reflection

22, 44, 66: My Life in Thirds

My birthday is approaching, and I’m ruminating about the meaning of another year in the life—but you already know how much I like to take a step back, get the big picture, and imagine the long view.


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Solid Ground and Serious Conflict

You’ve heard us talk before about not getting caught up in panic. It goes to one of our core principles, the idea of avoiding stampedes.

It gets a little complicated when we’re talking about world events that are so immediate. Conflict can be deadly and do serious damage, and the effects reach us all—whether we realize it or not.

We’re in a moment where the business headlines and market volatility are more stark than usual. It can feel disturbing, like things are less certain than ever.

But those of us just beyond the emergencies have an opportunity to reflect. What an important time it is to make sure that our goals, our values, and our resources are aligned. Are we focusing our efforts within our sphere of control? Are we investing in those causes we believe will be of service in this world?

Perhaps it’s how we keep panic from our hearts: find stability in being the most you that you can be. The dust will never settle if we insist on all the pacing, jumping up and down, or spinning in circles.

Invest wisely, spend well. It goes for our money and our attention. The leap to panic is a shorter—but way more costly—trip.

When you need to talk through anything troubling, please reach out.


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A Gift-Giving Season, All the Year Round

photo shows a pink package with a pink bow on a pink table covered in rainbow confetti in front of a sky blue wall

Going through the winter holidays, all across the globe, many people enjoy the giving and receiving of gifts. One of the recurring features of life—in almost any culture—is a season of gift-giving.

Yet giving seems to figure prominently in the daily lives of people we know, all the year round.

And it takes many forms.

Think of those people in our lives who can do the things we need done, but cannot do ourselves. They understand their personal strengths, develop them into a capacity to help others, and spend time each day improving life for those around them.

And there are those who brighten our day with a smile or a kind word. Their positive perspectives can be contagious.

And (perhaps now more than ever) there are those crucial people in our lives who give us their time—time to connect with us and seek to understand us. When we need some perspective from another, someone who will listen, help us take stock and reflect, those moments can be a tremendous gift.

They say it is better to give than receive. Perhaps giving transforms us in powerful ways, gaining us closer connections with the people in our lives, no matter how intimate or fleeting our association may be.

Gifts born of our talents or perspective or time do not have bows on them, but they may be the most consequential to others.

Clients, in this chapter of life I have more time: if you could use some of it, I would give it to you gladly, unconditionally. Email me or call.


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A Gift-Giving Season, All the Year Round 228Main.com Presents: The Best of Leibman Financial Services

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The Best Way to Be Two-Faced

In Roman mythology, Janus was the deity of beginnings, endings, and transitions. He was all about passageways and traveling. I’m thinking about him as I reflect on where 228 Main has been—and where it’s headed.


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A Lesson at One Chapter’s End

photo shows a stack of books with browned and gilded spines

In one of life’s great ironies, quite a few people pass away around retirement age, a short time before, or just after. Many of us have seen this up close: for me, it started with my father, then my oldest brother, then my wife. All passed away at the age of 62. 

Each had enjoyed life and family, found satisfaction in their work, had travelled some and seen some sights. None planned to be done when they were; all had plans for more.

We’re thinking recently about what could have been… and what could be. This is all about the past and the future. When we focus too much time and attention on those, our capacity to enjoy the present is diminished, the ability to just be

There’s a beautiful chaos in today, so staying present is a beautiful way to be. One way I interpret this idea: that we better have a little fun every day. This is the formulation that’s been popular in my home. My late wife Cathy once embroidered it on a small wall decoration. 

With appreciation for the past, and having made plans for the future, we were striving to have some fun every day. 

And I still do.  

The balance between the present and the future is a grounding influence on our work. Our saying “invest wisely, spend well” is all about that idea. Investing wisely is about the future; spending well is about the present. 

If you would like to talk about that balance in your life, or anything else, please email us or call. 


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How to Get It Right

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The world is full of advice, from self-help resources to lists, “listicles,” and everything in between. (Incidentally, check back next week for our post “48 Ways to Know that You’re Not Famous Enough Yet!”)

We’ve noticed that a lot of this content focuses on the things to avoid. Getting familiar with common mistakes sounds logical enough on the surface, but we’re also contrarians… so we’ve been thinking about this for a while.

This is the model that’s just about always been used in our schools and even our pastimes. Our work is returned to us with the errors marked so that we can correct them, review, and push on. When a team loses, even by a small margin, the plays get scrutinized so that the team can learn from the defeat. Makes a certain kind of sense.

But there are a million ways to mess something up. More finite, however, is the list of ways to really shine at something. How often do we stop to consider what went right? We suggest we should be learning from our successes, too.

“Was this success a win or a fluke?”

“What made Company X a strong one?”

“In this project, I’m glad I paid attention to…”

These are just a few ideas for prompts, because goodness knows we don’t need any more lists about “how to not get it wrong.” We’d like to know more about how to get it right.

Clients, when you’re ready to chat, please write or call.


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WORK YOUR WORTH

photo shows a pair of hands holding a book and a pen and a picnic table

Financial wellbeing is rarely just about the numbers. But there are some areas where investors regularly miss opportunities.

Best of all? Some of them are free.

We’re talking about that collection of qualities that determine our human capital: the attributes, experiences, and habits that contribute to our ability to do our work and do it well.

Each of us has room for growth, and many of these qualities can be worked like a muscle. Generosity? Practice gratitude, and it will flow. Creativity? Get your internal censor a nice comfy chair in the corner of your brain so that you have the space to make something—then go for it.

Notice how we’re not talking about fighting your brain or your sense of self. We’ve known plenty of friends who flushed their energy trying to evict their weaknesses while their strengths—their true talent and potential—withered.

Even better, we don’t have to make these investments in huge, life-altering waves. Many of these qualities compound. Enthusiasm, punctuality, diligence: practice a few small actions and watch the habits improve each other!

Where can you invest in yourself? Your “earning power” is linked to a lot of domains. It’s not just your education or certifications. What areas of knowledge give you a unique perspective? What experiences have shaped you? These are parts of your financial journey that you can actively work on.

You’ll notice this investment is more about reflection than ‘rithmetic—but it’s work that can pay off in many ways. Your investments in yourself cannot be taken away, they adjust for inflation, and they help you lead a more interesting life to boot.

Clients, we’re glad to be part of the journey with you. Write or call when you’re ready to talk about this or anything else.

This Land is Your Land

canstockphoto6823114

I have an interest in some land adjacent to the Platte River, near my home. A fairly extensive parcel, it includes small lakes, good places to have a picnic or campfire or pitch a tent, and lovely hiking paths.

Have you ever been mesmerized by the sight of moving water? Ripples on a pond, waves on a lake, or a river flowing seem to connect with us on a deep level. This land offers ample opportunity for inspired introspection.

Walking it in different seasons provides a different experience every time. The leaves of the cottonwoods provide early color in the spring, spring and summer breezes murmur through them, and autumn winds make them rattle as they turn yellow and dry out, before they fall. When bare of leaves, the cottonwoods stand vividly against purple winter dawns and red sunsets.

The time I spend on this land promotes my well-being in every dimension: physically, emotionally, spiritually.

The other day I wondered how much it would cost to buy the parcel today. I was grateful that there is no need to do that; it would be quite expensive.

The interesting thing is, I never bought it, not any fraction of it. My interest in it arises from a state park annual pass. The pass covers the Louisville State Recreation Area, 65 other recreation areas, eight state parks and nine historical parks. Each of us has the same right to it, whether we leave a large mansion or a small apartment to access its wonders. Clients, the twenty states you live in each have something similar.

As we enjoy the present and plan for the future, we benefit ourselves by finding and taking advantage of the opportunities to enrich our lives that are free or nearly so. The ability to be cheaply amused, a valuable trait, is a great one to cultivate.

Clients, if you would like to talk about this or anything else, please email us or call.

Anniversaries

© Can Stock Photo / tiverylucky

We balance our attention between the moments in which we live, and the longer term over which we plan for the future. Anniversaries are a natural place to pause and take stock.

My 63rd birthday approaches. This may not seem like a particularly important number, but for me it is. My father and my eldest brother both passed away at age 62. Getting older has never been a problem for me; it is key to my intention to live a long and productive life. I am trying to do what I can to extend the string of birthdays so I can indeed work to age 92.

The 25th anniversary of my affiliation with LPL Financial comes later this year. It has always seemed like the right choice. With the challenges that we have had to work around in recent years, the flexibility and effectiveness of our partner LPL has become vital. In particular, full support for 21st century communication has helped us make a digital presence a key way to deal with periodic separation in time and distance.

Speaking of partners, I will celebrate our 44th wedding anniversary with the really important one this summer. In a life filled with good fortune, I count alphabetical order as a special blessing. On the first day of freshman year of high school, I found my assigned locker right next to Cathy Livingston’s.

You play a huge role in my long range plans: you are why I want to work to age 92. To say I am having a good time would be an understatement. While enjoying the moments as they pass, I’m also looking ahead to ways to build an organization that can better serve you, on a more sustainable basis.

Back to work! Thank you all, for everything. If you would like to talk about anything, please email us or call.