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  • Matt Clements

At a Crossroad: The 2 Killers of Your Future Wealth & Wellbeing

How do we plan for a future with so much uncertainty in our world today? Not just economic uncertainty, with its yo-yoing instability and seeming unaccountable swings, but also the personal insecurity and un- grounding that such a fast-paced climate of changing circumstance engenders in our personal lives these days!

How do we plan for the future – especially when faced with a difficult change or crossroad in life? How do we even create the time to stop for a second – to breath, reevaluate and find what core values we need to cultivate within ourselves in order to successfully engage and harness our own future plans? How do we begin to step out from a crossroads in life with any sense of plan or purpose when living in a culture of such rapid change?

If you’re like me, I imagine just reading this far stirs up a natural reaction to “cover the eyes and just keep marching on!” In times of change and uncertainly, we often tend to flip into anxiety-gear and a frenzied- paced “nose to the grindstone” stance. That ...or its flip side: we fall into a despairing depression, paralysis, and inability to take action in any clear direction at all. Both are natural unconscious responses to fear and uncertainty. And both are deadly to creating a successful and joyous future for oneself!

In times of radical change and uncertainty, there are two common reactions: a) an anxiety-driven nose to the grindstone refusal to stop, look, listen and plan; or b) a despair-driven pessimism and paralysis to take any action at all. These two reactions are the killers to ever truly realizing your future dreams, plans, sense of inner peace and meaningful purpose. They both stop one’s TRUE LIFE CURRENT dead in their tracks.

When we fall into either of these stop gate fear reactions, we sacrifice our true potential, and leave our financial currency to the fickle turns of the marketplace and usually in some standard cookie cutter investment portfolio that has nothing to do with your unique gifts, specific needs, core values, and life path.

Something happens to us in times of life change or crisis – and it is especially apparent in how we manage (or don’t) our money and financial assets. For many of us in times of uncomfortable or unknown personal life transitions, our relationship to our money becomes a reflection of that discomfort – either by merely casting it off to some standard portfolio package...or by ignoring it altogether and blowing through our income with wild abandon seeking a dopamine hit and break from the fear. Been there? I have, and so have many of the people I work with during this dangerous time of transition. It is sadly not uncommon to see someone in transition burn through their assets in a very short time during the difficult phases of life change and before ever making a financial plan, learning who they want to be, what they need to live, and – most importantly – how to protect and build a financial portfolio to secure and support their future.

There is another way of being with transition and money: It is the path of becoming consciously present to a new relationship with yourself and with all currencies in your life as they change and shift – including a new and conscious relationship with money itself. This new relationship is very much like meditation or yoga practice: It is the art of using transitions, fear, blocks, tight spots as awareness tools for opening to a much deeper whole and fluid self. Embarking upon a new relationship with money puts this currency in service to you in a way that builds and awakens you to your own path of purpose!

I don’t know about you, but my life - and my future - is about more than being puppeteered by the strings of fear, change, life transitions, and an unexamined financial and investment plan. And our work with clients, as a fiduciary and independent Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) is about more (much more) than sticking assets into some packaged plan that fits a generic graph for annual review on a bold colored pie chart.

My life work is about investing my life into a growing vision. It is about discovering what really matters as the core currencies on which I live my life; it is about how to chart a future plan that supports the full blossoming of my core currencies. In my financial strategy and investment management work with a select group of client/friends, I expect, I offer, and I support that same depth of self-informed visionary investment in your true wealth as a person.

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Here we are in a great time of uncertainty and change. Here we are with our natural human feelings of joy, fear, anger, frustration, uncertainty, calm repose, enthusiasm, and excitement.... So many questions and feelings, all vitally important! How do we build a big happy life within the context of these changing climates and moods?

Each of us will face fear and uncertainty – and more than once! Fear and uncertainty are inherent to life. So the question becomes how well equipped we are to deal with these most challenging times. We can very easily become overwhelmed and isolated by our reactions to fear and the anxiety and despair it inspires. Or, we can learn the art of using the circumstance we find ourselves in (and the fear it creates) as catalyst to discovering and growing into our own authentic potential.

It takes nothing to fall into anxiety and despair. But it costs us plenty!

It requires spiritual muscle and a very good team of support, to make that leap of faith from the crossroads of change, loss and fear - and onto the next new path of who you truly are. The crossroad is one big invitation to come more alive; to grow and know joy,power, and love ...if we take the step.

I have been through a lot in my life (as I am sure you have too). I am still growing my understanding of how fear keeps us small, and the art of using fear as a tool for opening to the next level of my own authentic power, core values, evolving vision, and integrated service to others.

Looking at fear from a place of heart has given me tremendous freedom and strength. It has caused me to ask these questions: Will I live by fear or by vision? Will I have a life that consciously addresses my relationship with money as an essential tool in my spiritual growth and maturity as a person?

This is what my inquiry and my professional expertise has led me to see and to understand:

Money is a relationship: one that if addressed as a sacred journey, will open the doorway to your true fulfillment and gift in the world.

So let me provoke you (as I do myself and my client/friends) with this:

  • Who are you? What are your core values? What legacy are you building for your future by your actions or reactions today?

  • What are you, and your future, worth -- to you? Are you merely worth a future created by default? Are you gong to let anxiety or unexamined spending reactions stand in the way of your new creative growth?

  • Are you going to sacrifice your future to the whims of today’s uncertainty... Or, will you take on this challenging time of instability, and face off to the real killers of your future?

The real killers of your future are not the marketplace ups and downs; not some person or life circumstance that seems to block or stand in your way. The real killers to wealth and being free in life come from staying stuck in the anxiety and despair rather than stepping into a new path of personal inquiry, power, and vision that this crossroad in life is offering.

In my life experience and professional advisory role, difficult life transitions are always about meeting the next level of your own true self and freedom of being. It is about setting sail and mastering the art of charting your own voyage on the high seas of uncertainty and of changing currents and conditions. That’s the whole-self- adventure!

So consider with me: “who are you –really?” Who are you outside of the duties, roles, beliefs, circumstances and expectations that you have assumed in your everyday world? By diving into this question and looking deep inside, may you get a glimpse of the new bigger life that is calling to you.

Imagine stepping into a vision you don't even have yet. Imagine being uncertain and yet completely ready... with your assets, your wisdom, and your spirit of self-discovery, growing together into what you are to become! ... Imagine using all the currents and currencies available to you to build and support the future you that is yet to be.

I invite you to join the big bold quest of investing in what truly matters – YOU. I invite you to step over the 2 killers: anxiety and despair, and to discover, with me, what it means to invest your life currencies in a way that will support the future you dare start envisioning today.


Matt Clement is the managing principal of Clements Investment Management, Inc. As an independent Registered Investment Advisory Firm, Matt and his team specialize as a fiduciary in designing financial planning strategy and integrated investment management services for those in transition.

Article Reprint c 2013 Clements Investment Management Inc.


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