In a recent post about big life transitions, I wrote:
Life is full of transitions. It seems like we are either accommodating a prior transition or looking forward to the next one.
The recency effect has kicked in and I have been noticing items that relate to life transitions. The point being that the world, and our little corners of it, are always in transition. It’s that we don’t notice it sometimes.
Brett and Kate McKay have a post up detailing The Seasons of a Man’s Life. In it they detail the eras and developmental periods of a typical man’s life. In short, we are either being or becoming. They write:
A key takeaway in examining the overall structure of the adult life cycle, is that getting older, rather than being a process of creating a permanent, concrete stability — a monolithic structure that lasts for three-quarters of a century — is instead an oscillation of creation and re-creation, destruction and renewal, ideally with an upwards, generative arc.
In a tweet @RampCapitalLLC asked the following:
Name a societal norm that 50 years from now people will look back and say WTF.
— Ramp Capital (@RampCapitalLLC) October 6, 2019
The point being that we as a society are currently doing stuff that in a few decades will seem unhinged. We are not unique in this, because this is how progress works. Ramp writes:
Looking to the future, I think about what kinds of things we do today that will look and sound crazy in 50 years. Things that our kids and grandkids will see while looking back through the archives and ask us what we were thinking. Our response will most likely be: Everyone was doing it. We just didn’t know.
Every bull market bust comes with lessons. One is that bull markets offer the illusion of permanence.
For example, the longer a bull market drags on, returns are more likely to be normalized and expected. When double-digit returns are all you know, the easy assumption is to expect more of the same.
It’s a repeated lesson because there’s always a new crop of investors experiencing their first bull market and some of the old crop forgets what the last bear market was like.
We transition. Markets transition. Society as a whole transitions. The only way to avoid these transitions is not be here. Which is why we should, when possible, embrace the opportunity these transitions present.
Carolyn Gowen at The Financial Bodyguard writes about how financial advisors help clients navigate big life transitions. These transitions always involve finances. They also involve other challenges as well. Advisors can assist, or coach, these other clients have likely had similar experiences.
What is notable is that advisors can also learn from their clients’ experiences. It is not a one-way street: advisors educating clients. Carolyn writes:
But how much time do we spend thinking about what our clients are teaching us? One of the biggest lessons I have learned from our clients is to live life to the full because you never know what the future holds. Don’t put things off thinking you’ll get around to them when you stop work or aren’t so busy. That day may never come. If there is something which you would class as being ‘your heart’s desire’, DO IT NOW.
This urgency to act is at odds with our desire to see the world as a stable, predictable place. Unfortunately, it isn’t. Bad things happen. Transitions occur. It’s up to us to make our way in the world so that we can achieve ‘our heart’s desire’ for ourselves and the ones we love.