by My family and I recently saw Aladdin, the new Broadway musical, and enjoyed every moment of the show.
In typical Disney fashion, the plot followed a “heroes journey”:
Boy is smitten by girl.
Boy knows he’s not good enough for girl.
Boy tries to woo girl.
Girl rejects boy.
Boy eventually gets girl and becomes prince (with a bit of help from a Genie and his magic carpet, of course).
As I thought about the musical, I wondered if it was fair to assume that Aladdin’s sole “goal” was to marry the princess, and all his actions were to reach that goal. Or was there a deeper aspect at work?
When Aladdin meets Jasmine, both share their discontent with their own lives. The conversation reveals Aladdin’s values of freedom, making his own choices, and becoming more than a poor street rat.
While Aladdin’s goal was to win over the princess, his success depended on the strength of his personal values or his personal “why.” Therefore, Aladdin’s first wish was to shed his poverty and become a prince, knowing that only then could he win Jasmine. His values fueled his actions and ultimately transformed his goal into a reality.
Let me give you an example from my own life:
I have made it my goal to research and write one blog post every day. Like everyone else, I get off track. What puts me back on track is the reminder that writing a daily post supports what matters most to me.
What I mean is that by remembering my personal values, I am able to achieve my goal of five posts per week. The best way to think of personal values is to ask yourself “why” is this important to me?
Why do I want to write five posts per week? Here are seven of my personal values that help me stay on track:
- Sharing content with others is something I love to do.
- One day I want to write a book, and it’s my hope that these posts will provide the framework.
- I don’t like selling. I love sharing ideas. These posts provides me with an opportunity to share content with my clients, potential clients, and personal friends.
- Writing helps me to think through the issues for my clients. If I can write it clearly, I’m able to communicate the ideas clearly to my clients and to others.
- I love reading all types of books. Writing posts on my blog allows me to capture the information which I can then use as a future resource while advancing my learning in the process.
- I love to do public speaking. My posts provide a rich treasure trove for ideas which I can use for teaching and talking.
- I run a mastermind group with other financial professionals. Daily writing forces me to think through trends which I can discuss with my colleagues to promote learning.
On a practical level, how can this information help improve the communication between you and your financial adviser?
Next time you are asked what your financial goals are, explain to your adviser that you want to start with your “why”—your personal values—before you get into specific goals like retiring, legacy planning, or long term care insurance. Communicate with your adviser what’s most important to you. Communicate your Values, and like Aladdin, you may find yourself boarding the magic carpet and soaring towards your goals.