Global events got you down? Even if the financial market looks bleak or negative or downright depressing, it doesn’t mean that it really is or that it will stay that way.
This one’s for those Saturday mornings when you’re standing on the side of the soccer field, watching little Johnny chase that ball down like his life depends on it. The smile etched on his face tells you that he’s having fun. The strength in his kicks tells you he’s committed.
The laughter with his teammates tells you he’s exactly where he wants to be. Carefree and happy. If only you could feel that way, too. But, alas, anxiety is drifting in the breeze alongside the smell of freshly cut grass.
There’s a slight chill in the air - you need a light jacket - and it’s cloudy. As you look up, the sun nowhere to be seen, your mind drifts from the drama on the soccer field to the drama in the economy. (Isn’t there always drama in the economy?) Maybe it’s news that the dollar has weakened, or there’s been some world event that’s caused the market to shake up more than a chocolate martini, or interest rates are threatening to rise. Instead of focusing on your son having a ball with a ball - which is happening right now - you’re focusing on the possible consequences this ‘drama’ could have on your finances. Therefore, you’re worrying over something that hasn’t actually happened yet.
Present vs. Future.
Definitely vs. Maybe.
When it comes to the state of your long-term financial future, these kinds of unpredictable dramas have already been anticipated and considered. (No, we didn’t predict the unpredictable. We just know they will always emerge.) That’s why it’s called financial planning and not financial let’s-just-hope-for-the-best. We might not know exactly when or exactly how these dramas will invite themselves to the party, but we know they’re going to turn up.
My advice? Relax. It’s good for the soul.
I’ve learned from raising my kids that they prefer Relaxed Dad. Dad that isn’t always distracted. Dad that isn’t forever fretting about something. Also, it’s the weekend now. If you have to worry, at least leave it until Monday.
Here’s the important thing to remember. Just because the sun isn’t shining today as you watch your son play soccer, it’s still shining behind the clouds. It’s as powerful and steady and unchanged as it ever was, you just can’t see it right now, in this moment. And you can bet that, even though you can’t see it, millions of people in other parts of the world can. That sun is always shining somewhere.
The clouds will clear. The drama will settle.
Get your head out of the clouds and into the game. He’s having fun, you should be too. Whether you can see the sunshine or not.