Photo by ids fotowale
2023 has started on a cocktail note with mixed emotions and outcomes, both personal and professional. On the personal front, it’s been about accepting a grave illness impacting a loved one, all the while not feeling guilty about celebrating one’s own good health. On the professional front, it’s being able to embrace failure, while at the same time rejoicing the space created through 2022 for new endeavours.
And so, when someone from a shared community (Thanks to Talia from our Wise Monkey Financial Coaches Community), asked which one word feels like the most relevant for 2023, the word – GROWTH – popped up almost immediately.
In terms of personal growth, ideas like acceptance, tolerance and mindfulness are conspicuous as the most needed to strive for in 2023. Professional growth is the tougher one to resolve. Over the last year, there was a clear objective to create space for professional growth, only to run into unexpected failure in the first attempt at monetising this growth. Wallowing in disappointment was one option, but the choice to visualise a future canvas filled with colour was more tempting.
Every once in a while there is a need to reinvent ourselves and discover the change which makes us, as individuals, most relevant in our current lives. This is as much true for our personal and professional lives as it is for our money lives. Hence, the choice to make 2023 the year of GROWTH, all around.
Does your money life need growth?
Let’s begin with this question and see if there is a need to seek ‘growth’ in your money relationship.
A young mother, with her second child on the way, has a complicated, trustless, relationship with her spouse; she has just taken on a housing loan in her name, is unhappy with her job and may have to move to a more expensive city very soon.
A businesswoman and mother of three recently saw the closure of a capital-intensive venture she launched with her husband and her father. The financial loss aside, loss of trust and self-doubt in her ability to rebuild, has led to silent anger and blame.
A corporate, mid-management employee, earning well, spending prudently and saving enough, constantly doubts his decisions around money and their impact on his loved ones. He is unsure of what purpose his life serves and the role that money plays in all of this.
Do they need to seek growth in their money relationship?
Truth is, we all do. Some of us more than others, but as life circumstances change, our responsibilities evolve, our desires mature and aspirations expand.
Can our money relationship afford to remain the same through all this dynamism?
Typically, one’s relationship with money comes from a collective assimilation of early life experiences and money beliefs that we grow up with. However, by the time we reach our mid-life, a lot has changed. We no longer lead the same lifestyle we did as children and no longer seek the same gratification from life that we did a decade ago. This change must move in tandem with a change in our money relationship too; this ensures that the latter is firmly aligned with our life’s highest aspirations.
You may think this is all too existential for you to put into practical action, however, just a small nudge in the right direction can take you a long way.
This nudge is really about awareness.
Allow yourself the awareness
When we talk about growth, it’s part change, part action and part acceptance. Growth is change because you seek to move to a paradigm which is different from where you are today. Growth is action, but not just any action – outcome-oriented, purposeful action – because, without it, you are unlikely to move forward. Lastly, growth is acceptance of what is beyond reach, at least for the moment.
To grow from the point you are at today, you will need all three to fall perfectly in place. However, unless there is awareness of what you are changing and why you may not even be able to start the process of growth. For awareness to be complete you must understand that what you believe is true may not be the relevant truth in your life today and it may not even be true at all points in time.
Let’s take a simple money belief that many individuals grow up with,
‘I don’t want to be rich, too much money corrupts.’
Clearly, this is true for several affluent and ultra-rich who are inconsiderate towards other individuals and towards society. However, there are also a number of billionaires who use their wealth to uplift society, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Azim Premji Foundation and several other known and unknown philanthropies. Too much money can corrupt but it can also do a lot of good to those who need help. You can choose which side of the fence you’d like to be on. Now ask yourself again, is this belief true for everyone at all points in time – ‘…. Too much money corrupts.’
Without awareness of what is stopping you from having a positive relationship with money, heading in the direction of achieving the outcomes you desire will be tough.
Awareness is the first, tiniest step towards growth and it requires affirmation as much as it requires refusal. Affirm what you know you can achieve and let go of what is beyond reach today. Awareness will allow you to recognise the gaps and know your boundaries.
The calendar is useful in not just marking important dates, but also as a tool to mark our growth timelines. Let January be the month of awareness, post which you can mark your journey forward.
By the time you are in February, you will find your own relevant word for 2023 and when you do, don’t forget to share it with others and definitely with me!
Happy New Year! Do leave a comment if you like what you read or if you have thoughts to share about what you just read.
Investing your money is a multiple-choice game today. You can pick across assets – right from bank deposits to commodities, art and wine. There is always one flavour of the season; in the pandemic, it was cryptocurrencies, then NFTs and most recently startups. Honestly, it’s an exhausting task to follow the trend. And what if you get the least profitable curve of this trend, you know, buy close to the peak and then lose your patience or attention, sell out close to the bottom only to chase the next fast-paced trend.
Recently, while attending an online financial coaches community meet, I came across this idea or concept around managing money and loved it. Many of us who are planners, take the planning to an extreme and stop enjoying the fruits of planning.
Starting your first An investment is made to give you a return. You make an investment if you use your money to buy either physical assets like property or financial assets like bonds and equity with an aim to receive income or gains... More no longer requires much thought or action. It’s literally a job done in 30 mins. Nevertheless, where you invest today makes a big impact on your future An investment is made to give you a return. You make an investment if you use your money to buy either physical assets like property or financial assets like bonds and equity with an aim to receive income or gains... More choices too.