Do you ever get so caught up in your own head, in your own stuff, that you lose perspective? I can’t imagine a time that would be more inclined to lead us to insular thinking, self-pity, conspiracy theorizing, and perspective losing than this season we’re trudging through.
So in this week’s Financial LIFE Planning weekly installment, you’ll get some perspective that I hope will give you peace and help you make wise financial, and other, decisions:
- An exclusive FLiP video chat with Michael O’Neal, the Executive Director of global non-profit, ONEWORLD Health
- A confounding Weekly Market Update with a side of cheese
- A reminder about our capacity to overestimate our own capabilities
Oh, and Happy Mothers Day, to mine and all of you moms!
How to Get More Than You Give
Have you ever noticed that when you give to someone whose needs are greater than yours, you actually feel like you have more? Whether it’s a friend in need of a pick-me-up, an investment of your time at a soup kitchen, or a charitable contribution, this change in perspective is one of three major benefits of giving.
The other two? Well, in addition to our perspective being changed, we experience a biological phenomenon, an endorphin rush. Apparently, we’re biologically wired to feel good when we give. Cool, right? And pragmatically, depending on how (or if) you file your tax return, you may also get a rebate on a portion of your financial gifts…check with your CPA.
This week, I recorded a video chat I had with the Executive Director of ONEWORLD Health, Michael O’Neal, specifically for you! We discussed their unique approach to sustainable development work that has enabled them to survive the COVID-19 crisis–and the success they’ve had cultivating relationships with individuals, families, businesses, and even rock bands, like NEEDTOBREATHE, who alone has raised over $2.3 million for the work their doing.
He also explains why we always get more than we give. Click below to watch the nine-minute excerpt, or top off your coffee and click HERE for the full 23-minute interview.
And yes, if you’re jonesing to put that give-more-than-you-get business to the test right now, it’s easy–click HERE and hit the Donate button. And if you choose to give $50 or more, please let me know, because I’d like to send you a personal thank you.
Weekly Market Update:
After two marginally down weeks, the market had another week in the green, almost confoundingly so:
- +2.56% DJIA (30 big U.S. companies)
- +3.50% S&P (500 big U.S. companies)
- +2.71% EFA (~900 international companies)
The biggest question for most people is, “How!? How is the market going up when the economic news is historically bad?” It’s true: Unemployment this week hit 14.7%–the worst since the Great Depression.
Although clearly indeed of a beard trim–sorry, Mom!–I joined Jill Wagner on Cheddar (an online TV channel) to discuss this seemingly odd phenomenon, and to offer some suggestions for the unemployed, under-employed, self-employed, and gainfully-employed in these challenging times:
Is the wind at your back?
I’m not a “cyclist,” but I do love to ride my bike. Last week, I took a new ride, recommended by my good friend–who is a cyclist–that stretched me a bit, and gave me another healthy dose of perspective.
I love to have a destination, so I set my course for the Bulls Island Ferry, a beautiful spot in Awendaw, SC. The total ride was about 20 miles, and on the way there, I felt like an Olympian, averaging about 18 mph. (“Maybe I can call myself a cyclist,” I was beginning to think.
With head held high, I took in the beautiful view, nodded proudly to the couple that I passed on the last mile, and headed homeward. Only then did I realize that I’d had a meaningful tailwind that I’d now be fighting the entire way home. The wind had been at my back.
And as I was thinking about a contingency plan on mile 15–suffering the embarassment of calling my wife and asking her to pick me up in the middle of nowhere, a length to which I thank the Lord I didn’t (quite) have to go–a question hit me like an easterly wind pounding route 17:
How much of whatever I’ve done well in life was actually just thanks to a solid tailwind? Being born into a great family? In the right zip code? Being on the right team? Having selfless friends? Working with amazing people?
How about you? Is it possible that your successes have been aided by a tailwind? If so, who is deserving of thanks? (In addition to your mother, of course!)
How about now? If you feel like a failure at the moment, is it possible you’re just facing the greatest economic headwind of a generation? Who can you ask for help?
Or if you’re fortunate enough to be cranking through this crisis at top speed, who can you help?
And if you think of the people who’ve been your tailwind, I hope you take a moment–why not now?–to thank them.
The spent lungs and sore butt were worth the perspective…and so was the view:
I hope you have a great Mother’s Day and find a healthy tailwind this week!