For the first time in more than twenty-five years, I was surprised by the answer I received to the question I ask all new clients. When asked about her ‘big picture’ goal, this woman answered, “I want to be a good steward of what I have.”

That got me thinking. Most people approach their finances with anxiety and fear, wondering if there will be enough. This makes it hard to see the much bigger picture. How refreshing to let go of that fear and simply approach financial matters as both a temporary responsibility and an important opportunity — and just try to do the best job possible.

That got me thinking about what constituted ‘doing a good job’. For some people it might be growing their money, for others it might be giving it away. Each person would have to dig deep to set their own financial compass. Here are some things that I would like to be able to say at the end of the line:

  • I was prudent and protected against risks as much as possible but accepted that some things were outside of my control.
  • I took my financial responsibilities seriously and tried to maintain a healthy balance between spending and saving.
  • I was wise enough to always look at things with a long-term view.
  • I was generous enough, knowing that my opportunity to do good was temporary.

Working these out ended up being an enlightening process for me. You might try to write a few of your own. If you do, be sure to share them with me! I promise not to write a blog about it.

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