Are You Living Up To Your Definition of Prosperity?
Is your definition of prosperity making you happy?
Actually, the question had been lurking in the back of his mind for days. What had triggered it? Ah yes, his friend Tom’s comment about personal responsibility a few days earlier.
“What are you investing in?” Tom had asked.
“Diversified portfolio,” Quentin had responded, hedging.
“Yeah, me too. But I’m bothered by this all-consuming fear of putting my money where my heart is. As far as I’m concerned, that IS the definition of prosperity. I’ll know I’m truly prosperous when I feel free to invest in stocks that do good for the planet. As it is, I’m just a puppet on a string, doing whatever the market – and my broker – dictate.”
Now, in the privacy of his own car, Quentin let the question float back into the forefront of his mind. Hmmm… putting your money where your heart is. Was he doing that? Not really. His tendency to go for safety meant that his investments were always pretty conservative.
Just like Dad, he mused. Real estate and fine art. A few years ago he had added an annuity. Not bad so far. At 23% a year, he wasn’t complaining. Plus, there were his oil futures and the biotech stocks. No-brainers, those. But what would he invest in if he followed his heart?
Sure, he loved the art, and he’d grown up in that market. Still, there was that nagging emptiness he felt in his gut, that tug to do something more… relevant.
Some kind of eco-green thing, perhaps? Or charter schools working to make a positive difference in the educational system? Or… who knew? He had heard of some guy making loans to help third-world women start their own businesses. Maybe there were investment opportunities of that sort available.
Tom’s remark had certainly taken him out of his comfort zone about investing. What if those alternative investments turned out to be risky? Had they been around long enough to stand the test of time? He wouldn’t want to be throwing his money down the tubes.
No, I’m better off sticking with the tried and true. Why rock the boat?
But the thought of putting his money where his heart was had taken root in his mind and would not leave him alone. Maybe Tom was right. Maybe feeling free to do that was the real definition of prosperity. It bothered him to think of himself as limited by what he finally had to admit was the one emotion that had always gotten the best of him: FEAR. Fear of losing everything he’d worked so hard to establish, everything his father had worked his whole life for.
Oh, it wasn’t a palpable fear. No, it wasn’t a fear he normally felt at all. But it was there, bubbling below the surface. He could feel it now, now that the challenge had been laid out.
In the weeks that followed, Quentin toyed with the idea of changing his investment strategy. He talked with a couple of other friends about it, and even mentioned it to his agent. “Stay the course,” they urged him. “No sense in sticking your neck out.”
Am I a man, or a mouse? he asked himself. A bit of a mouse, he had to admit.
That wouldn’t do. He would not have fear running his life.
As far as I know, Quentin is still caught on the horns of this dilemma. Which way to go? With his head, or with his heart? What would YOU advise?
Here are some things to consider:
- It is important to make balanced decisions. If you and/or your forebears have worked hard to amass the capital for your investments, it would not be wise to jeopardize it.
- The eco-investment market is expanding rapidly, offering a broad range of possibilities for investments that can make a difference in the future of the world.
- If you choose your investments with care to assure reliability over the long term, rather than jumping on the latest green bandwagon, you can probably do quite well.
- More and more companies are finding ways to make a profit boosting third-world economies and investing in causes like educational reform. Again, look before you leap to be sure that you will be contributing to the solution and not seeding new problems. (There is a wealth of information on the Internet as to the pros and cons of this sort of investment.)
If you are vacillating as to whether to follow your head or your heart with respect to the future of your investment strategy (or anything else, for that matter), it is important to realize that although the above bulleted points are valid and vital considerations, the key question underlying your dilemma (and Quentin’s) has to do with whether you are living up to your definition of prosperity.
Your fear of putting your money where your heart is could be a sign that you need to examine some underlying beliefs.
Ask yourself: Do you trust yourself enough to look beyond your broker’s recommendations and make the kinds of investments that feed your soul? What is the worst thing that could happen? How likely is that? Where do you place your trust, in you or someone else? Or in Something Greater?
Questions like these speak to core beliefs concerning what is most important in life. Most of us never get around to examining the conditioning we accepted growing up to make truly emancipated decisions regarding the central issues in our lives.
Whether your dilemma involves the fear of making a wrong decision in investing, in relationship, in your health, in caring for your parents, or anything else, you have an opportunity at each and every moment to check in with your inner knowing.
If only you knew how.
If making heart-informed decisions sounds like something you would like to know how to do, I commend you to the teachings of Terri and Robert TallTree.
Known to their friends as ‘The Trees’, Terri and Robert call on a wealth of information they have been sharing with groups and individuals around the world for over twenty years… their investment in making the difference only they can make on this planet.
There is a difference only you can make. But to make that difference, you must know yourself well enough to stop vacillating when things look a little unsure. It’s all about living on purpose.
To make the difference you came here to make, you first must make the decision to BE that difference. It’s not hard. In fact, once you know how, it’s the simplest thing you’ve ever done.
And you can get started today, for free. It won’t even take much of your time.
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NOTE: In over 25 years of helping people with their books, my clients have voiced the same issues time and again. Many of my blog posts are composites of their stories to assist you in the realization of YOUR dream of writing your way to prosperity!Chiwah Carol Slater, MA Ambassador of Author’s Purpose Founder, Write Your Way to Prosperity Founder, Word Weaver 4 U WriteYourWaytoProsperity.com WordWeaver4U.com