Judaic Financial Life Planning: Evolution of ENOUGH(sm) –
July 19, 2009 update June 25, 2013
“So you’re going to be a financial planner? You’ll be in ‘the more business. And e.e. cummings said, ‘more, more, more – what are we all morticians?’
Rudy Withus, former philosophy teacher at the University of Denver, to Jim Schwartz
Evolution of ENOUGH(sm):
Over close to 40 years, my definition of ENOUGH(sm) has evolved. Originally, ENOUGH(sm) involved the application of business planning techniques (management by objectives, Kepner Tregoe decision analysis, etc) to personal resources to achieve financial and life goals (materializing the material). As my Judaic understanding of Original Incompletion (1), Chalik (2), Shomer Tov (3), Shalom (4) & ANYWAY (5) has changed, ENOUGH(sm) has evolved to healing personal financial anxiety, putting money in its place to connect and transcend towards one’s signification (spiritualizing the material). By definition the evolution has been:
· ENOUGH(sm): clientele realizable goal determination coordinated with orderly plans for the desired payoffs via personal financial planning by objectives (1977)
· ENOUGH(sm): the alignment of personal resources (including money, time, skills) to achieve life goals and values via the process of ENOUGH(sm). (1992 or so)
· ENOUGH(sm): healing personal financial anxiety via aligning personal resources with life goals and values thus facilitating transcendence toward signification (meaning In one’s life). (1998-2009)
· ENOUGH(sm): healing personal financial anxiety, putting money in its place (enough to live on, enough to live for) to connect and transcend towards one’s signification (spiritualizing the material) (2010-)
Healing Financial Anxiety, Puttin’ Money In It’s Place To Connect & Transcend Towards One’s Significance
Healing Personal Financial Anxiety:
‘In the beginning’ (of my fee only personal financial life planning practice) was the ENOUGH vs MORE dialectic. This ENOUGH vs MORE duality developed into a continuum whereby MORE was at one end and Tightwaddery (6) was at the other and Relative ENOUGH was ‘the golden mean.’
At the primal raw emotional level, both ‘MORE’ and ‘Tightwaddery’ ends of the spectrum are fear driven. To palliate this trepidation of physical extinction, MORE’s principle policy is acquisition in the desire, at a minimum, to temporarily calm and pacify the fear of mortality – the LACK of immortality. Tightwaddery soothes its fright and dread through hoarding and minimalism to combat ‘the Minus Touch.’
My original approach to ENOUGH(sm) was relative: one man’s floor is another man’s ceiling. The problem with the relative ENOUGH(sm) is continual moving of the floor and ceiling (in the name of ‘home improvement’) but in reality in comparison to others and self worthiness.
Puttin’ Money In It’s Place
‘enough to live on; enough to live for’
Relative ENOUGH(sm) has evolved to ‘Chalik ENOUGH(sm)’. The Judaic concept of Chalik, focuses inside out - developing one’s portion – internally relative to oneself rather than externally to others. When Chalik is aligned with ENOUGH(sm) – Chalik ENOUGH(sm) becomes ‘enough to live on, enough to live for’ and continuum of ENOUGH becomes:
‘Relative ENOUGH(sm)’--------------Chalik ENOUGH(sm)-------------Frugality Enough
My ‘Dogged’ Judaic spiritual path redirected the definition of ENOUGH(sm) to the further assemblage with the concepts of Shaddai (the third word for God in the Torah), Shomer Tov (The Good Guardian) and Anyway. In combination, the impact of these concepts further elevated ENOUGH(sm) from implicitly materializing the material to materializing the spiritual and spiritualizing the material as well. And, in particular, the emergence of ‘Original Incompletion’ in my thinking as the overriding life lense/heuristic (as opposed to Original Sin, Original Dreck, or Original Innocence/Goodness), reinforced the Shomer Tov/ Tikkun Olam (7) components of ENOUGH(sm)’s purpose (8): the potential of assisting the ‘connection’ (or re-connection) & transcendence to one’s signification (‘why I am’)).
To Connect & Transcend Towards One’s Significance
Per Rabbi Mordecai Twerski - Shaddai (one of the first three of four words for God in Genesis) means: ‘God, God Almighty, God all sufficient, enough.’ While there are ‘more’ than 100 words in Hebrew denoting God and or relationship to God, there is no word for MORE that denotes God. Is this fact mere happenstance or ‘God winking?
This land is mine. You are but wayfarers
Shomer Tov (the Good Guardian) recognizes that man doesn’t ‘own’ – at best, he leases -having assets in his caretaking during his short visit on earth. Thus, the concept of ownership as defined as “I can do what I want, when I want, how I want within the law”- is a false premise. Furthermore, the Shomer Tov has the duty and obligation of taking on liability for the assets in his care. Thus, the Shomer Tov -,rather than being an Owner – having ‘Ownership’ – must ‘own UP’ to the assets under his temporary caretaking. And if one is blessed with ‘enough’ or more than ‘enough’ in his caretaking, his role is Shomer Tov and even a “distributor for the community.”
Original Incompletion & Tikkun Olam
Each man must see himself as the entire world, held in balance, and his single act of deed can tip the scale.
Inside out, by example
Original Incompletion is an assignment: continuing to complete one’s soul curriculum to earn an MFA (Master of the Fine Soul). (9) Original Incompletion is sans the implicit wayward, mistaken, defective, deficient, and or evil of Original Sin, Original Dreck/Defectiveness, or the fantasy of original Innocence & Goodness instead focusing on assignment.
Original Incompletion is a process of refinement, rediscovery but also repair and or restoration. This repair – Tikkun (in Hebrew)– however, is externalized as an effect of internalized refinishing and correction unlike the Tikkun Olam hijacked today which is ‘OUTRreach to avoid reaching in.’ This Tikkun Olam is INreach – for connection and transcendence to significance “why I am.” Thus, in completing one’s own incompletions – developing one’s chalik, internalizing Tikkun Olam -one becomes an example as as a result fixes this world in some small measure manifesting one’s significance.
Shalom not only means ‘hello, goodbye and peace’ but also ‘payment, completion.’ Thus, there is no peace, no completion without payment. How can there be Tikkun Olam without Shalom? How can there be Shomer Tov without Shalom? How can there by continuing completion of one’s incompletions without payment nor without the reciprocity of Shalom – the Shalom currency? Sans Shalom of payment for completion – things eventually cease – end. Without Shalom at the extreme, there excuses and rationalizations in the name of ‘fairness’ for theft, confiscation, stealing, and exploiting euphemized as entitlement in the name of victimhood. Without Shalom merit devolves to quotas, disparate statistics, redistribution – larceny by any other name – the seeking of ‘more’ at the expense of others’ ‘enough.’
Implicit to ENOUGH(sm) in assisting connection and transcendence to signification is meritorious Shalom
ANYWAY offsets the predictable disappointment in others and the consequential waterfall of skepticism, cynicism, & nihilism. Let’s face it both Rabbis Shammai and Hillel agreed that man should not have been created. (While agreeing, Hillel believed to paraphrase ‘that man was here anyway, so let’s work with him.)’
The key word is ANYWAY.
Unlike external validation depending recognition and approval, ANYWAY’s validation (other than God) is an internal scoreboard. ANYWAY assumes ‘from the get go’ no good deed will go unpunished. ANYWAY complements Shomer Tov, & Shalom via internal scoring (relative to one’s Chalik) inoculating one from external comparatives of having to be ‘more than.’ ENOUGH(sm) is just a funding mechanism – enough to live, enough to live for, Anyway
ENOUGH & What Next– The Soul Resume
ENOUGH(sm), again, is but a funding mechanism. ENOUGH(sm) ‘may’ assist/enable the connection and transcendence to one’s signification. The emphasis is on ‘may’ as in might, could, possibly, with a greater probability, or potentially.
The ‘may’ is a function of God’s will and man re-discovering, intentionally striving towards his ‘why I am.’
The ‘why I am’ inherently is about meaning – not the meaning OF life but meaning IN one’s life.
Other than ‘the fear of outliving one’s money (current currency),’ if not culturally habituated to more for more’s sake and having & understanding ‘enough,’ the problem for most 50+ - enough is the question of ‘what next.’ Typically, ‘what next’ is sometimes manifested with the phrase ‘making a difference’ which conceals the real question of meaning.
The Personal Prospectus exercises in the original ENOUGH(sm) process with a vocation/avocation emphasis resulted in the following outputs (results):
· A Life Line of achievement, failures, regrets, decisions (as well as choices not made and the pattern they yielded) and future choices
· Values quantified and prioritized relative to life choices
· A Mission defined as well as defining what The Mission is not
· An empirical snapshot of money choices
Given ‘what next’ more and more confronting those 50+ and the spiritual emergence of the ENOUGH(sm) process, the Personal Prospectus has evolved into The Soul Resume™ Judaic Version 1.0.
Through a series of exercises in workbook form, one creates the data base not only for ‘what next, making a difference, finding meaning IN one’s life,’ but in doing so one creates an admission application/resume to answer the question, ‘why should I be admitted into Olam Haba (The World To Come)/Heaven?’ to reflect upon.
Essentially The Soul Resume© Judaic Version is the ‘what next’ stepping stone workbook from ENOUGH(sm)’s Personal Prospectus.
So – COMING SOON –(hopefully just the first in a series):
THE SOUL RESUME© JUDAIC VERSION 1.0
( Not for Dummies™)
ENOUGH(sm) said – for now….
1. Original Incompletion – man’s role is to complete his incompletions to refine and refinish to earn his return (Teshuvah) to Hashem--- as well as box seats versus being in the bleachers in the World to Come
2. Chalik – one’s ‘portion’ to develop relative to himself rather than in comparison with others. The competition is one’s own development of their ‘chalik.’
3. Shomer Tov – the ‘good guardian’
4. Shalom Currency – Shalom not only means ‘hello, goodbye and peace’ but also ‘payment, completion.’ Thus, there is no peace, no completion without payment and that is one’s work in completing his original incompletions
5. ANYWAY – an internalized scoreboard as ‘no good deed goes unpunished.’ For example, don’t do unto others as they have done unto you – even if the others are putzes – ANYWAY. (However, this modified by don’t be a wuzz such that they will do it again.)
6. Tightwaddery – using a banana peel to shine one’s shoes, asking one’s neighbor to allow you to put your Xcel payment and bill in with theirs to save the postage (which the neighbor pays for!)
7. Tikkun Olam – to repair the world. In this context to repair one’s own world – inside out first – versus liberals and lefties who belief you change the system and you change the world. Thus, the liberals and lefties are reaching out to avoid reaching in – in most cases
8. ENOUGH (sm) -may enable Shomer Tov but not often. How so? As a Rabbi once stated, ‘more possessions, more worries.’ Once, monetarily there is ENOUGH, then it becomes the need for ‘a cushion- just in case.’ After the cushion, then what occurs is the Sam Levinson routine, ‘I finally got the means to the ends and they moved the ends apart.’ Cushion in place, ends moved and still having ENOUGH, there is avoidance: now I’ll do my someday things (like throw pots in Vail for 6 months until it becomes with the spouse ‘for better or for worse, but not for lunch.’ ENOUGH (sm) at this point forces the question of ‘finding meaning’ IN one’s life rather than avoiding it. The words are different, ‘I want to make a difference, I want the fire in my belly again’ but modified with – being able to make the difference, make the fire in 20 minutes. So instead, palliation and diversion is chosen – run for Governor, make amends with the kids they ignored for 18 years, get into politics or philanthropy (same thing – recognition rationalized) or better yet get into Adventuresome Capital under the justification – I can make more so there will be more jobs. ENOUGH (sm)– Judaic Financial Life Planning – taking seriously is confrontational – More is easier. However, that said, ‘more, better, now’ has a habit of becoming ‘less, worse, later.’
9. Note: In Original Sin, Dreck, Innocence, or Goodness) the clergy are ‘spiritual leaders. ’ In, Original Incompletion – the clergy – the Judaic clergy – for example- is to be a spiritual resource – assisting each Jew’s assignment – rather than a spiritual intermediary/leader.