Two things can be simultaneously true even when they appear as opposites. We can be living the best life with the most conveniences ever, and yet live paycheck-to- paycheck below the poverty line. We can have no money in the bank, yet be wealthier than anyone living in other countries around the world. We can go to the gym and work out 5 days a week, and yet be the unhealthiest person in our neighborhood. We can be responsible for every bad choice and still blame our parents for the consequences of those choices.
But when it comes to emotions, I get asked all the time how can my clients be both happy and fearful at the same time? I don't believe you can. Happiness depends on your environment being in alignment with your beliefs and when you have difficulty finding happiness there is usually discord in your environment. Having said that, you can experience joy and even contentment in spite of your circumstances. Joy is a mindset choice, it is not rooted in happiness, the size of your bank account, or the success you might esteem. Joy comes from within. Happiness wants you to fear death. With joy you can have hope even while taking your final breath. You can't be happy with fearful thoughts, but joy allows you to not fear even in the most difficult situations.
Everywhere we are hearing warning bells telling us there is a big, big, big problem looming on the horizon and if you are not aware of what is coming you will be caught unprepared, and the results could be catastrophic.
These are just some of the warnings signs that when combined are creating fear, anxiety, depression and is stealing happiness for many:
Interest rates are going up, food prices going up, gas prices going up, crime is going up, mortgage rates have gone up, and yet home values have gone down, your financial security is going down, your stock portfolio has dropped 25%, and your job security is not as secure as you think. There are rumors of impending food shortages, restrictions to clean water, and limited access to healthcare, medications, and emergency services. Many are speculating that the dollar will collapse by the end of 2022.
So many people are hoping that America will return to pre-covid lifestyles where very little looked different from decades past. The American spirt that said we will get through this seems to be losing momentum. Now we are learning that easy is not healthy and ignorance is not bliss.
The Bible says wisdom is found in many counselors and I've always looked toward the financial industry to advise me. I don't watch the news; I watch the stock market. I don't spend my hard-earned money on things that don't last. I focus on blessing others and in return, I am blessed. I share what I know not to scare, but to prepare others. It's not that optimism is dying, it that pessimism is everywhere, and it drives fear. I'm not afraid, but I am concerned. I figure things out and even if I'm wrong in preparing for the possibilities that may come, and they don't come to fruition, I haven't lost anything. But, if I don't prepare and the warnings come true then I will be unprepared which makes me vulnerable. I don't like feeling vulnerable especially when I can't identify exactly who the bad guy is. So, I prepare for the worst and hope for the best. And I make sure that, to the best of my ability, I seek the truth through cross-referencing many sources. Finally, I listen to what is not being said rather than what is. The truth is often hidden between the lines or is blurred in the storytelling.
“Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed.”