Friday, June 28, 2013

Judaic Financial Life Planning: Evolution of ENOUGH(sm)

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-)

(2013) ENOUGH(sm):
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.’

MORE----------------------(Relative) ENOUGH(sm)--------------------Tightwaddery

 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):

( 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.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Judaic Personal Financial Life Planning - Part I

Judaic Personal Financial Life Planning ©2001
Yaakov  Schwartz

This land is mine; you are but wayfarers

            In seeking his own protection from physical pain and extinction, and validation of worthiness, man has: confused the primary currency (Hashem) with the current currency (dollars, deutsche marks, degrees, etc),  twisted responsible guardianship (“owning up to”) into ownership, and rationalized and contorted the concept of enough into comparative more at the cost of repair, relationship, intimacy and teshuvah. Metaphorically, he has sought via the current currency to secure the illusion of self reliance -rugged individualism only to acquire the reality of his insecuriority - ragged individualism.


Money talks, no one walks – 
Cy Harold’s Men’s Clother’s 54th & City Line (Philly)

            Currency shares the same root as the word current. Currents flow – they circulate. Circulation (exchange) occurs to and from the source (the primary current). The primary current is the ocean; the current currents are tributaries from this main current. Currencies come and go (despite man’s efforts to permanently em-“bank” a current) while the primary current endures – circulating in time and space.
Today’s currency (current currency) is tomorrow’s useless store of value. For example, in Nazi Germany concentration camps dollars, diamonds, and gold were of little use to an internee. Yet, shoelaces were a most valuable current currency. Without laces, the internee’s feet would become frostbitten disabling the internee from work. Not being able to work was a guaranteed death sentence to the ovens. The rock solid Deusche Mark, even in wheel barrows, were of little value during the hyperinflation in Germany after WWI. Yet despite the transitory value of the current currency and despite printing “In G-d We Trust” on our dollars as perfunctory acknowledgment of the primary source, man vests his protection in the “ownership” of the current currency – i.e. of dollars “the almighty dollar”– for his protection. (“Believe in G-d but row away from the rocks and cut the deck twice.”)

Ownership or Guardianship

More, more, more, what the hell are we, all morticians?
e.e. cummings

Man thinks he owns directly or indirectly, via the current currency, but in reality he merely leases. The very word “ownership” denies its source – the primary current (Hashem). Man denies the source even though in Leviticus Hashem tells man, “this land is mine, you are but wayfarers.” Man denies the source despite the story of Cain (acquire). Cain was told to give first fruits “off the top” rather than quantity after the fact when sufficiency of the crop was determined – (acknowledging the royalty of the primary current). Cain gave from “profits”- the net not from the gross let alone the “first yearlings of the flock.” He  acknowledged the current currency first and foremost. Man denies the source, when, though he is  instructed that at the 7th 7th year (the Jubilee) all is to be returned to its source, he creates loopholes to continue his deluded idolization of the “ownership” of the current currency – even beyond the grave.
Temporal possession is not ownership.
Man has confused the word ownership with his “owning uP to” his responsibility as Guardian.
Guardianship implies responsibility. Also, with the responsibility of guardianship comes explict liability during the steward’s transitory tenure..  Ownership (mine not thine) enjoys the fruits and avoids the liability through clever linguistic rationalizations, legal devices (trusts, partnerships), and insurance to transfer any risk or liability.
Mine not thine.
Ironically, numerically in Hebrew, the sum of the values of the continuum of the word ownership (from owner/master to “have” to purchase ownership) yields the total value of 572. The numerical value of guardianship (shomare) is 540. The difference between the numerical value of “ownership” and guardianship is 32 – the number of the heart (lev) Idolized current currencies are heartless – here today gone tomorrow - jilted.
The word “ownership” denotes continuity, permanence, and certainty. Idolization of ownership of the current currency becomes about acquisition (as in Cain and Citizen Kane) for having (310 in Hebraic numerical value) This having ownership is not about guardianship. It is not a having to share nor a having to use but a having to possess – now and forever. Having  is the fortress of the current currency denying its temporal nature, and its origin. Guardianship – stewardship are mere words invoked at (for example) Jewish Federation etc fundraisers honoring a contributor with a plaque or monument in his or her name.

With having to possess, there is never enough. Enough is a little more.  The common distinction of haves and have nots is misguided. There are have a little want some more and have nots. This having is a self defeating comparative – as more, once defined, always moves the goal posts “for a little more” just in case. The having of “more” of the current currency is never fulfilled despite ever more expensive diversions and palliatives. There isn’t satisfaction in this temporal ownership as more is just a temporary “hit” bandaiding the emptiness the separation from the primary current – the source, the origin – God. More is like simultaneous consumption of Chinese & German food. A half an hour later, you’re hungry for power. Ironically there is no more.
 More of the current currency and what it converts to, after a certain level of income, yields diminishing happiness. From 1940 to 1990, Gross Domestic Product Per Capital more than tripled (333%) in inflation adjusted terms, while during the same period, the index of those ranking themselves subjectively “very happy ” declined 4%. In the General Social Survey (NORC) the percentage ranking themselves happy in 1972 (on the heels of a recession) was approximately 35%. By 1994, the percentage declined sequentially – without intermittent rise – to 31%.
Despite more (more income, more possessions, more of the current currency) – in real inflation adjusted terms – people feel “less” happy. In the meantime, despite more depression has increased (Prozac is one of the 5 leading drugs) while during the same 1972-1994 period we’ve experienced declines in happiness in marriage (68% to 62%), satisfaction with jobs (51% to 45%), and satisfaction with their place of residence (21% to 17%). And during the same period, though real income rose dramatically, the percentage of those “pretty well satisfied” declined from 33% to 29% - despite “having” more of the current currency.
More, more, more ironically produces dissatisfaction and the feeling of less. Like a nymphomaniac who can’t get satisfaction – the answer to more – is more – more of the current currency – as a palliative -rather than to deal with the underlying separation & emptiness – the LACKtose intolerance.

Responsibility & Balance – Enoughness

Boychik, everything in moderation, nothing in excess
Tillie “Bubbe” Schwartz repeatedly invoked

Everything in moderation – even moderation.

The first query of Adam by Hashem after eating of the apple isn’t one of shame (“why did you do this, doofus?”) but responsibility (“where are you, Adam?”) Responsibility without shaming. Owning up to
Guardianship demands responsibility (624 in Hebraic numerical value). Guardianship isn’t about more – having getting more – rather to the contrary, Guardianship assumes a liability, a duty to develop one’s portion (our chalik), and responsibility for that which it is entrusted. When “having” (310) is subtracted from responsibility (624), the result is 314 the number of Shaddai.
3rd Century Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish defined Shaddai as – “the one who said ‘dai’ (enough). Others Shaddai in terms of one of our relationships to Hashem as”G-d almighty, G-d all sufficient, ENOUGH in Hebrew. In both definitions, Shaddai is Enough not more.
Cain and Abel could be considered the first story of the struggle between More (acquisition of the current currency as one’s savior) and Enough (Shaddai). Cain wanted more of the current currency; Abel felt Shaddai was enough – the enduring current.
Derivatively, more  has become the basis of all personal financial planning; in contrast, enough is the basis of Judaic personal financial life planning(c) – though rarely practiced.
The fundamental difference:  acknowledgment or denial of source and the distinction in relationship between ownership or guardianship.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Shift

 The Shift

             More’ temporarily satisfied (until the next fear driven ‘if only’), the unfulfilled question of ‘why I am’ manifests itself in one or more of the following phrases:

  • What next?
  • Make a difference
  • Meaning (“What’s it all about, Alfie?”)
  • Get more (to make a difference)

99% of the time, there is a recycling to ‘more’ (just in case) even if one cannot outlive his money (1) as more has become habituated even with its inherent anxiety and dependence.

More and Moreons are codependent.

The unusual shift from More typically requires a transition (desensitizing of identification with having – flooding, counter conditioning ((pun intended) and operant counter conditioning - have proven ineffective to counter ‘the  more-on’ cultural context)). (2)
Without the sequential shaping of desensitization with mutually exclusive behavior reinforcement – there will be no paradigm shift rather a reverse gear shift back to the graveyard shift of more.

A first step which many have found helpful is ‘the permission date.’ (No, this is not about getting to second, third base let alone scoring).
One’s ‘someday things’ rather than being ‘leftovers (when I have the time orphans’) are blocked out weekly for the same time – as if a business appointment. More important, is the permission to not be good at it – these someday things.
Given identification of who I am is so rooted (regardless of cumbaya assertions to the contrary, liberals)  in what I do and have (being through having) as who I am, not being immediately or intermediately proficient will kill attempts at the ‘someday things.’
Regular blocking of time and permission to ‘not be good, proficient’ are musts – non negotiable if the swing shift ‘to why I am’ meaning, what next’ is to have a prayer of a chance.

Kadosh (in Hebrew) means holy & separate.  And separation is necessary for closeness
Paraphrasing Rabbi Henoch Dov

Now the someday thing trials don’t answer ‘why am I’ but they creates initial distance from the overwhelming identification of who I am from what I do. Additional separation via creation of what one’s mission is and more importantly is not today and projecting 10 years for now, may be created by completing The Personal Prospectus in Enough (by this author) – though the exercise is still heavily towards ‘what one does’ more so than ‘who one is or seeks to be.’ Again this is a recalibration for distance from identification.
A third tool is The Soul Resume© which, in a workbook format – like a job resume, seeks to answer the question, why should one be admitted to The World To Come, Heaven etc.
(Unlike college, there are no legacy nor affirmative action free passes for admission.)

In any case, successive approximation in stages rather than going cold turkey is the process of shape shifting from identification with having & what one does or did to ‘why I am.’

            The swing shift – regardless of cumbaya, self esteem psychobabblists and liberal/progressives (least I be redundant) protests to the contrary of their enlightened ‘being’ (a rationalization for taking, having and entitlement) to why I am,  accepts one being unfinished & incomplete. One’s assignment (soul curriculum) is continuing to finish these incompletions earning an MFA (master of the fine soul) which doesn’t add to one’s Charles Schwab money market account. ‘Why I am’ and being and doing something about it – isn’t ‘redeemable’ with web coupons in The World To Come, Heaven etc
            Why I Am, at best, yields meaning IN this life but not the meaning OF life.
            Thus, bortzing (complaining) about ‘what next, making a difference’ recycles to More and it’s ‘if onlys’.  And so, meaning In one’s life, making a difference and what next get ‘the short shrift shift’ back to more & palliation.

  1. Man’s #1 fear latter in life (after the cumbaya bs is scraped away off the surface) is outliving his ‘money’ and therefore being beholden and dependent additionally at the potential expense of his principles and taking crap. His number two concern is meaning/legacy – though not at the expense of #1 which is why man fears the IRS (even more so under Obama than God)
  2. Enough (see ENOUGH and or blog is counter cultural be it capitalism, communism and self deluding socialism as all the former are just about how the material pie is split.