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April 16th, 2014 by Ron Nakamoto

A Life Well-Lived is a Meaningful Life

The article below reviews the research on happiness and meaning.  Why does this matter?  It's important because "the pursuit of happiness" seems so ingrained in modern culture.  The research cited indicates that a life of meaning has significant benefits over a life of pure pleasure-seeking.

"…when aspiring to a well-lived life, it might make more sense to look for things you find meaningful—deep relationships, altruism, and purposeful self-expression, for example—than to look for pleasure alone… even if pleasure augments one’s sense of meaning" – Laura King, University of Missouri

The things that lead to a meaningful life are important aspects of Empowered Wealth.  Gratitude, Core Assets, Contribution…these elements are integral to the sense of meaning described in current research and are essential to the Empowered Wealth Mindset.

On a slightly different note, research done by a team led by Roy Baumeister, Florida State University concluded that "happiness involves being focused on the present, whereas meaningfulness involves thinking more about the past, present, and future—and the relationship between them."  This is interesting because much of our work with entrepreneurs and families involves deep reflection about the past and the future before focusing on thinking and decision-making in the present.

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The Difference Between Meaning & Happiness, by Jill Suttie, Jason Marsh
Philosophers, researchers, spiritual leaders — they’ve all debated what makes life worth living. Is it a life filled with happiness or a life filled with purpose and meaning? Is there even a difference between the two? Recently some researchers have explored these questions in depth, trying to tease apart the differences between a meaningful life and a happy one. Their research suggests there’s more to life than happiness — and even calls into …

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"We're driven by our desires and especially by our narratives – our personal story about who we think we are, where we think we're going.  If you can tap into that…who are these people?  What do they want?  Who do they think they are?  How do we help them feel even better about who they are?…that's where the messaging should be focused…because that will help them improve their narrative, their self-image, their identity" – Tom Asacker

In developing Empowered Wealth's TimeMap experience, I've observed that most people aren't very aware of their narratives, the stories they tell themselves, and especially of the deeper stories of their lives – the one's that really matter.  I've come to realize that one of the really valuable things that we do is help people begin the process of thinking about and organizing their thoughts about their past. It's about the stories and the learning from a lifetime.

The 36 minute video below featuring author and consultant Tom Asacker also contains some interesting ideas about beliefs and how "Seeing isn’t believing; believing is seeing."

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The Human Side TV with Tom Asacker
Author, “The Business of Belief”

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April 11th, 2014 by Ron Nakamoto

We're selling trust

 We're selling transparency.  - Brad Katsuyama, 60 Minutes Interview

See the second blog post on this same date for further commentary.

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The Market Is Rigged And You’re Getting Screwed
The U.S. stock market is rigged, with elite traders buying access to a high-speed network that allows them to figure out what you’ve just ordered, order it first, then raise the price before your order is complete.

And according to Michael Lewis, …

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April 11th, 2014 by Ron Nakamoto

Trust and True Wealth Exists on Wall Street

I am currently listening to the audiobook version of "Flash Boys" by Michael Lewis, which tells the latest story of how the world has been ripped off by big Wall Street interests, this time by "front-running" high frequency trades.  Front-running is the unethical practice of using client information in order to enrich oneself by investing ahead of the client.  High frequency trading as it is practiced by the major players on Wall Street has created a high tech opportunity for the big Wall Street banks and wealthy private interests to "game" the system.

The book and the story below focuses on Brad Katsuyama, the unlikely hero who uncovered this front-running conspiracy and developed an ethical workaround that promises to restore fairness to the system.  For Charles Green, the author of the article and the founder of Trusted Advisor Associates, Katsuyama represents what's missing on Wall Street:  trust.  I'll add that Katsuyama's story about forgoing his own financial wealth in order to "contribute" to a fairer system and the greater good is a "True Wealth" story.

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Trust Hero: Brad Katsuyama, on CBS 60 Minutes | Trusted Advisor

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