Christmas has always been a bit awkward for me.
Even before this job, people would refer to this season for holidays or travel or things like that. Sometimes my family did things like that, sometimes we didn't.
As a Christian, I also spend Christmas mornings at church, or attending mass as some like to call it - reflecting on the birth of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
And when the music ends and all the catch ups are done, I head back to the office.
...Heck, I'm actually writing this FROM the office, today. I am in the office, right now, on Christmas Day - reviewing my clients and planning for them.
A lot of my friends, and even clients (though it's generally in your best interest to have the person you're paying working for you) have stated their worry on this.
And for Christians, we all worry about our salvation getting compromised for our love of money.
How about you? You don't have to be a Christian to answer these questions, but maybe some of these might make you think.
a) Has your pursuit of a better financial or social status compromised the most important relationships in your life in any way?
b) Was it worth it?
Money as your Purpose
About 6 months ago, I visited Christopher Tan at Providend. Christopher is a pretty upstanding citizen and Man of God, at least from an outsider's point of view.
It can be quite dis-illusioning to be in this line of work where your world revolves around money constantly.
Seeing someone who seems to have it together financially, professionally and spiritually made a lot of sense - and Chris was gracious enough to give me some of his time.
SEE ALSO: Money Maverick vs Providend (the showdown you never asked for and didn't actually happen)
I asked him about how he balances himself out so well, and the core of his suggestions to me were a framework that he designed quite a few years ago.
Christopher explained to me that the reason (at least, the message I received at the time) why quite a few rich and successful people are so unhappy is because they've put money at the forefront.
They started their circle by segregating their goals into different compartments of their lives, rather than finding a way to integrate it around the purpose of living.
What happens is that you get a mess of a person who is constantly divided and at odds with himself. (Again, not his words - mine.)
We pursue those goals separately from each other, without purpose, and eventually something gives way horrendously - usually family or loved ones.
Rather than a goal to be had - money is an enabler for those goals, not a goal in itself.
Many of my clients make the mistake of aiming for more and more money. Without purpose, it becomes extremely meaningless and unfulfilling.
Money isn't your purpose - money is the enabler to help you achieve those purposes.
That's when I realized, while reflecting during this Christmas season - that your Insurance Review and Christmas are fairly similar.
Both have good sides: a commitment to the people you care about, for example.
And bad sides: like costs, time costs, it can be quite unpleasant during the occasion and after it. Most importantly, both help you with your understanding your purpose for living, for pursuing a better wealth and moving forward in this crazy world.
Reflection and Re-Commitment
What I really love about the Christmas season is the message that Jesus brought - that everyone can share, regardless of whether you are a Christian or not.
That we are loved.
That we are redeemable.
That we have people in our lives who are worth making sacrifices for.
And when you celebrate Christmas and the season with your friends or family - look around you. The message is there.
These are the people that you've chosen, who are around for good - for better or worse.
(Well except for the people who bring their friends of friends, or the unnecessarily huge parties, or the guys who bring a new girl every holiday.) (...Okay you know what, point's been made.)
Every year, when we celebrate the season with the people closest to us, with the events we chose to attend willingly with our limited holidays - we make our recommitment to these people.
'I love you.'
'I care about you.'
'I'll be seeing you more next year. Hopefully it'll be less crappy.'
If anything could be your purpose in life, it's that.
Surprisingly (and a little disturbingly), when you renew your insurance and discuss finance with your agent, its the same.
One event allows you to reflect on that commitment and your insurance allows you to renew it.
Merry Christmas, Guys
As we move forward into the new year, it is my hope that we will all continue to share our passion for the enabler that makes our lives better - but recommit much more to the reason we love money so much.
Because it makes our purpose better.
Make money to enable purpose, not for the purpose of making money! And see your consultant! (Hey look, I managed to cover that in my article after all.)
Now I am going to Christmas dinner with my family.
Blessed Christmas, everyone.
And apologies for the hiatus - I spent some time preparing many things for 2020.
As one of the Top Financial Bloggers in Singapore (Feedspot, Withcontent.co), I would be happy to answer any emails and questions you may have, as I have been doing for my readers over the past few years - especially about Insurance and Investing, as it is my forte of personal and professional knowledge.
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Money Maverick is a Licensed Financial Consultant with MAS, who specializes in Investments and Critical Illness Insurance.
The views on his blog are strictly of his own opinion and have no affiliation to any of the companies he works with.
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4) Spending and Saving: The Biggest Spending Mistakes You DIDNT Even Know you were Making (and how to avoid them)
5) Job Assessment: A Case Study on How a $6k/mth GIrl makes MUCH more money than a $10k/mth Guy
6) Financial Optimisation: How I Avoid the Largest 'Fees' of All