Thursday, May 23, 2019

Paying Attention to Our Reflectors

The reflectors on farm equipment provide better visibility when machinery is travelling on roads at night.  That’s a fact. Everyone wants to be made aware of the potential danger.  Without these important safety devices we may not see what lies ahead of us when we travel. 

When I spotted the reflectors on the air drill, my mind drifted to the reflectors in our lives.  Our professional advisors prepare us for the dangers we could encounter when we don’t pay attention to potential hazards.  They know the damage certain incidents would cause to our livelihoods and businesses.

Strong relationships are built on trust and honesty. Any recommendations from an advisor should be welcomed, encouraged, and assessed.  We would never want a member of our team to be anything less than honest because they are afraid of our reaction. 

Sometimes, personalities are known to clash. Some advisors willingly take the heat from their clients for their opinions. Both know that an honest opinion is part of being highly respected and valued.  As professionals they willingly take the risk.  They may witness similar situations with adverse consequences when the appropriate action is not taken. Initially, the truth may not be well received.  The conversation may revolve around taking on more debt than we are capable of financially managing, procrastinating about writing our wills, making time to put insurance in place before something happens to us, or pointing out the fact we are overspending.  Many critical and dire situations require hand holding and a firm I’m-saying-this-is-important so take my recommendations seriously. 

Are you aware of the reflectors in your life?  Do your consultants willingly straight-out tell you the truth, point out the potential dangers, and hold nothing back? 

Simply taking control of our situation ensures we control the outcome. We flippantly say we can’t control everything but we certainly can control the important matters.  

Think of your most trusted and valued advisors and assess your relationships.  Do you listen and follow their advice or do you tend to brush it off and say, “We’ll get to it someday”? 

Perhaps we need to create a “Someday List” so we don’t forget these promises to ourselves, family and advisors. The important condition attached to our “Someday” list is the need for a deadline so “it” gets done.  Misleading ourselves, or for that matter misleading others, is a dangerous strategy; something important, like drafting or revising a will, cannot be postponed indefinitely.

Time passes quicker than we realize.  Soon another year has lapsed; five, ten, maybe twenty years later, things on the list have been not addressed. We laugh when our wills still have guardians for our thirty-something-year-old children. Quite often the reason is a “scheduling” problem.  We don’t pencil these essential appointments in our calendar.  

When other fleeting activities derail our best intentions, here’s where we must become intentional.  We have to turn our “Someday” into sooner rather later. Next week! This month! Assign a date and a time to your “someday” tasks.

So let’s pay attention to the reflectors in our lives. They’re visible for good reason.

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