A few days ago my car got broken into – someone smashed my car window and took stuff (1 box and a backpack) that belonged to a friend of mine.
They would’ve taken lots more stuff but I caught them in the act and ended up wrestling with one of them in the middle of the street and took back the box he was running away with.
I guess I was having a Jackie Chan moment (LOL).
I’m fine, not at all traumatized by the whole experience.
As everything was happening I was having these aha moments and financial wisdoms even though I was upset that my friend’s stuff that got stolen.
1. We have everything we need in this moment
When I came down from my adrenaline rush, I was shaken and exhausted so I needed a few minutes to regroup and cancel an appointment with a friend before dealing with the police.
The police, wonderful as they were, weren’t aware of my emotional needs, so they just started asking questions and taking statements.
Luckily people had stopped to see the incident and one guy (a stranger) had stopped his car when he saw me wrestling the guy in the street.
This guy took over everything – he got me to take pictures for insurance, he called the cops, waited with me until the cops came and gave a full statement of all that had transpired.
All I had to do was sign all the police documents and drive home to rest.
Apart from reminding me about the kindness of strangers; this man’s behaviour taught me that we have everything we need in this moment.
One of my friends was so worried about me, she kept calling to find out who was there with me and if she should come over and my response was – “I’m not alone, don’t worry, I have support.”
I did have support – a stranger’s support. I realized it was exactly what I needed and I could accept it or moan that my friends and family weren’t there with me.
It hit me that we’re given everything we need to cope with any crisis in this moment.
Even in a financial crisis – we have all the tools we need to be able to change the situation or to get through it with grace.
2. Do business with people you trust and like
I was never once worried about my car window. I was more worried about my friend because some of the stuff she lost has a lot of sentimental value.
I wasn’t worried about my car because I knew that my financial advisor would help me deal with insurance and that she would sort all that out.
That’s what happened. It took me exactly 3 minutes to sort out all the insurance stuff.
If we’re paying for a service it’s important to pay that money to people who are capable and that we know will come through for us in a crisis.
3. It’s how we react to our financial losses that matters
The last thing I wanted to do after the incident was call my friend and tell her that her stuff had been stolen from my car.
I would’ve paid anything to avoid that conversation.
My friend took the news calmly and asked me to give her a few hours to process the news.
A few minutes later she sent me a message about learning to let go of that which was lost and focusing on what was left.
Life is about seasons – some seasons are filled with profit and other seasons are marked by loss.
It’s the same with our personal finances –we’ve all made mistakes when it comes to money and how we use it, but dwelling on these mistakes doesn’t help us at all.
It keeps us in the past and stops us from moving forward in the present.
As investors, we’ll lose some money and we’ll make some money.
It’s what we do when we make a loss that impacts our future.
The sooner we accept the loss and focus on salvaging and growing what we have in this moment, the better off we’ll be.
Essentially this is what it means to be emotionally intelligent - it's the realization that you don't control what happens in life, not even your life, but you do have control over how you react to what happens to you.
What lessons have you learned from your financial losses?
I look forward to hearing your insights in the comments section below.