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25 Years in Review | Life Lessons on Building a Life You Love

Oct 04

Build a Life You Love

Sometimes the business of life gets us into a pattern of constantly doing, instead of being and pursuing exactly who we are. If that has happened to you, I encourage you to stop and reflect for a moment, because, there’s a big difference between just living your life and designing a life you love.

Wherever you are in your life’s journey, it’s never too late to build a life you love! This year, as I celebrate 25 years as a wealth advisor, I thought I might share with you my five life lessons I’ve learned about how to build a life you love:

Follow your passion.

I have a passion for wine and fine food. Years ago when I started fine dining, I was intrigued at the difference a nice glass of wine could make on the meal. A good glass of wine could either make or break the meal and the experience. So I began to study. Then, my OCD tendencies brought me to completing the Sommelier training! And Ibecame a Certified Sommelier as well as a Certified Specialist in Wine. I also became a member of Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, the International Food and Wine Society,and became a board member of the Culinary Group at the Center Club.

You don’t have to stop at following just one passion, either. Wine and fine dining are not my only passions; l am also extremely passionate about health and fitness, ocean sports, and fashion.

Know your priorities.

Knowing your priorities, and actually living them, might be the most important factor in designing a life you love. Let’s face it…life is busy. Life can be all-consuming. If you don’t have you priorities straight, and are not following them, chances are you’ll never actually get to the point of living a life you love.

My top three priorities are, in order of importance:

  • Family
  • Health/Fitness
  • Spiritual Health

Knowing these are my priorities ensures I am spending my time where it makes me the happiest. Above all, I spend quality time with my family. Prioritizing my relationships is essential for not only my happiness, but my family’s. Sometimes that means giving other things up, and I’m okay with that. We have a finite amount of hours in the day; spend them wisely.

Have an attitude of gratitude.

It’s not always easy, I know. Trust me, I get it. But, time and time again research has supported that performing simple gratitude exercises can bring a range of benefits like feelings of increased well-being and reduced depression.

In my own life, I have a practice of always thanking God every morning for all of the wonderful blessings He has given me and my family, regardless of what is happening in life. That means even when things are difficult, I still thank God for it all.

Work Hard.

While my Dad was not around much as a child, he was a very good example of hard work and work ethic. Part of what he taught me is that to achieve something great, you need to work at it every day! That’s part of the reason why I’m disciplined about exercising or moving my body every day.

But, that doesn’t mean work at something so hard you burn out. Pace yourself, and work as hard as you’re able to sustain, and not impact your other priorities.

Be willing to be uncomfortable.

I think most of my life has been based on being uncomfortable.

  • Getting up at 4:00am everyday is uncomfortable, but I know that I need to do this to get to gym, so that I can be healthy.
  • Studying and obtaining my CFP certification over 20 years ago was uncomfortable.
  • Obtaining my Sommelier certification was uncomfortable.

But, the discomfort is short-lived in the grand scheme of things, and you know what? It’s been worth it every time. The challenge is to get past that initial feeling of wanting to return to the norm, so you can grow and benefit from that discomfort.

I’ll end here with these quotes:

“Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards” — Seal

“Anything worth doing is worth doing well” — Hunter S. Thompson

So cheers, everyone, to building a life you love!

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Bart A Zandbergen, CFP® is a Registered Investment Advisor with Optivest, Inc and a Registered Representative with Gramercy Securities, Inc. Investment advisory services are offered by Optivest, Inc. under SEC Registration and securities are offered through Gramercy Securities, Inc., member FINRA & SIPC, 3949 Old Post Road, Charlestown, RI, 02813, 800-333-7450.


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