Welcome to my first “Beyond the Money” blog post! How appropriate that I’m sharing these personal messages with you now that we’re living in a global pandemic and experiencing incredible life, economic, social, and market change. But, as my blog’s name indicates, I’m not focusing on money here. Instead, I’m talking about how we can live our life with true purpose, regardless of any negative global market effects. I’m talking about True Wealth: those things money can’t buy, and death can’t take away. Or, more precisely, I’m talking about True Wealth as a sense of abundance based on “experiencing” rather than “possessing,” where we seek deeper relationships, personal growth, and more meaning in life. I’m talking about True Wealth where we make meaning through experiences that make memories. After all, money is only a tool used to get to an end. For me, money is what I do, it is not who I am. I hope that’s true for you, too. Self-Care One of my long-held beliefs is that we must take care of ourselves to be of value to others. We must enhance our mental and physical well-being by eating healthfully, exercising, resting, being mindful, self-reflecting, and surrounding ourselves with people we love and respect. That’s why I’m eager to share with you some life-enriching lessons I learned during a recent three-day sabbatical led by Leo Pusateria. You may have heard the saying “the teacher appears when the student is ready.” Well, I was ready when Leo appeared! Taking a sabbatical helped me step outside of everyday life so I could think deeply about what matters to me and could clearly see who I am at my core. My wealth management career has largely been successful, and I’m grateful beyond words for being able to serve others and for having learned the battle-hardened lessons I’ve learned, even the hard, painful lessons. Yet, my life isn’t solely about managing money or advising others on how to be smart stewards of their wealth. My. Life is about how to be a better human being, son, friend, brother, and leader, and how to demonstrate a genuineness with others, letting them know I have their back. It’s about making meaning and making memories. It’s about being a 55-year-old man who isn’t afraid to say the words “I love you” when I feel it. I love a lot of people, and I especially cherish my incredible Brooklyn (and my 90-pound Boxer Ridgeback, Sadie). Brooklyn is a kindred spirit, a partner in every sense, and I was honored when she said “yes” to my marriage proposal on New Year’s Eve, at the stroke of midnight in Paris. I will always joyfully recall hearing Brooklyn say “yes.” Now, that’s a memory, right?! Life of Abundance Brooklyn and I are building a life of abundance together; more love, more caring, more meaningful relationships with family and friends. So, my life is about this journey of living fully, and about using self-care — meditation, yoga, self-development, sabbaticals — to be a better person and bring a better experience to my clients. During the three days of sabbatical with Leo – free from phones, TV, the internet, computers — I immersed myself in evaluating every area of my life. Reminded of the importance of our short time on this planet, I dove deep to answer these questions:
- What do I do with my limited time on Earth?
- Who do I spend it with?
- How do I prioritize what really matters in the time I have left?
- Living our legacy: making a genuine impact
- Living a life of significance: making a meaningful difference
- Having no regrets: nurturing inner pride
- Believing in abundance: practicing intentional stewardship
- Feeling gratitude: expressing authentic appreciation
- Having perspective: experiencing increased sensitivity
- Becoming our best: having a committed focus
As founder and owner of Bradley Wealth, a high-touch boutique financial planning firm, Michael Bradley’s greatest passion in life is to help others experience true wealth and live their life by design. With his friendly, proactive, and caring approach, Michael pledges to provide the finest wealth management service experience anyone has ever had. And if you aren’t a client, no problem; Michael pledges to be a warm and caring friend who reminds you to experience the utter joy in life, and to turn that joy into memories.