Alexander Financial Planning


It's NOT
All About The Numbers


We've found that it is not just the numbers that drive planning...
so here are some thoughts
we would like to share
that may help you on your financial journey.


Pursuing Meaning in our Lives

April 15, 2021

Nothing has been more of a wake-up call for many than the collective and individual experiences many have endured over this last year. As a Certified Financial Planner®, I have had countless conversations with our clients over this last year who have lost loved ones, experienced or cared for someone with Covid-19, lost a business or a job, been terribly isolated and depressed, worked non-stop to keep up with demands, toiled with death daily, or yearned to be with friends and family. David Kessler, a writer, a speaker, and blogger, has written a new book entitled, Finding Meaning as We Grieve a Year of Loss. He says, “Everyone has lost something this year: The world we knew, the rituals we used to have, the events that got postponed, a loved one who died.” He goes on to say that many may not understand the heaviness they are feeling, the sadness, or that the anger they are feeling is grief. He continues with, “We have to find meaning in what we lost. The meaning is in us and what we do after.” As we have begun to see the rollout of the vaccines, we are also beginning to see people re-emerge, unfreeze and restart their lives.

Now, many are re-evaluating their life choices. In order to connect new dots or to make sense of the old dots, there is a lot of self-reflection going on in our heads right now. Which path is the right path going forward? Should you re-energize your dormant routine, make some seismic shifts in your life or something in between? Many believe they have been given a gift in this pause; a time for added inward reflection. What do we do with these thoughts? It so often begins with a conversation and we are having these with our clients today.

Over the years, and this time is no different, we have learned the importance of verbalizing, visualizing and committing these conversations to writing. Visualize what this shift in thinking might look like first. How does that make you feel? What are the ramifications or the benefits? Does it align more with your values and what you hold important in your life. What do you value and why? Author, David Allen addresses this in his book Getting Things Done. He wrote, “We know that the focus we hold in our minds affects what we perceive and how we perform.” He further explained that when individuals focus on something they identify as being important to them, that focus will begin to generate ideas and thought patterns they would not have had otherwise. He also emphasized that “even your physiology will respond to an image in your head as if it were reality.” The better you can dial in what is truly most important to you, the easier it will be to “paint a mental picture” that is both motivating and inspiring.

This part of the goal-setting process may take on a deeper meaning than it had before, a sense of mission that might not have been there pre-pandemic. We have all needed a reason to get up in the morning over this last year, a purpose to keep us going and to bounce back from setbacks. Having a sense of mission adds depth and a special essence to life—the value of which is beyond measure. In Mastering the Art of Self-Renewal, Frederic M. Hudson wrote: “When you have a dream and a plan working together in the construction of a life chapter, you have a “mission,” a circumscribed purpose that defines your use of time and space for the duration of this particular life chapter. People with a mission know where they want to go.” You may be very clear on some of the changes you are envisioning and others may seem conceptually difficult to wrap your head around. The more you can talk these out and write them down, the clearer some of these ideas may become. It is a process. You need a safe space to allow yourself the time to do just this. The result will be a clearer set of guidelines to incorporate into your personal financial plan that address your concerns as well as your aspirations. Planning is always a moving, evolving target.

Many will be forever changed by this collective experience we have gone through. Life transitions are that opportunity to ask the “what-if” questions and dare to make change happen in our lives. David Kessler said, “Loss is what happens in life. Meaning is what we make happen after loss.” To arrive at a place where you can put your plan into action is what we do. It takes more than the technical side of financial planning to connect the dots. It takes the behavioral or emotional side of planning to pursue your new found meaning of living your life with purpose.

This material is distributed by Alexander Financial Planning, Inc. (AFP) and it is for information purposes only. Although information has been obtained from sources we believe to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy. It is provided with the understanding that no fiduciary relationship exists because of this report. Opinions expressed in this report are not necessarily the opinions of AFP and they are subject to change without notice. AFP assumes no liability for the interpretation or use of this information. No portion of this writing should be construed as legal or accounting advice. All rights reserved.


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