The past few months have given us all time to step back and reflect on our lives. The forced changes to our regular routines allowed us to see things from a different perspective. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I learned through this time and wanted to share some of my reflections.
Live in the present - I’m a natural planner in both my personal and professional life so this can be difficult for me. Whether I’m helping a client plan for their financial future or scheduling our family calendar and planning vacations, I’m constantly looking toward the future. When the pandemic hit, the future became much more uncertain and planning became much more difficult. This forced me to live more in the present and see the joy in every day, which is an important lesson.
You can’t control what happens but you CAN control how YOU respond - There are many things that are out of our control in times like these. Trying to change these things will not get you anywhere. This was one of the most important teachings of Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher. As he said, “You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”
Count your blessings - Throughout the past few months I have been very lucky to still be able to work (remotely) in a nice home and have a family that is close and healthy. Many people have not been so lucky and I have been spending a lot of time reflecting on how fortunate I am. As Sheryl Crow sang, “It’s not having what you want, but wanting what you've got”.
Don’t be so judgmental - We all have our personal biases and perspectives. While you would think a global pandemic would eliminate some of these differences as we all work our way through this together, we have instead seen further division. In times like these it is more important than ever to respect other people's opinions. Everyone is facing different circumstances and will approach the crisis differently. Have empathy for others and remember that we are all in this together.
We are all human and connected - As you look around the world, it is easy to focus on the differences - race, religion, nationality, etc. In spite of those differences, we all come from the same place and are part of the same species. We have been lucky enough to travel all over the world and we have seen that despite our differences we all have very similar concerns, hopes, and fears.
Appreciate the human connection - As we continue to socially distance from each other behind our masks, when we do have the opportunity to connect with and embrace our fellow humans, we realize the value so much more clearly. Zoom meetings are nice, but that hug I got from my granddaughter or the in person yoga class I recently took remind me how important this connection is.
We hope you are all staying well and safe in this historical time. We know everyone is still very busy but we encourage you to try to spend some time thinking about the broader implications of this pandemic on the short time we each get to spend on this planet.
-Lyle K Benson, Jr., CPA, PFS, CFP
The views expressed represent the opinions of L.K. Benson & Company and are subject to change. These views are not intended as a forecast, a guarantee of future results, investment recommendation, or an offer to buy or sell any securities. The information provided is of a general nature and should not be construed as investment advice or to provide any investment, tax, financial or legal advice or service to any person.
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