Money Trailguide, No. 14

Ah, the Pumpkin Spice Latte…I’m not sure any drink has garnered more love or hate.  And everyone seems to pick one of those two.  Regardless of your preference for your steamed milk and coffee, it’s arrival hearkens to the upcoming change in season, which happens to be my favorite season of the year.  It is not here yet, but it’s coming.

What is also coming is a new podcast I will be launching in the coming weeks called On Adventure.  I will be exploring how people use adventure in their life to push to the edge of what is possible, and I want to know what truth and beauty they discover there about themself and humanity in general.  These will be people who planned their life on purpose and are very clear about their first principles…those things that matter more than anything else.  I am excited to share it with you, so be on the lookout.

See you soon…

Included in this months newsletter is:

  • Quick hits…What I’m Reading
  • Aid to Ukraine
  • Finding Purpose in the Everyday

Happy Trails,

Joshua E. Self, CLU, ChFC, CFP®
Managing Partner

Quick Hits…What I’m Reading

  • A Runners High – Dean Karnazes…This guys exploits are legendary.  Just google him…you won’t believe some of the things he has accomplished with his feet.  Favorite quote from this book: ‘Friendships forged with footsteps are the best.’

Helping in Ukraine

Ukraine and Russia have been a topic of discussion with many clients for much of 2022.  While many of those conversations have been around how it will effect the global markets, it is right for us to consider how we may have an effect in Ukraine.  With the conflict seemingly worlds away from our everyday, it is easy to forget that there is still suffering and loss occurring each day in this war.  I wanted to take a moment to point out a couple ways that you can support efforts that are already occurring on the ground in Ukraine.

  • National Christian Foundation – a list of 10 charities with links to their websites for researching donations.  If you have a NCF Donor Advised Fund, you can gift directly from the fund.  Otherwise, click on any of the charities to find their websites for direct donations.

Note: I encourage you to do your own research of these charities. Included on the list are some large, international charities that would likely know exactly what to do with a large–size gift. But the list also includes smaller, local charities which might have a smaller goal that your grant can help them meet. Also, I suggest that you designate that your grant is for Ukraine. Some of these organizations are working in locations all over the world so a general donation may or may not get to Ukraine.

Finding Purpose in the Everyday

What is your money for?  The only value of money is in its use, so it matters infinitely more how you use your money than it does how much money you have.

That’s maybe the most important question that our planning process helps people to answer. If the purpose of life was just to make more money, then no one would ever stop working. The best uses of our time and our money lead us to more meaningful experiences that help us to grow as individuals, connect to our loved ones, and make a positive impact on the world around us.

If the hustle and bustle of life and work have come between you and your sense of purpose, try this three-step process to get back in touch with what matters the most.

Reflect on your purpose

Perhaps the biggest obstacle between ourselves and our sense of purpose is finding time to reflect. Schedule a block of time to simply sit, relax, and think about where you are in your life right now. You might try meditating, journaling, or even light exercise as a way to tune out the rest of the world and clear your head. Silence the voices to hear your soul speak to what truly matters.

First Principles…can you name your top 2 or 3 values?  You cannot live on purpose without being extremely clear on how you answer this question.  So much of our identity is wrapped up in what we do for a living that it’s important to think beyond how we earn money. Think about the people who are most important to you and how you work on those relationships. Think about the interests you had when you were younger, the courses you took, and how those things led you towards your career or away from another line of work. Envision a week when you didn’t have to work at all and think about how you would spend your time.

After working through these questions, you might find that you’re already more connected to your life’s purpose than you realized. Or you might identify potential changes that you want to spend more time thinking about, such as building more self-care into your weekly routine, taking online classes to learn a new skill, or even contemplating a new career.

Focus on the little things

Very few people get to spend every second of their day doing exactly what they love to do. The trick to getting through the inevitable drudgery is to cherish those moments when you are putting your talents to their most meaningful uses.

For example, the pandemic era has been particularly stressful on medical professionals. Doctors and nurses have had to contend with challenging work conditions, grumpy patients, staff shortages, and delivering the worst imaginable news. But they’ve also deepened their bonds with coworkers, exercised all their skills and knowledge, learned new things, and helped countless people through serious illnesses.

Every job has those moments of purpose that we should all spend more time focusing on. No matter what you do, there’s an end customer whose life you’re making better, a co-worker you’re teaching or learning from, a problem that you’re able to solve, or a family member who benefits from the fruits of your labor.

Take more purposeful actions

If your workday is so full that you can’t build more purpose into it, you might need to be more mindful about how you spend your time outside of work. Volunteer at a school or charitable organization. Teach or mentor the next generation of professionals in your field. Wake up an hour earlier so that you can devote some extra time to your exercise goals or hobbies. Invest in more purposeful relationships by leaving work at work and focusing your free time on friends and family.

Or, if your current job just isn’t improving your Return on Life, start working on a plan that will help you make a smooth transition into your next act, Career 2.0 or 3.0. We want your Life-Centered Financial Plan to connect your life, work, and money in a purposeful way.

Ridgeline Wealth Advisors, LLC (“RWA”) is a state registered investment adviser located in Raleigh, NC. RWA is registered in the state of North Carolina and in compliance with the current registration requirements of the states in which RWA maintains clients. RWA may only transact business in those states in which it is registered, or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from registration requirements.