It is April. I often take these moments to write about a time in the past that used to be about something. The joy of having the choice and opportunity to unload my thoughts and feelings of financial advice and life in a website that our firm hopes will reach people. Okay…okay. Get off your high horse (says my wife).
To those of you who subscribe to reading my regular contributions, you may notice that I put a lot of me in these messages. Do you know the author?
The “passion” of April for Daniel James Rundahl lies in the idea of anticipation. The month of April is by far my most anticipated month in the calendar year. Why? Last Sunday, as I forced myself to a snowy day to be outside, I reminded myself, this is the culmination of the best season of the year. If some of you may have noticed, I am an outside guy, and regardless of individual beliefs, I do believe that God does work in mysterious ways. As we enjoyed a nearly 90 degree week, we were presented with the announcement of 30 degrees and snow. (Welcome to Iowa!) As I suffered through this outside moment last Sunday, I still reminded myself that Spring weather is just about here. This calendar based holiday brings the hope of newness and rebirth. It brings the joy of death, breeding new life. It helps all of us to see the value in the simplest of things.
As I drove down a gravel road in Marion County, Iowa, I witnessed something. As I contemplated the previous meeting that I just left with clients at their kitchen table, and mentally prepared for the meeting that I was to have, I couldn’t help but stop…..as I drove past this completely random environment, with cattle fences and beef cows, I found myself thinking (or in this case, possibly overthinking). I was compelled to pull over on an Iowa gravel road, I couldn’t help but take pause in the moment. (How often do we actually do this??) As I found the end of the gravel, I looked left. I placed the vehicle in park, and at this point, realizing that any stop in my driving would have me arrive late to my next appointment. I was awestruck.
As a child that grew up on a dairy farm, with a family necessity based need to work the family business, I often have overlooked the beauty in its requirements. Feed the cows, bale the hay, work the land. However, when an epiphany presents itself, by whatever emotional nature it happens (if your listening), sometimes you stop. Again, as I found myself on the side of this gravel road in Marion County, Iowa, I witnessed God and beauty in its purest form. In reminder of my childhood requirements, I had to take pause. I had to see joy; I had to see value; I needed to understand purpose. As a calf was being born, I was silenced. Presented with the beauty of new life and new opportunity; strange as it might be, I was reminded why we do what we do. It was beautiful!
The joy of what we do as a Financial Advisory firm is to bring new life to a stagnant path. The people that we meet with daily, find themselves hungry for information to feed their excitement of the newness of what is the next chapter. As we work with our clients, we can also find ourselves landing in the rut of what is the “system’s based advice” program that we become accustomed to in our client’s Retirement Path. Maybe it is time for us all to check; to check on what is important. To value what is necessary; to see what is in front of us. Joy is found in the moment.
As I end this speech, and finish this thought, I take you back to “PS: About the Author.” It could be April, or it could be July, or it could be December; life has a funny way to make you take pause. The birth of a calf makes me realize the value in my late arrival to my next meeting (Oh, and they understood), life is short….and we always find a way to create exciting things and even regrets. Never overlook an opportunity to create value, and don’t forget those that you brought along with you. Plan for best, Prepare the worst, and Revel in the unexpected. Joy can aways exist, even if you need assistance. Let us know if we can join you on this fact finding tour.
With what we do, good planning helps to direct that moment. As I digress, in pure hyperbole, don’t hesitate to bring those advisors and value makers back into your life….it may simply change the direction of your world.
Let us know if we can help.