Oak Tree
photo: MunstiSue
Last year my reverend gave a series of talks on a book he read entitled Twelve Powers in YouThe book describes  physical, spiritual, and emotional aspects of the 12 powers inherent in each of us. Fascinated by these talks, I’ve decided to expand on them through the money perspective that I often see things being a financial planner.

Spiritually, strength is having a strong will or inner voice that guides your actions.

Emotionally (soul), strength is being able to listen to that still small voice and persevere through adversity.

Physically, you would think that strength would be represented by muscles. It’s not. According to the book, the spinal cord and nervous system that send messages to your muscles represent strength.

What does strength have to do with money?

Our money strength is the ability to balance needs and wants. As a financial planner, one way I do this for people is to balance their needs for today with a desire for a better tomorrow.

Autonomic Nervous SystemA comparison drawn in the physical section of the chapter on strength was between the spinal cord and that of a tree. Like a tree with broad reaching branches, the spine has nerves that branch out. But also like a tree, it is the deep roots under the surface that enable the tree to stand and be balanced. Without deep roots, the tree would fall over. Without our nerves branching out from our body, we couldn’t move.

After reading this comparison, it was easy to see what this has to do with money. Many mutual fund companies and investment companies use trees as their logo representing the growth many aspire to with their investments. Most people only notice the beauty of the tree. But it’s the financial habits that we grow up with that form the foundation for our financial growth. If we understand that we must set aside some today in order to experience a better tomorrow, i.e. saving, we can begin to see our finances take root and grow. Little by little we save our 10% or 15% and by the end of our careers, we’ve growth a nice nest egg.

But, just like the energy that flows through our nervous system that have a positive and negative charge, so too can our financial habits be both good and bad. We all have a friend that always seems to have the latest and greatest gadget or gizmo. On the outside, they may look like they’re on the top of the world, but most of the time, they have little or no money saved and will have trouble in retirement.

The key is to balance your strength. For many that involves finding equilibrium between your head and your heart.

I love traveling with my family. Sitting in a nice restaurant enjoying my wife’s company, or seeing the joy spread across my kids faces at Disney, as we experienced last month,warms my heart. But we can’t spend everyday at Disney. We have to work so we can afford Disney, as I tell my son. So our head pulls us back into reality and says we must balance those heartfelt moments with a plan that allows us to experience more heartfelt moments. A plan build on good habits we create.

Did you know that aside from the brain, the heart has the most nerves endings running into it? If you’d like to learn more balancing your head and heart, check out my posts on Faith and Love. What would you say is your Strength power when it comes to money?