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.

 

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.

unnamed-3

 

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.

Navigating Financial States: the path to greater wealth.

Everything has its wonders… and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.  ~Helen Keller

Within each financial level are seven possible states, and to get to your next level you must evolve through each state. It’s a very natural process, and because there are only seven specific states, the whole of financial evolution becomes easier, more organic. Each state has value as part of this natural progression, and we encourage you to find the value in each state even when your experiences feel less than natural; if your nature doesn’t match the state you’re in you will likely feel some discomfort. There is no need to worry because this means you are indeed evolving. Sometimes moving from one state to another takes some effort, other times it’s as simple as a shift in perspective. Here are the seven states in order:

unnamed-4

Insufficient: here you lack the resources you need to thrive. It is a reactive state which can seem chaotic and cause you to become reactive yourself, even if it is not your nature. When you are experiencing this state acceptance is crucial as it is the undeniable start of something new. This state is also very motivating: you see that you don’t have what you need to evolve, so your focus becomes finding your right pathway to the next state. To begin, write down everything that’s swirling around in your head and set it aside.

 

unnamed-6

In this state, Sufficient, you have what you need but not always when the need arises. It’s like being on a roller-coaster, and can be exhilarating or exhausting… or both. This state is also characterized by feeling and spending. It’s important to remember that you may experience your emotions without being controlled by them, and spending on things that bring you more value is not anything to feel badly about, in fact doing so will help you make your way to the next state.

 

unnamed-7

Being in the Efficient state means getting off the roller-coaster and smoothing out your resources and expenses so they become aligned. In this state your money is so well allocated there is no margin, and the task at hand is work. Here you must work toward a surplus and avoid getting stuck, despite our cultural idealization of this state, so you can move into the following state.

 

unnamed-8

This state, Proficient, you are inclined to save or reserve your surplus resources. You have not quite become connected to their power as sources of positive energy for your life which can and will multiply and magnify. Saving your money can seem like the most important financial task, and it may be tempting to remain in this state. Doing so will cause your evolution to stagnate leading to missed opportunities. When you have connected to your money fully and saved what is appropriate to save, you are ready to move on to the next state.

 

unnamed-9

This is the Productive state, where you begin to create more of what you want so you can enjoy it. The decrease in energy put into reacting, feeling, working, and saving give you more energy, time and money to invest in your passions. You are nicely connected to your resources now, and your resources are energizing, positively reinforcing your direction and intention. Though you experience more joy in this phase, there is always something next.

 

unnamed-10

In the Deductive state your resources make your life easier. You are able to use the results of your investments to free yourself from stress and burden. This state is about letting go of what weighs you down or complicates your life so you can focus on raising yourself higher, and by collaborating with others you can raise each other even higher. In some instances this state may include using unearned income to ease your expenses, leveraging your resources to reduce your expenses, or pursuing innovations.

 

unnamed-11

The Inductive state is like being inducted into a new life: you have reached the last state of evolving to a higher level. This is where you form a new vision for yourself, of what is coming next, and you are able to lead others through the same situations and experiences you’ve had up until now. This is a time of gratitude, giving to others, and helping to make the world a better place in some way that is meaningful to you. It’s also a time of  celebration and rest because a new adventure is waiting for you just over the next hill. You will reach a new level where you’ll have to move through these seven states again.

 

Your Evolution       Your Financial Advisor

The opinions voiced in this material is for general information only.

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.)

 

TSicons-3 jpg 02

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

Still from No Coincidences

What is your superpower?

Use it for greater health & wealth or go to the darkside…

There are seven human natures and iconic superheroes that match each one. Coincidence? Not at all.

Which is most like you and how are you best motivated to create your higher life? Take our survey to find out, then watch the video for financial insight like you’ve never heard.

 

Master of Flow or Head in the Clouds: the Seventh Paradigm

yoda-wallpaper-18091-18551-hd-wallpapers

Do you have a strong intuition? Do you tend to assume a leadership role? Are you a visionary? Can you see beyond the now to what could be? Do you give your time, attention, money, and energy to others?

You were born with one of 7 ways of relating to the world and everything in it, and if this sounds like you it may be your paradigm: the Giver. Givers are just that: natural givers. You want to make the world a better place and want to dedicate your resources to others. You are able to envision a future and help make it a reality. You are a natural leader and inspire others. When you are at your best you feel much gratitude. You are much more able to reach a flow state that people within the other paradigms, that time when you are completely in synch with what you’re doing like great artists, musicians, athletes, etc. You are naturally able to get into “the zone” where everything just comes together.

Every paradigm has a dark side. You can be so focused on “the zone” that you are blind to what’s happening around you. You can give until you have nothing left- money, time, energy, and otherwise- which ultimately makes you a martyr. If you are giving to others so that you’ll get something back from them you’ve become manipulative or passive-aggressive. Some gifted Givers have tons of great ideas that never, ever go anywhere. This is often due to the fact that Givers often have a hard time accepting help from others because they see themselves as the ultimate helpers. Some Givers give to others to make their lives manageable, and that’s just enabling. Sometimes Givers in dysfunction become isolated because they can only do half of the give-and-take necessary for relationships.

A healthy Giver can balance their desire to give with the need to receive, replace, and restore. When people are stuck in this paradigm they end up with a diminished capacity to experience their passions and an ever-smaller ability to give. Evolving for you means increasing your ability to experience the things that matter most to you and fueling your ability to give. It’s good practice to ask yourself these questions:

  • 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 what’s left over.

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. No strategy assures success or protects against losses.

Raising the Game or Grasping at Straws: the Sixth Paradigm

wonder-woman-wallpapers-1

Does this sound like you? Do you like things to be easy? Do you get frustrated by unnecessary complication, and all complication is unnecessary? Are you at your best on a team? Do you see collaboration as a way for all team members to shine by bringing their best to the table? Do you seek enlightenment and see that as crucial to your journey?

You were born with one of 7 ways of relating to the world and everything in it. If the above sounds like you then this is likely your paradigm: the Lever. Levers are natural collaborators and love being on a great team. You like to help others reach their highest potentials and enjoy others doing the same for you. You like things to be easy and seek ways to make life easier on every level. You seek enlightenment and when you’re at your best you feel fortunate. You sense opportunities that others may miss, and you naturally use your resources, (time, money, energy, etc.), to create a multiplier effect so the positivity you help create goes on and on. You love this!

Every paradigm has a dark side, however. If you get stuck in your paradigm you risk becoming over leveraged. In a financial sense, you can become over leveraged when you take on more debt than you can handle in your pursuit of making life easier. When people in this paradigm get stuck they may become exploitive by getting others to do the work to make the most of an opportunity while keeping the rewards for themselves. Dysfunctional Levers can be manipulative, getting others to buy into unhealthy endeavors or convincing others to give up their resources in exchange for little or nothing. If you seize an opportunity for your own benefit rather than for the benefit of many then you’re opportunistic, an unhealthy Lever.

Being a healthy Lever means fully understanding the differences between leverage & debt, collaboration & exploitation, and helping & manipulation. On the positive side this is a great paradigm, a tremendous asset to any group. If you are stuck in your paradigm you are not, and you are limiting your ability to experience more ease, greater enlightenment, and you can prevent yourself from reaching a higher level. It’s good practice to ask yourself these questions:

  • 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 a life that just stays the same.

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 for much more information on your paradigm and how it integrates with everything in your life.

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 assures success or protects against losses. No strategy assures success or prevents against losses.

 

Thrill Ride or Ego Trip: the Fifth Paradigm

unnamed Sound familiar? Do you have lots of energy? Do the things you do give you more energy? Are you typically pretty successful, able to reap & enjoy the fruits of your labor? Do you invest your time, energy, and money in ways that give you back more of the things you want? Do you look for the next big opportunity and make the most of the opportunities that come your way?

You were born with one of 7 ways of relating to the world, and if the above sounds familiar you might just be a natural Investor. You understand the value of getting something valuable back from what you put into situations, relationships, your health, finance, and everything in life. You aren’t inclined to simply save your money but put it to use creating more money, and you like to enjoy your money as well as your time, your relationships, your health & energy. You can be fun to be with, and you value productivity.

There is a dark side to this paradigm as there are with all the others. A dysfunctional Investor is easily addicted to substances and to adrenaline. Some gamble away their cash or lose everything due to speculative investing. Your behavior can be erratic when looking for the thrill. If your investing is all about your personal gain then it’s all about the ego vacuum, feeding the ego rather than providing more time, energy, wealth, and opportunities for yourself and those around you. Getting stuck in this paradigm is easier to recognize than being stuck in the Saver paradigm because the consequences are often catastrophic: you could lose everything that matters to you if you spin too wildly out of control.

A healthy Investor knows the line between the healthy pursuit of greater value and impulsive, unhealthy pursuit of more and more. Evolving means increasing the capacity for healthy investing, experiencing greater joy, and creating more ease in daily life. You can start by asking yourself these questions:

  • 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 a life that you’ve destroyed.

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 join us for a workshop that goes deeper into the paradigms, finances, and success. 

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 who created our superheroes. You have given our culture a great gift; you are our heroes.

 

 

Saving & the Savior: the Fourth Paradigm

supermanAre we talking about you here? Do you save stuff? Do you collect things? Save animals or other people? Do you linger in unhealthy situations because you are concerned others will fall apart without you? Are you inclined to conserve your resources like time & energy? Do you accumulate things? Are you living below your means in order to save your money? Are you saving your money in things like savings accounts or CD’s? Does your savings make you feel safe, secure, and prepared?

You were born with one of 7 ways of relating to the world, and if this describes you then this may be your paradigm: the Saver. There is a positive side and a negative side, just like all the other paradigms. On the positive side, you have the ability to build a cushion through saving your money.  You are generally prepared for any eventuality and often frugal. You are able to create safety, security, and predictability. When you successfully save others- people, animals, the environment- you do a lot of good. You waste very little.

A stuck & dysfunctional Saver has an unhealthy attachment to money, people, and stuff. Unchecked saving can become hoarding and saving others can become about control. You can be greedy, taking the biggest serving at the table if you can’t have the whole thing. You can sometimes be cheap or withholding. The money you save is likely just sitting in an account or a hole in the backyard, doing nothing rather than generating more money. You may have found yourself staying in an unhealthy job situation out of fear of missing the opportunity to save more money only to have to save yourself when it gets too bad to continue! You get the idea.

Being a healthy Saver means knowing how to balance your need to save with your need to evolve. This is a paradigm that is held up as an example to which most people are told to aspire: saving your money will save you in your later years. And saving is good to a certain extent. If you get stuck in your paradigm you are actually  limiting your capacity to save: your money can’t create greater value for you in the future. It may be hard for a Saver to know when they are stuck because a big aspect of this paradigm is comfort. However, it is a good practice to ask yourself these questions:

  • Is saving what & as much as I do 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 & detachment 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 between saving & hoarding.

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; details here.

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 artists, writers, and creators for creating the superhero that enrich our lives. You are so right-on, more than you know, and you are our heroes.

 

 

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.