Adventures in Middle School

As many of you know, we are developing an educational arm, Currency Camp, which will start out teaching kids to know & embrace their natures then move into much needed financial literacy skills. The first actionable step, we thought, was to talk with people we know in the financial and educational worlds to get their thoughts and advice. We were invited into a classroom right away, and it was an amazing experience.

A friend made through business networking, (2 Degrees Portland), happens to be a teacher with the Jobs for Maine Graduates program, (JMG), at Freeport Middle School.  She was about to launch into a unit on self-awareness. Our philosophy of the 7 human natures fit right in with her curriculum, so we decided to collaborate on a 4-day adventure teaching 11-14 year-olds about their superpowers. Here is a short look at some of the things we learned:

  1. No matter how much they may roll their eyes, middle schoolers are curious about themselves and life around them, and they want supportive, useful information. They’ll even go home and talk with their parents about it. They’ll even dream about it!
  2. Middle School students are as able to make the most out of a “learnable moment” as educators are able to make out of a “teachable moment.” The level of interaction, engagement, and the types of questions the students asked were unexpectedly deep & relevant.
  3. The pre-teach/discover/interact/reflect model is highly enjoyable, no matter one’s nature. We started with an overview of the natures, a developmentally-appropriate survey to discover theirs, a game that got their bodies & minds active, and finished with summaries of their experiences in their own words.
  4. This material, so far, seems to be easier for kids to grasp, accept, and integrate than for adults.

After the last day with the students, we talked about what we experienced and observed. Given that last take-away, we wondered what happens as we get older that closes our minds to new information. Is there a reason adults seem to struggle to embrace certain information while kids can easily relate to it? What does it mean for us that we seem to develop an inability to embrace deeper self-knowledge and strategies for honest, true personal evolution?

This experience has motivated us to continue to develop our educational program, Currency Camp. Though this time we focused on the 7 natures, we have plans to go back during their financial literacy units, and we expect to have our minds blown again.

 

This is your life: Ages & $tages.

Where are you in life and what does that mean for your financial plan?

There is a time to work, a time to relax, a time for joy, a time to help others, and a time to be helped by others. We all experience predictable, natural life stages, times when we’re naturally inclined to do, think, and perceive our lives in a specific way. Knowing your nature is part of knowing how to use your money to craft your best life, but understanding your life stage is, too.

Our blog this week is actually a vlog, a short video we created to show you all the life stages, what’s important when, and the true possibility of the human lifespan if we take good care of ourselves. We hope this will help you enjoy your life, every step of the way.

Your financial nature has everything to do with greater health and wealth.

It truly is all about you.

And you are exactly right. Your nature is the key to greater wealth & better health.

Find your nature here.

We believe passionately that you have all the talents and strengths you need to create the life you want, and we’re dedicated to help you transform your money into an empowering, creative tool. There are 7 distinct human natures, each having their own set of strengths and challenges, their own interpretations of words, their own perspectives, and their own traps. Because there are 7 human natures, self-help experts, including personal finance “gurus”, often fall short: they are unconsciously speaking to those who share their natures leaving those who don’t unable to understand, apply, and integrate well-intended advice.

If you know your nature you have the context within which your thoughts, beliefs, actions, and patterns make sense. Tips, strategies, and advice of any kind are more easily and appropriately understood, applied, and integrated because you know who you are. It is possible to take what you need and leave the rest without suffering another failed diet, exercise regimen, relationship plan, or financial strategy.

In just seven questions we’ve created a way for you to name your nature, learn more about it, and begin to filter your experiences through it. Our aim is for this information to give you a healthier, clearer perspective of yourself, your many opportunities financial and otherwise, and the world around you. Just click the image.

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Financial Evolution     The 7 Natures     Your Financial Level     Your Financial State     Your Financial Evolution

 

Disclosures: The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advise or recommendations for any individual. They do not necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial.

The 7 Human Natures: Greatness or Bondage

Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it. ~Bruce Lee

From the moment you were born your nature was set. In our business we see this through the lens of finance and how people relate to money. There are only seven human natures, seven natural relationships with money. No one is better than another though each has its own positive and negative aspects. The positive side of your nature will propel you further in your evolution; it is your superpower. The negative side can keep you stuck and cause problems that repeat.

To find your nature we have created a seven question survey that you may take here. Below is a brief description of the seven natures.

Note: these concepts are still evolving, and we’ve recently changed some of the names of the natures to better describe them in financial terms.

TSicons-1 jpgThe first nature is the Taker. This isn’t bad. It just means that people with this nature can sense when what they need is around them and take it. They take that hail-mary shot, they take charge, take a chance, and they can also take money and other resources because they find value in money when they get it. These folks are characterized by a highly reactive, instinctive nature. Often they are survivors, fighters, able to weather the storm, but they aren’t getting or perceive they aren’t getting enough of what they need to thrive,  especially money. [Read more.] (Note: this nature was previously called the Reactor.)

 

TSicons-2 jpg 02The second nature is the Spender. Spenders find value in money when they spend it. They are characterized by emotional and financial, ups and downs. When they’re up they’re engaged, excited, and able to be their best selves, but when they’re down they can become immobilized. They may have the resources they need but not always when they need them- often because they spend on what they want first. Because Spenders are emotional beings, they tend to make buying decisions based on how their spending makes them feel. [Read more.] (Note: this nature was previously called the Feeler.)

 

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The Earner finds value in money when it’s earned and promptly allocated to expenses. In fact, they allocate so well there is often nothing left to save. This nature is characterized by hard work, effort, and striving. Earners don’t mind getting it done, no matter what “it” is, but they are prone to burn-out and often turn even the smallest things into large tasks. Earners often feel burdened by their responsibilities, including their finances, because they work so hard at everything.  [Read more.] (Note: this nature was previously called the Worker.)

 

TSicons-4 jpg The Saver, the fourth paradigm, finds money most valuable in savings, and they may even try to save things, animals, and other people. Though saving is appropriate at times, it can go to extremes leaving the Saver isolated and disconnected from their money. Saving more than is reasonable causes the Saver to become a hoarder and miss opportunities to pursue building wealth and increasing their capacity to save. [Read more.]

 

TSicons-5 jpg The Investor naturally seeks ways to create more value. They are typically very productive and like to enjoy their resources. Money is often a source of energy for Investors, as is exercise and interactions with others, however the Investor can become addicted to the thrill of the next big win, crossing the line and becoming a speculator. [Read more.]

 

TSicons-6 jpg The Lever prefers life to be easy. Those within the sixth paradigm tend to use their resources to make life easier and appreciate assembling and being part of a strong team. They seek collaboration where the strengths of the individuals are leveraged for greater results. On the negative side, Levers can become opportunistic and exploit others to raise themselves higher rather than collaborating to raise everyone higher. [Read more.]

 

TSicons-7 The seventh paradigm is the Giver. These folks are highly intuitive and love sharing their resources with others. They are leaders and visionaries, but when stalled in their own evolution they can become martyrs, giving away so much they have nothing for themselves. Though Givers naturally understand flow, they can become so focused on giving they can’t see when they may need to change direction. [Read more.]

 

Watch our video! Iconic superheroes and the seven paradigms: there really are no coincidences.

 

Your Financial Level     Your Financial State      Your Evolution

7 Steps to Evolve Intentionally: It’s More than Money

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Is your life as good as it could be? Quick check: your finances, relationships, health, time- all good? Or are there one or more areas that could be better? Whether you know it or not your life is evolving, unfolding, and sometimes patterns repeat keeping you stuck in the same familiar hamster wheel. There is a way to consciously, intentionally move past the things that hold you back.

No matter which area of your life you’d like to improve the foundation for evolving is the same: you’ve got to know who you are and what you want. Here’s an overview of what’s next:

1. React. Getting stuck in an unhealthy rut, no matter what type, will stagnate even the most driven people. And that causes another tier of misery! So react. Get it out. Get it out of your head and onto paper. This way you’ll free yourself from the thoughts that go around and around, filling your mind with clutter and leaving no space for creative thinking. Write it all down so it no longer owns you.

2. Feel. Emotions are natural; stifling them is unhealthy. Allow yourself to feel what you need to without giving in to depression or anxiety. Use the writing from earlier to create for yourself a picture, a map, or a story of your present reality. Extend it so you can see the situation over time. A feeling of neutrality will develop so you can see the forest for the trees. Ask yourself what you’d rather experience instead and create a new vision.

3. Work. Your vision for yourself is your direction, so what you do, say, choose now is all pointed in that direction. Practice new habits that make your life easier, balance your need to work with the needs to be loving, healthy, and present, and lighten up. Enjoy the freedom of being free from the revolving door of reactions and emotions. Instead you are laying the groundwork for life at a higher level.

4. Save. Now things are starting to shift & change- remember to choose calm over fear. Save and protect only what you need, only those who want to be saved & protected, and stay connected to the resources that give you energy and joy. Be aware that saving too much becomes hoarding which will entrap you and suck up any surplus time, energy, or money you’ve saved thus far. Keep your vision close so you don’t get stalled out when you start to experience better.

5. Invest. Now you’ve got some momentum. Notice what makes your life worth living and apply your resources & passions to what matters to you. Investing can refer to your money, but you can also invest your time, your energy, your relationships- you have the capacity to use your resources to create more of what you value! Doing so while a with your vision will give you a new source of energy that motivates and validates. It may be tempting to cruise here for a bit, but don’t get stuck. Getting stuck will result in experiencing the opposite of what is so great right now! Keep moving.

6. Leverage. Turn your attention to what makes your life easier. Do you now have more time, more energy, more financial confidence? Use the results of your invested resources to free yourself from stress & burden. Start collaborating with others so that you may experience even greater ease, create more value, and lift each other to a higher level as a result of combined strengths and resources. At this stage you’ve moved through some significant peaks & valleys, and it’s time to reflect on how fortunate you are and sharing that with others. Again, don’t get stuck here! There is one more step.

7. Give. Well, you’ve made it. This stage is reached when you’ve realized your vision, and it’s time to give back to others. It may be money, your time, your wisdom, your attention, any of your resources. Give them back because you’ve got plenty to share. You’re at the top of your mountain, and it’s good! Be grateful & humble.

And repeat. That’s right. Life continues to evolve and unfold, so when you reach the 7th stage it’s time for another adventure. Apply the same principles and you’ll empower yourself to experience a lot of satisfaction, security, joy, ease, and gratitude. You’ll grow beyond ruts and no longer be bonded to your emotions. Not a bad prospect!

Know yourself, know what you want, find the right coach, evolve with your money!

 

Disclosures: The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advise or recommendations for any individual. They do not necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial.

No strategy or process assures success or guarantees against losses.

 

 

 

Efficiency & Burn-out: the Third Paradigm

FullSizeRenderThis may be about you. Are you motivated by the satisfaction of a job well-done? Driven to get everything done in a day? Are you a workaholic? Do you turn everything into a chore? Do you over analyze every single detail? Do you work to earn your money then allocate it all to your expenses? Can you be rigid? Do you tend to feel burdened by your responsibilities?

You were born with one of 7 ways of relating to the world, and if this sounds like you this is likely your paradigm: the Worker. There is a positive side and a negative side to this paradigm, just like there are with the others. On the positive side you are a hard worker, and you can be disciplined. You are responsible and driven. You get things done efficiently and on-time, and you pay your bills on-time or sometimes early. You find value in money that you’ve earned. You are comfortable when you’re busy. You don’t like financial or emotional ups & downs and are able to use your natural strengths to smooth them out using discipline & effort. Our culture endorses and rewards this paradigm, but that can be unhealthy.

On the negative side you are prone to burning out, reaching the end of your energy and ability to manage it all. You can feel overly burdened by your financial and other responsibilities and believe that you have to do it all alone. To make it all work you will attempt to work harder, faster, or longer rather than ask others for what you need which can cause illness, exhaustion, and resentment. You tend to think that every aspect of life that is valuable requires great effort and that life is inherently hard, and you try too hard to figure out everything.

Being a worker isn’t bad nor wrong. It’s a matter of knowing how to balance your need to work and the value you derive from it with your other needs, particularly the need to stay healthy and happy. There are times when working hard is appropriate and the ability to do so is a great asset! It may have become normal for you to live within constant striving, but if & when that no longer works for you you’ll become stressed out and that’s when you’ll know that you are stuck. Ask yourself:

  • Is working harder/faster/longer propelling me forward or keeping me in one place?
  • How are my finances? Could that part of my life be better? What would that look like?
  • How are my relationships? Could that part of my life be better? What would that look like?
  • How am I experiencing my time? Could that part of my life be better? What would that look like?
  • How is my health? My nutrition? My fitness? Could that part of my life be better? What would that look like?

It is very likely that if any part of your life isn’t what you’d like it to be and you’ve experienced the same things over and over again, you’re stuck. The stress & frustration of being stuck isn’t necessary, it’s not “the way it is.” You can evolve into your higher self, the version of you who uses your strengths to live the life you want rather than teetering on the line of functionality and collapse.

The first step is to really know yourself. Take our paradigm survey to find your nature and reach out to us with your questions.

Learn more at our workshop, presented with Optimal Health, on March 28.

You can evolve.

Know yourself. Know what you want. Find the right coach. Evolve with your money.

 

Disclosures: The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. They do not necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial.

Thank you to all the artists, writers, and creators of the Superheroes who inspire, teach, and motivate us.  You are all heroes.

Flying High & Swinging Low: the Second Paradigm

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Is this your paradigm? Are you motivated by how & what you feel? Do you make decisions based on how you’ll feel about the likely outcome? Is your life characterized by highs & lows? Do you experience times of excitement, high energy, feeling great, and having all you need and other times of the exact opposite with very few in-between times? When you have money do you tend to spend it only to find yourself without any when you need it?

You were born with one of 7 ways of relating to the world, and if the above sounds like your life this is likely your paradigm. There is a positive side and a negative side to this paradigm just as there are with the others. On the up side, you are naturally energetic and able to fully engage with your life and those in it. You are confident committed, and you can be exciting.

Your down side is the opposite. You have no energy and can’t engage with anything that doesn’t make you feel good in some way. You can become immobilized. You can experience mood swings and become over-emotional. Sometimes you may manipulate others to get what you want which is often positive emotions. You can be an emotional spender, spending your money on things that make you feel good at the time and setting yourself up for the financial low of not having money for the things you need.

Emotions aren’t bad, nor is spending money. There are times when your feelings are critical, and you can spend your money on things that can create more value to you for the long-term. It can feel natural to live in your constant ups & downs, but that may be a form of giving up or giving in to your nature, and that boils down to being stuck in it. Is the up & down of your life propelling you or keeping you in the same place endlessly? Freeing yourself from this cycle will start your personal evolution which will naturally give you more of the ups and fewer of the downs. Ask yourself:

  • How are my finances? Could that part of my life be better? What would that look like?
  • How are my relationships? Could that part of my life be better? What would that look like?
  • How am I experiencing my time? Could that part of my life be better? What would that look like?
  • How is my health? My nutrition? My fitness? Could that part of my life be better? What would that look like?

It is very likely that if any part of your life isn’t what you’d like it to be and you’ve experienced the same things over and over again, you’re stuck. The stress & frustration of being stuck isn’t necessary, it’s not “the way it is.” You can evolve into your higher self, the version of you who uses your strengths to live the life you want rather than life on a roller coaster.

The first step is to really know yourself. Take our paradigm survey to find your nature and reach out to us with your questions. Or come to our workshop on March 28.

You can evolve.

Know yourself. Know what you want. Find the right coach. Evolve with your money.

 

Disclosures: The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. They do not necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial.

No strategy or process assures success or guarantees against losses.

Higher Self or Dirty Secret: the First Paradigm

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Do you know your paradigm? Are you highly instinctual, reactive, or tend to fly by the seat of your pants? Do you have the ability to bob and weave with life? Are you a survivor?

You were born with one of 7 ways of relating to the world, and if you can relate to the above you may have been born with the Reactive paradigm. Like with all 7 paradigms, there is a positive side and a negative side. The positive aspect of your nature can propel you to your highest self. You are resourceful, able to get what you need when you need it. You are resilient and have sharp instincts; your gut feelings are great assets. You are without a doubt a survivor.

But the dark side, the aspect of your nature that will trap you, is just as much a part of you. You create chaos and tend to live a chaotic life within chaotic circumstances. You can be a taker, taking from others what you think you need. And you can also become dependent on others to get your needs met.

There are times when being reactive is necessary- in an emergency, when playing sports, doing improv, debating, and more. However if you’re stuck you are only surviving rather than thriving. Sometimes we accept being stuck by thinking that’s just the way life is, but it doesn’t have to be. Ask yourself:

  • How are my finances? Could that part of my life be better? What would that look like?
  • How are my relationships? Could that part of my life be better? What would that look like?
  • How am I experiencing my time? Could that part of my life be better? What would that look like?
  • How is my health? My nutrition? My fitness? Could that part of my life be better? What would that look like?

It is very likely that if any part of your life isn’t what you’d like it to be and you’ve experienced the same things over and over again, you’re stuck. The stress & frustration being stuck causes isn’t necessary, not just the way it is. You can evolve into your higher self, the version of you who uses your strengths to live the life you want rather than the one you were dealt.

The first step is to really know yourself. Take our paradigm survey to find your nature and reach out to us with your questions.

You can evolve.

Know yourself. Know what you want. Find the right coach. Evolve with your money.

 

Disclosures: The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. They do not necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial.