Financial Ninja Monthly: Pandemic Thoughts

In a world where the COVID19 pandemic has been running rampant…

Ok, this is not a movie. We all know that reality can be stranger than fiction and writing this post in the month of May 2020 is no exception. While many people are struggling to cope with the realities of a health crisis of epic proportions that hasn’t been experience in a generation or more, here we sit with an economic reality that can cause fear, anger, desperation, regret, and many other challenging emotions and feelings.

Don’t let a time of crisis go to waste”

According to an article titled Don’t Let This Crisis Go To Waste When It Comes To Your Financial Wellness on Forbes.com, we get wrapped up in fear and miss the opportunities to be even better positioned than before that time. Now obviously, this isn’t intended to be a blanket statement because everyone’s situation is different. However, it starts with how we manage our total selves. I also know that once survival mode subsides, the next thought may be: How to I (we) pivot from here?

There was an interesting article that I read on a blog called the Financial Post by author Rick Spence. It spoke about the 8 ninja style characteristics to help control your time and attention and it helped me calibrate my thoughts on the pandemic as an aspiring financial ninja. The 8 characteristics are:

  1. Zen-Like Calm
  2. Ruthlessness
  3. Weapon Savvy
  4. Stealth and Camouflage
  5. Unorthodoxy
  6. Agility
  7. Mindfulness
  8. Preparedness

As a point of reflection, I would like to focus on the agility characteristic. While all the characteristics are very important, I think that starting with agility will set the stage for momentum going forward from the pandemic. It was quoted in the article: “A ninja needs to be light on their feet, able to respond with deftness to new opportunities or threats.” This is mindset change and a healthier approach to financial life. We all know how to wallow in self pity, have a mentality that champions defeat, among other unhealthy thoughts. Having previously experienced tough times financially, guiding others through their financial storms, sharing more conversations that I can count, the theme of agility comes up over and over again.

You can begin to understand how agile your finances are by starting with these questions (just a starting point).

  • What did I wish I had in place to help my finances during the pandemic?
  • How much more did it cost to manage my expenses through the pandemic?
  • What areas of my financial life need a reboot?
  • How do I respond to financial hardships?
  • How do we go from survive mode to thrive mode?
  • How do we make our finances more resilient?
  • How do we create more protective measures to lessen the impact of downturns in economic life?
Fizkes—Getty Images

So here is the takeaway. Implement these five action steps:

  • Take inventory
  • Recalibrate
  • Plan of attack
  • Execute with joy
  • Find community

Take inventory: Do I have a clear understanding of my cash flow [income minus expenses]? Do I have consistent behaviors in place to keep myself on track when it comes to my money? Do I have the right financial tools to do the work needed to improve my financial situation?

Recalibrate: Seek guidance and/or counsel if unable to change the current financial routines that are holding us back from that ninja status we know want to have. Dedicate and invest time in financial education no matter where you are on your journey.

Plan of attack: Set goals for the short-term and long-term vision you want. Build resiliency by having a game plan for those seasons where things get off track for any reason.

Execute with joy: It’s your life. Enjoy the journey. Your mentality is most of the battle. Celebrate the small victories and consolidate the positive momentum while striving for the bigger vision.

Find community: As human beings, we were created to be in community. We are better together. How amazing is it to see one ninja jumping off a roof top vs. ten ninjas? If this pandemic hasn’t shown you the strength of the human experience through community, then you’re missing out.

The good news is that you have community right here at Financial Ninja Nation. We will continue to be a place for you to find inspiration and joy walking through your financial journey.

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