Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The News Diet & Your Inner Balance Sheet

You may not know that I'm sort of an economics wonk. I took LOTS of econ courses at Princeton, and then, of course, there is that Harvard MBA. So I follow the economy with great interest (for links to my favorite econoblogs -- which are way better than mainstream news sources -- see below).

Waking up Monday to the news that Lehman Brothers was filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and that Merrill's thundering herd was about to be put out to pasture in North Carolina as part of Bank of America was really shocking. (Do the bulls get more complacent with more room to roam? Or does the herd get culled?) Now the US government, i.e. We, the People, are becoming the world's largest insurer (AIG)... OMG! (For those of you who are being technical about it, We only bought 80% of the holding company, not the insurance companies, but still...)

It’s not just me, either. A client yesterday was pretty freaked out about it all, partly for personal reasons, but mostly because she was taking on the energy of the world. I understand that -- I do it, too. That's why my guides told me this summer that I had to go on a news diet for about 6 weeks.

I highly suggest a news diet.
Limit yourself to a small amount of time per day, just enough so you know what's going on, even if not all the details. That is, you know Hurricane Ike happened, but you don't see the photos of the Bolivar peninsula becoming 3 islands. You'll be amazed at how much better you feel!

You'll also understand why most people don't get very freaked out about the bigger picture -- they're just not paying attention. (I actually think this may be a good thing, because people being oblivious and continuing to do what they've always done keeps things moving forward in a calm, orderly way.)

What I learned from the news diet is that I do NOT have to embody the world's problems. In fact, I function better from my own inner balance sheet than from the one denominated in dollars in my computer, the one that changes daily, based on the markets.

Your inner balance sheet, like a financial one, consists of assets and liabilities. From the longer term, i.e. multiple lifetime, perspective, any physical assets are short term assets. And financial assets, which at this point are really only electronic scorekeeping, are the shortest term of all. They can be wiped out instantly by an electrical failure! There's an old line that 'you can't take it with you'. Anything you can't take with you is a short term asset.

So an inner balance sheet would look like this:


Short Term

Financial Assets (money, CDs, stocks & bonds, etc.)
External Physical Assets (car, consumer durables, house)
Physical Body

Long Term

Positive Traits, like

- dependability,
- curiosity,
- endurance,
- intelligence
- a loving heart
- willingness to work hard
- willingness to share
- ability to flow with change
- ability to hold a positive vision for yourself and the world
- ability to access your own inner guidance

Skills -- not just workplace skills, but also life skills, like

- cooking yummy, healthy food
- fixing a running toilet
- driving a car
- making people laugh
- coaxing green things from the earth
- comforting a scared child or a heartsick adult

Good Relationships (yes, these carry over from lifetime to lifetime)


Short Term

Financial Debt
- consumer loans
- credit card balances
- mortgages
Personal Debt
- favors, books & tools not returned

Long Term

Negative Attitudes (like selfishness, laziness, or intolerance)
Bad Habits, including negative thought patterns

In times of turmoil, it's important to remember all of these things.

You do have to pay attention to short term assets, but our society encourages us to pay attention ONLY to short term assets, and ignore the long term ones. The long term assets are important -- maybe more important -- because they will stay with you no matter what happens in the outside world, in this lifetime, as well as others. In some sense, your long term assets create your short term ones.

Take a few moments right now to take stock of your inner assets. And if you’d like some help decreasing those long term liabilities, call me at 888-4-hollis (888-446-5547).

For my favorite econoblogs, see below.

1 comment:

SteveK said...

North Carolina is home to dairy cattle, not beef cattle. The Merrill-Lynch bull will have to retire elsewhere.  :)