Living a brave life is not easy. It is impossible to be perfect; life itself is not perfect. Brené Brown’s book Rising Strong has inspired me in so many ways to keep trying, to give ‘living” a chance, despite the inevitable challenges and setbacks that life brings.
My journey to rising strong has not been a once-off event – learning and growing is a process. Brené’s book is a very personal and practical guide to embracing fear and failure and living a more courageous life. It often gives me courage when I find myself at a crossroad.
Those curve-balls life sends us
If we truly want to live and embrace life in its entirety, we have to be prepared for the eventuality that everything does not always work out exactly as planned. Setbacks are inevitable, and at times, we all get stuck in a place of fear, self-doubt and regret. It may just seem easier to accept defeat and retreat into a space that feels safe and secure … but Brené’s message is one of hope, of perseverance and strength.
It is in the acceptance of our vulnerability that we recognise that we are not powerless. In the space of vulnerability, we have time to accept our setbacks, time to reflect on our experiences, embrace them and practise the art of gratitude for the opportunity to learn from them. This gives us the power to rise up with renewed hope and strength to rewrite our future.
This was so true for me when I entered the financial planning industry. I have always believed that you cannot separate people from money and that a financial plan should support a person’s unique and personal life plan. With this perspective, I brought a new conversation to the traditional financial planning industry which predominantly only focused on investment returns. I knew intuitively that conversations about the client, the life the client wants to live and what their relationship with money is, were equally important.
When swimming upstream, remember your purpose
Re-thinking and challenging the way that financial planning has been done for decades, brought its fair share of criticism. I was constantly questioned by planners in the industry who referred to life planning as the “softer” issues and felt that these did not belong in the world of finances and investment strategies. I had moments of self-doubt and uncertainty and had to remind myself every day to persevere, to stay true to my beliefs and to keep on swimming – even though I was swimming upstream!
What made my journey worth it, and motivated me to keep on following my purpose, were the clients. Every time I had a courageous conversation with a client and saw how they embraced the fact that money can indeed enable a life of meaning, I felt inspired. And watching how clients design their Retiremeant™ as a fulfilling and meaningful next chapter, encourages me to keep rising strong.
I came to coin the concept, Retiremeant™ and define it as having the freedom to achieve your yet unfulfilled dreams and goals, on your terms and in your own time. Despite the challenges along the way, I am truly grateful that in my small way, I have made an impact on people’s lives. I am constantly moved by the stories clients share in Life Planning meetings and have come to realise that our combined knowledge and experiences are powerful stories and lessons that need to be told. This inspired me to start writing a second book, with our relationship with money as its central theme. I am also busy writing a series of e-books, a compilation of stories and lessons that our clients share around unexpected life events in – the Retiremeant™ What If’s.
We find strength together
This newsletter contains snippets of client stories and learnings shared in their journeys to rising strong – more of those in my upcoming e-books! Kate Turkington recently visited us at a Chartered Wealth Solutions and gave an insightful talk on her life in Retiremeant™. For me personally, Kate is a role-model on living Retiremeant™ to the fullest and I hope that you find appreciation and inspiration in her story. If you do have any spare time this weekend, I recommend that you see “Finding your Feet” which is showing in cinemas now.
By sharing these stories, my wish is that you find comfort in the fact that you are not alone. Just maybe, one of these stories will touch you in some way, inspire you to live a brave life, through all your stumbles and falls, and give you the strength to rise bravely and strong.