life:
Thank you, from me to you. Thank you for allowing me to share my truth and being part of this journey. My hope is that these words inspire you, comfort you and you find peace.
We meet again my old friend! It’s has been twenty eight years since we last greeted each other. I am here not to compete with you or anyone else, I’m here only to enjoy the experience and improve myself.
5.30am my toes gripping the ledge of the swimming pool as I roll forward and dive into the water.
These days my pool maybe surrounded by coconut palms, the water a comfortable twenty five degrees and the private competition pool less than fifty meters walk away from my home, however I still need to make a conscious decision to get in and swim!
Be it diving into a pool half asleep at 5.30am or wanting to achieve anything important to me in life. After committing myself I have always experienced an initial shock, then awareness and the reality of my decision followed by my acceptance and then simply getting on with the job or task at hand.
Regardless of how many books I read or courses I complete, for me success has required full immersion, simply doing the work and improving my technique and strengths along the way. Just like learning to swim; to become confident and competent required me to step out of my comfort zone and into the pool.
The danger is that success (earned or not) is highly euphoric as it releases natural dopamine’s within you. The quest for this natural high can become all-consuming if gone unchecked.
An even greater risk to us is when the expectations of success are not realised. Increasing our risk of depression and/or seeking external gratifications in order to self-validate. I have experienced both in and out of the pool.
Swimming has taught me a lot about myself and life. And while we love to test ourselves against others and everyone loves a winner; the real winner is the individual participant.
Why? Because simply committing and following through on our own personal expectations is self-empowering i.e. getting out of a warm comfortable bed and into a cold wet pool is character building.
Appreciating that while others may be more naturally gifted, have the newest equipment or simply be better, in most cases everyone can enjoy the experience of self-improvement i.e. learning to swim.
Doing the work is both meditative and a proven path for improvement. Most advances in life often happen after a long plateau.
And finally as with anything in life, to be your best you need to be committed and have committed people around you. Both those who love you and those you pay to help you improve. Accountability is the motivation to action.
Whatever you want to be, become, or achieve in life, at some point you are going to have to get in the pool. I encourage you to ask yourself, “If not now, then when?”
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