The Problem That Won’t Go Away

By David Geller   |   August 7, 2019

Do you struggle with a persistent problem that keeps cropping its head over and over again?

I struggle with being over scheduled. I have days where I am booked from the moment I arrive at my office to the moment I leave for home in the evening. Inevitably, something arises during the day that demands my attention, and I am scrambling to fit it in. At the end of the day, I am exhausted and irritable, and I feel like my life is out of control.

Let me be clear: my executive assistant does a fabulous job scheduling my time and maximizing my ability to lead my company. It’s because I ASK HER to overschedule me.

This is not a new problem. I have been struggling with it for years. It is one of my problems that won’t go away. And I know that I’m not alone.

What is your problem that won’t go away? The one you have been struggling with for years?

At JOYN we define a problem as something you can do something about.

My overbooked schedule is definitely a problem. Yet, as the CEO of our company I know I could ask for 15 minutes between each appointment and two hours a day of unscheduled time.

The challenge is I don’t. Even worse, it is easy for me to blame extenuating circumstances for my over scheduled days. I routinely employ the following excuses to abrogate responsibility for controlling my calendar.

1. The people attending the meeting want me to be there. (This may or may not be true)
2. The outcome of the meeting will be better if I participate. (This may or may not be true.)
3. If I don’t attend the meeting, people will believe I don’t care about what is being discussed. (This may or may not be true.)

My excuses serve a purpose: they offer me emotional excuses. These excuses in turn make me feel needed, wanted, and loved. Those are very powerful motivators.

What are your excuses for your problem that won’t go away? How are you benefiting from these excuses?

The cost to me of not controlling my calendar is huge. I work less on my passion, Behavioral Wealth Management. I have less time and energy for the relationships that matter most to me. I exercise less and often eat junk food just to get something in my stomach.

What are the costs to you of not overcoming your problem that won’t go away?

For our clients, the costs of not overcoming their problems range, but almost certainly have emotional and financial costs.

Remember, at JOYN we believe that each of us builds our lives one choice at a time. Our lives are the result of the choices we make and random events. We have no control over the random events; we have some control over our choices.

To enhance the quality of our lives, we must focus on our problems and opportunities, or said differently, things over which we have control.

The challenge is that exercising that control is not easy. In fact, it can be incredibly hard, as my decades long battle with my calendar illustrates. When we are struggling with a long-standing problem, the following four steps can help:

1. Take personal responsibility. Stop blaming others or circumstances beyond your control.
2. Recognize the real issue is you don’t have enough support.
3. Look to your six elements of wealth for support: your time, talents, wisdom, network of relationships, body & mind, and money.
4. Nurture self-compassion. Change is hard, and progress is made one small step at a time.

For example, once I admitted that my calendar problem was really my own emotional issue, I talked with my wife and some good friends about my calendar struggle and asked for their support when I’m stretched too thin. I am amazed how often they notice, before I do, that my calendar is getting out of control. I’m now working on it and since my conversation, my calendaring has improved.

What are 7 things you can do to help overcome your problem that won’t go away?

If you are a JOYN client, we would love to help you in this journey. Let me be clear, our behavioral wealth management model can be therapeutic and transformational, but it should not be misunderstood as traditional therapy as most think of it (Lab coat or couch). We are caring empathetic people that leverage our experience to provide thoughtful decision-making and weighing your choices.

We help you think about a game plan to help take the next step forward in overcoming this problem. Some of the ways we can help you include:

1. Listen to you without judgment and with compassion so you can tell us about your struggle.
2. Identify your money messages that might be driving some of this behavior and give you the opportunity to reframe that message so it better aligns with your values.
3. Identify and focus on your life priorities.
4. Brainstorm about how to use your six elements of wealth to add support to overcome this problem.
5. If you need to work with any sort of outside professional (counselor, lawyer, realtor, personal trainer, nutritionist), introduce you to our network of relationships.
6. If the support you need requires a significant financial outlay, update your financial model to show you the impact this new expense will have on your lifestyle and your long-term plans.
7. If it makes sense, adjust your investment portfolio to better reflect your current situation.

If you are ready to take the next step to overcome a problem you’re facing, give us call. We can help.


Investment Advisory Services offered through JOYN Advisors, Inc. Registered Investment Advisors. Insurance offered through JOYN Atlanta, Inc. Securities offered through Securian Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. JOYN Advisors, Inc. and its affiliates are not affiliated with Securian Financial Services, Inc.
The information, analysis, and opinions expressed herein are for general and educational purposes only. Nothing contained in this commentary is intended to constitute legal, tax, accounting, securities, or investment advice, nor an opinion regarding the appropriateness of any investment, nor a solicitation of any type. All investments carry a certain risk, and there is no assurance that an investment will provide positive performance over any period of time.


David Geller

About the Author

CEO David Geller co-founded the firm in 1991 and led the creation of Behavioral Wealth Management. Recognized on numerous prestigious "top financial advisor" lists, David is an in-demand speaker for professional groups and JOYN workshops. His writings have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Huffington Post.

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