Last weekend, I had one of those great discussions. Late at night, sat around the chiminea with my brother-in-law, a couple of drinks, gazing up at the stars. One star in particular was brighter than the rest, so using an app on the phone, we determined that the star in question 'Hers' was 193 light years away from us.
Now just comprehend that for a moment this star, which we could see perfectly well with the naked eye in the dark Cornish spring sky, is 193 light years away - that is two lifetimes, travelling at the speed of light - wow we thought.
Suddenly, Phil asked "but how do we know that?" Me - "Because the app said so!" "But how did anyone work it out?" Me - "technology" "But how do they know the technology is right?" Me - "because they are very clever people".
It then dawned on me, that what we are told is mostly theories or stories. OK, we know that we cannot fall off the end of the world because it is not flat, but aside from that, there is much which is based solely on theory without real proof - so we base our lives on other people's opinions (it just cannot be possible to measure the distance to that star for instance - not properly anyway).
Leading us on the the financial life planning connotations of this, we are led to live our lives through many others assumptions, beliefs, habits and practises, sometimes, not even thinking to question it. Why do we have to work from 9-5? Why should you not work remotely and enjoy a good environment instead of being stuck in an office? Who said that you have to work until you get your State Pension? The questions keep coming, yet life has become boxed in by other people's beliefs and our own assumptions of money and finance.
Sometimes, it pays to take time out to question and to reflect on what it is that we really want. These are not the usual sorts of conversations people have, to reflect on what would make them truly happy, or what they would regret if they were to die in 5 years, or even at the end of today. The thought provoking answers usually have a far reaching impact, maybe not 193 light years, but certainly a huge shift on the rest of their lives.
This is what we do at Serenity, provoke thought, enable reflection, and encourage action, then support our clients along the journey.