In getting clarity on our values and creating a vision for our future, we need to recognize that we are social beings and we need to focus on 3 types of knowledge:
- Know, love, and respect yourself (accept and be the person you are)
- Know, love, and respect the natural world and the people in your life
- Know, love, and respect the freedom to choose your life's path
Life is essentially the process of learning and growing. This learning and growing is best when associated with life goals. The key to discovering your life goals is to know and understand how your brain and mind have developed as you moved through your childhood to adulthood. By examining our personal thinking processes and getting to know our own mind we are better positioned to find and focus on those goals that give us the life we really want.
Our brain and mind are incredibly complex, however, some simple constructs are useful in arriving at a clear vision about our life. First we will look at the pyramid of "Maslow's "Hierarchy of Needs" as found on Wikipedia.
This is a schema to help open up our thinking about our goals. While shown as a pyramid, all of these levels can simultaneously come into play.
An important point is that patterns that influence how we respond to issues can be established at a very young age. In particular, our conditioned response to risks to our safety can encompass our tendencies to fight, flight, or freeze. These early established patterns can interfere with us setting and expressing higher level goals.
Another construct that can be useful in getting to know ourselves and in understanding our thinking and emotions is Attachment Theory. The quote below on Attachment Theory is from Wikipedia.
Attachment Theory describes the dynamics of long-term relationships between humans. Its most important tenet is that an infant needs to develop a relationship with at least one primary caregiver for social and emotional development to occur normally. Attachment theory explains how much the parents' relationship with the child influences development. Attachment theory is an interdisciplinary study encompassing the fields of psychological, evolutionary, and ethological theory."
Other useful information to stimulate our thinking can be found in the following books:
- Mindsight, The New Science of Personal Transformation by Daniel Siegel, M.D.
- A New Earth, Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle
- The Energy of Money, A Spiritual Guide to Financial and Personal Fulfillment by Maria Nemeth, Ph.D
- Seven Stages of Money Maturity, Understanding the Spirit and Value of Money in Your Life by George D. Kinder
- Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, Ph.D
- Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain, Dr. David Perlmutter, M.D.
- With a focus on Mental Health, The Connections Project led by Emily Olsen: https://theconnectionproject.ca/documentary/
A useful resource is provided by the Kinder Institute of Life Planning at this website: Life Planning For You
Getting to know and understand ourselves better provides the foundation for building a Financial Life Plan. However, the actual creation of a Financial Life Plan starts with a Vision which gives us the capacity to dream and imagine our future life.