For today’s post, I’m going to take a little tangent from the world of personal finance and investing.
Many weeks ago, my close friend Dave wrote me a number of emails sharing his perspectives on smarter living. What is smarter living anyhow?
Is it about being more “green”? Does smarter living mean the same thing as today’s favourite buzzword sustainability?
Is it about making healthier choices?
Is it about being more socially responsible or aware?
Is it about creating efficiencies or less waste in our world?
Could be any of the above I suppose, and more.
I must admit, Dave’s emails were pretty deep (probably too deep for this blog!) but what he wrote me struck a cord and did cause me to pause and think…thinking is always a good thing in my book 😉
Maybe Dave is more philosophical since his daughter was born over a year ago now. Maybe he’s becoming more introspective with age. Maybe his passion for understanding the human condition is moving to a higher plane. Here are the distilled themes of Dave’s emails to me…
Smarter living makes me think of the big picture. It dawned on me one day that if I had a set of principles (for our family) that governed who we are, what we want to represent, how we want to live, what’s important to us, what we stand for, etc., then all other facets of life could be aligned to those principles. With my wife and I having a young daughter now, I find it even more important now to define these principles so I can lead by example, be a good role model, and be consistent in my actions. What are these principles? One example could be healthy living, with a sub-principle of this being quality food, which could include organic, local, not processed, etc. Another principle could be friendship which could include showing respect, consideration, empathy. Yet another example could be character, which could include integrity and kindness. Using these principles could help form what “smarter living” means to us, to me. Maybe as investors, we should also define how we want to invest according our principles, being smarter about them. This could be about my investment approach, the types of companies I invest in or where I place those investments (i.e. TFSA, RRSP). It can mean so many things, the beauty of it is, you get to define it.
I liked the last part; you get to define it.
I haven’t thought too much about smarter living until I re-read those emails from Dave; some interesting perspectives for sure. Hopefully all of us can make most daily actions consistent with our values but heck, if we don’t, we can learn from those experiences and be better people for it. Our actions could be more “green” and preserve Mother Earth. Our actions could be ethical investing. Our actions could be short steps on a path towards more meaningful, lasting experiences for ourselves, our families and those close to us. I guess smarter living can be many things to many people but it starts with a trigger, something to encourage you to reflect upon where you are and forecast where you want to be.
In case this sounds familar, this principle-centred ideology was popularized by Stephen Covey’s book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. A great read if you haven’t put this book on your bedside already.
What does “smarter living” mean to you? Does this term mean something special to you?
I want to thank Dave for allowing me to share this thoughts on my blog. He has a passion for learning, understanding, staying true and working to be a better person.
Share your thoughts!