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  • Writer's picturePatrick Murphy

Zen and the art of Financial Planning


Zen is a spiritual practice that originated in ancient China and has since spread throughout the world. It emphasizes living in the present moment, mindfulness, and simplicity.


Financial planning, on the other hand, is a practical activity that involves creating a budget, saving for retirement, investing, and managing debt. Although these two concepts seem worlds apart, there is a surprising amount of overlap between Zen and financial planning.


At the heart of both Zen and financial planning is the idea of being mindful. Zen teaches us to be present and fully engaged in the moment, and financial planning requires us to be aware of our financial situation and make conscious decisions about how to manage our money. By being mindful in our financial lives, we can make better decisions and avoid the stress and anxiety that can come with financial uncertainty.


Another key aspect of Zen is simplicity. Zen encourages us to focus on what is truly important in life and to let go of the things that are not. Financial planning also involves simplifying our lives by creating a budget and sticking to it, prioritizing our expenses, and avoiding unnecessary purchases. By simplifying our financial lives, we can reduce stress and create more space for the things that truly matter.


One of the most important principles of Zen is non-attachment. Zen teaches us to let go of our attachment to material possessions, desires, and expectations. In financial planning, non-attachment means letting go of the fear of financial loss and the desire for financial gain. By letting go of these attachments, we can approach our financial decisions with a clear mind and make choices that are in line with our values and goals.


Finally, Zen emphasizes the importance of self-discipline and self-control. Zen practitioners learn to control their thoughts and emotions, and financial planning requires us to exercise self-discipline and self-control in our spending habits and investment decisions. By cultivating self-discipline and self-control, we can make better financial decisions and avoid impulsive or irrational choices.


In conclusion, although Zen and financial planning may seem like they have little in common, they are actually deeply connected. Both involve being mindful, simplifying our lives, practicing non-attachment, and cultivating self-discipline and self-control. By incorporating Zen principles into our financial planning, we can create a more mindful and fulfilling financial life.

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