A Gateway out of Anxiety. Recently, I read Unwinding Anxiety by Dr. Judson Brewer, and it brought to mind that, for many, the pandemic has either created new and/or exacerbated existing anxieties. Brewer posits that practicing mindfulness and remaining more centered in the present is a main gateway out of anxiety.
Thinking of this in terms of a continuum, if more time in the present is the midpoint, then it behooves us to understand how much time and energy we are spending on either side of that - in the past and future - and, importantly, to what end.
Healthy Reflection. In life, reflecting on the past can provide opportunities for learning and add to our perspective in positive ways. As advisors, gaining insight into how a client’s wealth was created and their historical relationship with money can be a catalyst in identifying and confirming values that contribute to informing our work together. A less positive aspect of dwelling in the past is inferred by Lily Tomlin’s quote, “Forgiveness is giving up all hope for a better past.”
Future-Focus. Likewise, much of the work with clients is future-focused, such as assessing multiple paths toward achieving each client’s individual definition of success. Of course, preparedness is prudent. It is empowering for clients to corral all the “what ifs,” to understand them in terms of realistic probabilities and how they are positioned to achieve their goals.
Conversely, lack of a cohesive plan can breed a mindset of worry and overplanning for the future, potentially missing out on opportunities for realizing success today – leading a full, joyful, and enriched life now.
Filtering for a Balanced Plan. Combinations of continuums act as part of a filtering system that, when also viewed in the context of values, contribute to thoughtful and informed decision-making. If/Then considerations at times result in willing tradeoffs when well informed and, more often, scenarios can offer Both/And solutions.
From a financial standpoint, an in-depth, fully integrated investment and wealth management approach is one of the most effective ways to ensure the best possible outcomes – balancing present and future – with far less anxiety now and along the way.