Podcast

How To Recognize The Negative And Stop Leaning Towards It With Todd Langford

TWS 12 part 7 | Recognizing The Negative

 

In life, it is effortless to get on the negative road. It seems that humans are wired to seek the negative, look for something wrong, or expect danger at some level. It’s one of the survival instincts baked into our core. In one of the final episodes in the Truth About Money Series, Todd Langford and Patrick Donohoe talk about how gettingrid of this instinct that no longer serves you allows you to understand why you feel the way you do when you hear disheartening news. Recognize the negative and, instead of leaning towards it, check yourself and seek what is right. The wrong never has and never will serve you. 

Watch the episode here:

Listen to the podcast here:

How To Recognize The Negative And Stop Leaning Towards It With Todd Langford 

Marcus Aurelius wrote, “You only live in the present, this fleeting moment. The rest of your life is already gone or not yet revealed.” I want you to consider the possibility that the quickest path to getting what you want is letting go of your past and future. Marcus Aurelius continues, “You have been trying to reach many things by taking a long way around. All these things can be yours now if you stop denying them to yourself. All you have to do is let go of the past, trust the future to providence and direct the present to reverence and justice.” 

In a guided meditation by Sam Harris on his Waking Up app, he said something profound, “Take a moment to think about impermanence. It can be very clarifying to do this. Every experience comes to an end but we don’t quite live as though that were the case. We continually succumb to the illusion that we will arrive in some final position but there is no arriving. There are just continual flows of experiences.” 

Thinking logically and looking at our options pushes out the negativity. Click To Tweet

Seneca wrote, “We are tormented alike by what is past and what is to come. A number of our blessings do us harm, for memory brings back the agony of fear while foresight brings it on prematurely. No one confines his unhappiness to the present.” Seneca continues, “What I advise you to do is not to be unhappy before the crisis comes since it may be that the dangers will never come upon you. They certainly have not yet come. Accordingly, some things torment us more than they should. Some torment us when they should not torment us at all. We are in the habit of exaggerating, imagining or anticipating sorrow.” 

This is one of the final episodes in the Truth About Money Series with Todd Langford. To get the most out of this interview segment, I want you to consider that the joy and fulfillment you seek in life happens now in the present but to the untrained observer, it is cannibalized by problems taken from the past and irrational fears about the future. A final stoic quote by Marcus Aurelius, “Even if you live 3,000 or 30,000 years, you should remember this. You cannot lose any other life than the one you are living now.” Enjoy. 

When you discover the rule, your whole world changes and that rule is asking yourself the question, “How can I appreciate and experience a meaningful life now?” If that was the only question you asked, then the only rule that you had to follow was waking up and enjoying your environment, the world, time and history we live in, it accelerates even more meaningful experiences. You can trade money for time but time can cost you money. Sometimes we will spend our time doing the things that are not meaningful and putting them on the altar of sacrifice to experience time associated with our rules in the future. We have this hallucination that is worth it and it may be. At the same time, anything that is beyond now is a probability. The shorter the time frame, the higher the probability. The longer the time frame, the lower the probability. 

It comes down to what you were saying about waking up and that is the idea of being grateful. If we don’t point out and be grateful for the things we have and we are not grateful for anything, then we need to find something in our lives that we can be grateful for. That pushes production and a lot of pieces. It is so easy to get on the negative road. Negative news sells 6 times to 1 on positive news. Internally, what that means is we are all wired to want to look at the negative at some level. It takes that discipline to separate ourselves from that and to say, “We can always find something wrong but how about we work a little bit on finding something good and something that we can enjoy and lights us up each day? If we don’t have that, then maybe that needs to be the first place we spend our resources in finding that place.” 

TWS 12 part 7 | Recognizing The Negative

Recognizing The Negative: Negative news sells 6 times than positive news. That means we are all wired to want to look at the negative.

 

There is always something right, just as much as there is something wrong and always will be. That is the environment that we live in. It is the non-constant side of things and also understanding human nature. We have things that are built into who we are that no longer serve us. Those are instincts of survival. They are instincts to look for danger based on not being able to feed ourselves 200 years ago or a part of our DNA that is still scared of the tiger in the bushes that could potentially kill you. Those are built-in things, yet they no longer serve us the way they did at one point in the past, at least our ancestry or what is built into our nature. 

Understanding that allows you to identify and evaluate, this may not be Math. This is more logical. It allows you to evaluate what is going on so that you can have a more logical experience of what reality is. We don’t need to go in and hunt all summer long to put food away so we can survive the winter. We don’t have to be afraid of what we are afraid of 100 or 1,000 years ago. That stuff no longer exists, even though a part of us is wired to believe that it does. If you remove that, it allows you to understand why you feel the way that you do when you are experiencing disheartening news. Instead of being pulled toward it by that instinct, it is checking yourself, going and seeking what is right because you know that the wrong is not going to serve you. 

A lot of times, when you talk about stuff like this, people feel like, “That is fine for you.” I get pulled into the negative regularly. The difference is, I have learned to recognize it. It is not that it doesn’t exist and the fear doesn’t come through but I push it on through once I recognize it. I have been able to find out and figure out that that is happening to me sooner so that I can address it instead of letting it sit there and fester. That is where the differential is. It is not a, “I just lived this great life. I don’t have any fear. I don’t do anything wrong. Everything is great.” It is that I have moved with a discipline to be able to recognize it and step away from it, “Let us think about this logically, see what our options are and try to push that out.” That is where the difference is. It is just becoming familiar with what is going on inside your head early. 

It is the awareness but also having options and going to the dials when the environment changes. You guys know that we were in this pretty crazy plane or a flight, where the pilot was given false information of where to fly. He flew right into a hailstorm or two converging storms. It felt like the plane was going to crash. He obviously and the plane had systems in place. When that chaos that was unexpected happened, there was awareness and subsequently, an action that could take place. That is where I think being able to logically program those things into our lives is going to aid us as the environment changes because we are all going to experience fear. 

There are going to be things that happen that have never happened before. They incite something inside of us. It is like, “I don’t like that.” Usually, it is the carnal instincts that kick in where we are focused on but if we can be aware and have options. I had an experience where something happened in the business. It threw me off in a negative way. I was aware of it almost immediately and I knew what to do. I called a personal coach that I have. I knew I had to speak to this person. This person talked about this. It took a couple of hours but it was over. It would have taken weeks in the past. It is what you experience to then come up with solutions to have options when the environment changes. 

We need to find something in our lives that we can be grateful for. Click To Tweet

A lot of times, people think those options are going to be a cost. That is where strategy comes in and that is a big piece. It is having some logic and strategy altogether to say, “How can I put tools in place that I can lean on in the negative but they don’t cost me when the negatives don’t happen?” That is a bit of art along with science. Not everything is pure science. There is some art in there, too. Part of that is, “How do I put things in place that I can lean on but they are not going to take away from my end goals if nothing bad happens? It is not going to be a decrease.” We want to put stuff together in our life, whether it is time, finances or whatever else that can do multiple jobs whenever possible. We can go on a vacation and enjoy our family all at the same time. If we can start to pair stuff together, then we get two bangs for every buck. 

I have caught myself a couple of times with clients, who I get to know things are going on. They want to make an investment or allocate money here or there to grow wealth. I was like, “The best investment you can make now is to take your wife on vacation.” Sometimes it is having a specific amount of liquid reserves. You are not going to earn returns on it. At the same time, what is that going to allow you to do if you need an option? Things didn’t work out the way that you think. 

How do you put the Math on that? How do you quantify that? You can’t. 

It is the evaluation using logic but also being aware that you are evaluating non-constants. 

TWS 12 part 7 | Recognizing The Negative

Recognizing The Negative: We need to spend our resources finding the good and the things we enjoy and light us up.

 

This is off the subject a little bit. There was an interesting part of the movie, Trouble with the Curve. There is a batter that is in a slump. He is a young batter. He is new to baseball in the Minor League. His recruiter said, “How long has it been since you have seen your family?” “It is hard for them to get down here. It is pretty expensive.” He said, “You just focus on what you are doing and I will get them down here.” The baseball club was up in arms like, “We can’t spend money on bringing them. Just do it.” Sure enough, it fixed his batting problem. How do you quantify that? That is one of those things. It is about life. It is about all the things that have meaning that impact everything else that we do. 

Important links: 

About Todd Langford

TWS 12 Part 3 | Mathematical TruthsTodd Langford is the Founder & CEO of Truth Concepts, Partners 4 Prosperity, and Prosperity Economics Advisors.

 

 

Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!

Join The Wealth Standard community today:

Unpacking The Logic Behind Your Behavior With Todd Langford

TWS 12 Part 6 | Logic Behind Your Behavior

 

Often, what we have in our mind as to why we’re doing something usually isn’t the core reason we’re doing it. You have to ask yourself several layers of questions to get to the real meaning behind your decisions. In part 6 of this series, Patrick Donohoe and Todd Langford discuss how you can unpack the logic behind your behavior to understand what drives you and reveal what it is you truly want. When you see that, you can figure out a path to get what you’re truly desiring. 

Watch the episode here:

Listen to the podcast here:

Unpacking The Logic Behind Your Behavior With Todd Langford 

I spent four days getting my psychology dissected by one of the most decorated Navy SEALs in history. It’s a mind-blowing experience. Of the myriad of takeaways, I wanted to share what I consider the most applicable to this segment with Todd Langford. First, at the core of human consciousness is a mechanism and this mechanism is designed to keep us safe and alive. As we experienced life, this mechanism unconsciously observes the environment around us and influences the majority of our behavior. What I became even more aware of is the character of this lens, mainly how old it is. This mechanism, which is our subconscious mind, has not evolved at the pace of our environment. It still operates to some degree as if there is a tiger hiding in the bushes, ready to attack.  

The subconscious programming is constantly running in the background and hasn’t had its program updated in quite some timeThis subconscious lens sees a stranger on the street and concludes if it’s a tiger. It sees someone who looks and sounds different and says, “Beware. Warning. It’s a tiger.” Here is someone who makes a statement that is contrary to our beliefs and says, “Warning, tiger.” Our subconscious is always on guard and it’s there to protect us from not being hurt and to keep us alive. My question to you is what are you wrongly identifying as a tiger in your life, mainly in your finances? What are you afraid of? What are you doing or not doing because you are so scared? Let’s get to the next segment with my friend, Todd Langford. 

Based on what you said, on the surface, it seems like money is the only thing that you can manage, which may be true, but without the context of the purpose of that money, I believe that it’s false because what people want money for is in paper. They don’t want numbers. That doesn’t do anything for you. It’s the meaning behind that that does something. I will give you an example where I gave my wife, Cynthia, a budget for a vacation. I thought we are going to drive down to St. George. Maybe we can go to Phoenix. She was able to make Mexico City work, an entire week with drivers and we stayed at the Four Seasons. It’s one of those things where it’s not the money necessarily. It’s what the money can buy. 

It’s elusive sometimes when we think we need this amount of money. We think we need to save this much and earn this interest and have these milestones. We do it with a certain set of assumptions and variables that are likely not the best variables. They could be good variables, but they are not the best. What are the best variables and how do you discover them? That is where I would say it’s the logical identification of, what are you doing? Why? What are the alternatives and what is it going to take? 

If we enjoy life now, we're probably going to be a lot more productive and be able to hit our goals in the future as well. Click To Tweet

The critical piece is digging through that one. We have talked about this quite a bit in the past. It’s the idea that the initial reason that somebody has in their mind as to why they are doing something usually isn’t the core reason why they are doing it, especially the first one that they share with somebody else. You have to ask yourself several layers, “If I got what I want, what would that mean?” That is the key piece. Why do we want the cabin in the woods? Is it the physical structure or is it the fact that we can be together with the family and experience stuff in the outdoors? We can be separated from the rest of the noise that is going on for a period of time, communicate and be together in fellowship. 

It’s the real meaning behind all those things that a lot of people stopped short of looking at it. The results are people buy things thinking it’s the thing. Because their neighbor bought a new boat, they want to buy a new boat. The neighbor bought the boat to experience stuff with their family. This guy bought the boat so that he could keep up with his neighbor. Instead of having a real meaning behind it, it falls short. When they get it, they are miserable, “I spent all this money and it didn’t do anything for me.” I think you see a lot of people in that scenario where they have spent a lot of money on stuff, but they bought it for the stuff and not for the meaning behind it. 

Again, going to the logic side of things, it’s the questioning of assumptions, but it’s also the questioning of associations, which comes down to doing this in order to produce that and what that associated meaning is. I think you have productive ones and unproductive ones. What came to mind when you were talking is, how many people don’t make decisions because of inaccurate, slighted or partial assumptions? How many people make decisions or don’t make decisions? As a financial advisor, I have worked with younger people, not married or people that are married that haven’t had kidsI get to know them. Sometimes the conversation comes up, “Are you dating? How long you have been dating, 5 years, 6 years? Six years? Why haven’t you gotten married?” “We don’t have enough money.” I’m like, “What’s enough money?” 

There are these rules associated with, “I have to have this and this in order to do this.” It’s like, ”No, you don’t, just do it. Many people have done it and they are very happy.” It’s one of those things where going back to rules and what is the driving force behind the behavior. What do you truly want? Equally, I have worked with clients that have lots of money and don’t need to invest or work but have a rule associated with they have to. They have to invest because if they didn’t, then this, even though they don’t have to. It’s the unpacking the logic and understanding what drives you, which is relative to people. At the same time, there is a role, math, logic and science in play. There is also some non-constant that it’s evaluating. That might be how we conclude this. Is it true that the role of math and science is to evaluate as opposed to hypothesize? 

I think so. We can say, “I think it will come out this way,” and then use the math to see if it fits. I have done that many times. I have an idea of what the results of a certain mathematical set of formulas and things are going to be and oftentimes, I’m shocked with what the results are. Now I have a choice of saying, “Throw the math out because I liked my hypothesis better.” I can say, “Let me dig in and find out why it did something I didn’t expect it to do.” I can learn something new and maybe a new direction, a new place to go, which is hugely beneficial. Probably the bigger thing is to be able to prove a decision that you already want to make, as long as you are open-minded and you have that discipline that you are willing to accept whatever the truth says. It’s not necessarily the math, it’s what the truth is. 

You can throw a hypothesis out there, something that you want to happen, but you have to be willing to say, “Let’s see what it’s going to take to get there. Let’s see if this works and be okay with what the results of that are.” Since we are driven by emotion, it’s very hard to go against what we want to happen. It’s very hard to go against our beliefs but that is where the discipline comes in. If we want to be successful, we have to do that. One of the things that my wife, Kim says when she is talking to people, a lot of times people will say, “We want such and such, maybe for a great cause to be with our family, to do certain things, to be generous to other people, whatever it is, but we can’t afford it.” 

I hear it constantly with advisors and with clients, turning that around and saying, “Let’s not approach it as, ‘We can’t because.’ How about we start with, Let’s see how we could make that happen?” It’s a whole different thing. It opens up your mind to, “What if we did this? What if we didn’t do that because we want this to happen and we focus this there?”A lot of times, we can figure out a path to get what it is we are truly desiring if we don’t shut down from the surface and decide, “No, it can’t happen.” 

I also think it helps with non-decision as well. I think people have come to this like, “I can’t do that. I can’t do this. I shouldn’t do this or I shouldn’t do that.” Again, going to the marriage story or having kids. If you want to have kids, there is no rule of how much money you have to have in order to have a child. In fact, having a child could greatly amplify your ability to produce and make more money. The point you made where people have to have these dreams or have these things that they want in the future, or if it is possible to have it right now. When you evaluate that, when you logically understand what it is you truly want. It’s not a trip to Rome. It’s a special time with your spouse. 

It’s not to live in this place or this neighborhood or that. It’s to live in a place where you’re able to have amazing experiences with people. If you identify how simple things could be from an end standpoint, I think we complicate the means. I believe that if you achieve those ends with uncomplicated means, it gets you more of what you thought was complicated, to begin with. It maybe trips with a spouse, wanting to experience some amazing place, go on this amazing European vacation, go around the world. What you want in the end is to have great experiences with your spouse.  

You can go and have a great experience by taking a hike on a Sunday, which costs zero. It’s one of those things where when you experience that, now you can experience something more trivial that gives you even more meaning and more. What that does is it gives you a sense of fulfillment in life that affects your work, your wherewithal, your relationships. It gets you closer to wanting to do that European vacation because here’s the thing, you have this big dream in front of you. All of these things have to line up in order for it to happen. What is your experience like once you’re there? You’re a wreck because it’s going to end. It’s the time side of things. It’s like, “We had to get up early. We got to go here. We got to do this.” You’re both miserable by the time the vacation is over. 

The same thing happens on the other side and that is what you are talking about. You are miserable, “I want to go on this vacation with my wife but I don’t think we are ever going to be able to afford it.” You are miserable the whole time without opening your mind up to the things that you can do right now in between. People don’t take seriously the idea of mindset and what impact that has on your ability to do that. Going back to your vacation example, “I can’t do it.” You go to work that way. You’re slugging through another day, “I won’t make enough here to be able to go on that vacation.” 

TWS 12 Part 6 | Logic Behind Your Behavior

Logic Behind Your Behavior: It’s very hard to go against our beliefs and what we want to happen, but that’s where the discipline comes in.

 

If you are not, you’re right. You won’t be able to because you have already told yourself you can’t. Your attitude that you show up with is going to reduce the productivity that you could do by who knows how much? It’s an enormous amount and it’s that mindset. Instead of saying, “You know what? This is what we’re going to do.” Your example of the idea of having kids or getting married, there are other pieces in there. Let’s say you have kids already and what you want is a pool so that you can spend time with the kids and now you are going to say, “In ten years, we are going to be able to afford and put that pool in there by that time the kids are grown and gone.” How did that come about? 

It’s important to look out into the future and want to have a fulfilling life in the future, but not at the expense of having one now. In life, there is always a balance. You have the opposite side where you have people blow everything they have on experiences. They are not happy with any of them because they didn’t think through any of them. That is not what they wanted but they spent the money on it and then it didn’t happen. We have to have balance and as humans, we tend to sway back and forth between the two of them, but understanding the importance of limited time. That is a critical resource that we forget a lot of times. The idea that money can buy time? It can in certain ways to a degree. We have to balance all that out. Enjoy life now because if we enjoy life now, we are probably going to be a lot more productive and be able to hit those goals in the future as well. 

That is one of those primary rules. 

Important Links: 

About Todd Langford

TWS 12 Part 3 | Mathematical TruthsTodd Langford is the Founder & CEO of Truth Concepts, Partners 4 Prosperity, and Prosperity Economics Advisors.

 

 

Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!

Join The Wealth Standard community today:

What Does It Mean To Live A Meaningful Life? With Todd Langford

TWS 12 PART 5 | Meaningful Life

 

What does it mean to live a meaningful life? In this part five of the Todd Langford series, Todd and Patrick Donohoe converse how meaning is relative to the person’s current state of affairs. What could be meaningful to you today may no longer be meaningful to you 10 years from now. The key is to ride the winds of change. You can’t lock yourself up in a box of the present moment. Instead, it’s best to leave the door open in case the meaning of your life changes. What are you waiting for? Open yourself up to this episode and dive in! 

Watch the episode here:

Listen to the podcast here:

What Does It Mean To Live A Meaningful Life? With Todd Langford

Time is what limits our experience of life. Money is a solution that can improve the quality of that time. Money at a certain level is storage of time. People spend money to create or maintain the quality of their time. People exchange part of their time for money. Some people live to work. Others work to live. Money spent now is cash. Money spent later is savings. Inflation takes 2% to 3% compounded from the spending power of money over time. Financial experts conditioned people to invest for the long run instead of spending money. Financial experts conditioned people to believe that compound interest outpaces inflation and their fees. Financial experts conditioned people to believe that you must take risks to earn reward. If you lose, you took too much risk. 

For anything to be effective, it has to be intentional at some level. Click To Tweet

Most financial experts trade their time for money. Their advice earns them money. The average human being lives for 25,915 days. 8,580 of those days are sleeping, 3,790 working and 1,769 with the people we love most. Let me ask you a question. Are you living to work or working to live? Are you investing by sacrificing now for an imaginary tomorrow? I spoke about the first principles, the fundamental core reasons. What are your first principles for investing and living? I hope you enjoy this segment of my interview with Todd Langford 

Can people live a meaningful life without logic and math? I would say a condition of logic which are mathematical proofs. 

I think so. Like with anything, the question would be, do people win the lottery? Some do but the majority doesn’t. That’s probably true here. You could be lucky. I don’t like the word lucky. I like the idea of having some influence on what’s going to come out versus being left to luck. It can happen for some that they get lucky or get taken care of by somebody else, all these things. For anything to be effective, it has to be intentional at some level.  

Meaning is relative to the person.  

It depends on what your standard is. We use the word successful. We throw that around a lot. I don’t know that there’s a better word for it but it’s a tough word. What successful means to me is not something that I should look down on somebody else for having a different level of success. Successful may be having all the time in the world barely working but having enough to eat and having a much lesser lifestyle. For me to do that for myself, I would not consider myself successful but that doesn’t mean that I don’t consider somebody else successful because they have a different level of what success is. For them, that’s fine at whatever level it is. My argument at some level would be if that’s your level of success and that’s the amount of effort you’re willing to put there, that’s fine. Don’t cry that you don’t have the same success or stuff that somebody else has who was willing to do the work for it. That’s where the breakdown is in society. You’ve got a lot of people that have chosen the road of minimalist but they want what everybody else has. They feel like they’re entitled to that because other people have it even though they didn’t do the work to get there.  

It goes to this concept of meaning. Success seems like an absolute. The intrigue of success is that it gives a person meaning. What people are seeking is meaning. Meaning isn’t constant. Meaning is a way of being. It’s a moving target. What gives somebody meaning is oftentimes evolves out of their sphere of influence, children. I find lots of meaning with my kids. It evolved to the point where two of them became teenagers. It wasn’t as meaningful. I took on a different meaning. They’re going to ultimately leave home and kids. My meaning is not going to be based on the same tenets that I achieve meaning with. The same thing with business.  

With business, the environment, employees, taxes and interest rates are changingThe way in which you do business, marketing, operation and old structure is changing. You have all these people, clients and customers associated with it. They’re always changing. It’s one of those things where meaning is moving target. It’s constantly seeking ways in which you can get closer with the knowledge that once you get there, it’s not going to last forever. It’s this recognition. The truth is that what you want is that sense of making a difference, influencing, helping and experiencing. For me, at least, it’s been coming to the definition of what it is I’m truly after, which is a logical process. Taking another step logically, which is reverse engineering 

What is it going to take for me to do that and do more of that? Once I achieve it then it’s even more. What I concluded is not an absolute conclusion. I’m still doing this show. It’s a desire to discover more about what life, business, money and people are seeking is aboutI’ve concluded that there are these rules. Rules are not intentional. They’re built based on the positive and negative experiences that we have. When we experience something positivewe come up with a rule that says, “In order for me to experience something positive again, this thing has to happen. The same thing with negative where it’s like, “I didn’t like that. Therefore, if I do this again, which could be the reason for why something happened or not, I’m not going to do it again.  

TWS 12 PART 5 | Meaningful Life

Meaningful Life: Change is not just a change that impacts us from the outside. It’s a change from the inside too.

 

You continue to stack these rules on top of one another. You have all these rules for what life can’t be about. “This is what has to happen in order for me to be happy. I concluded that I don’t have to have very many rules. If I wake up in the morning and I’m alive, it’s sweet. It’s going to be an awesome life. Also, on the contrary, where you have rules for the feelings and the things that you don’t want to experience, unpacking that, doing discovery, finding out what happened and realizing that some people have a different perspective of life and treat you a certain way. This happens or that happens. It wasn’t the reasons you thought it was that caused the bad outcome that you experienced. It’s a constant work in progress. What it ultimately boils down to is your ability to logically understand what it is you’re trying to achieve and realizing that that achievement isn’t this one-time event. It’s an ongoing process. Making it as easy as possible to achieve those end results that you want to experience has become a key. Not the key or the only key but a key that has served me.  

A lot of what you’re describing is that element of time. The thing is we know time is going to occur. We have things that we think. With time comes change. Change is not just change that impacts us from the outside but it is internal too. It’s our different value for things. One of the prime examples around life insurance is this idea many times when we talk to advisors. I’ve seen this happen over and over again. You talk to clients early on in the process. You take a young client. Their main concern is about themselves and their ability to provide for their family. Their idea, from the standpoint of legacy, is not anywhere close to being important. That same person, that same 30yearold who didn’t have the idea of the legacy of wanting to benefit future generations changes at some point in time 

We need to look at our future and not lock ourselves in a box. Click To Tweet

That goal shifts our perspective on life changes all of a sudden. Maybe it’s not the kids that we want the legacy to go to but maybe it’s the grandkids. If we know that that’s going to happen to us, if we can get to a place of discipline, a belief from people that have experienced that, that those kinds of changes are going to occur then maybe we need to look at our future and not lock ourselves in a box. Put ourselves in a position of options where if those shifts occur we can shift with them. We want to find things that we can do that with that don’t change what we think we want to be on. In other words, not something to negatively impact what we’re doing, what our desires are or our look for the future is. What we want to do is find something that will meet that and leave the door open in case that changes. 

About Todd Langford

TWS 12 Part 3 | Mathematical TruthsTodd Langford is the Founder & CEO of Truth Concepts, Partners 4 Prosperity, and Prosperity Economics Advisors.

 

 

 

 

Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!

Join The Wealth Standard community today:

 

Why You Need To Know For Yourself With Todd Langford

TWS 12 part 4 | Know For Yourself

 

If you shut down your mind and let others decide for you, it’ll ultimately lead to the blame game. But at the end of the day, you are responsible for your results, which is why you need to know for yourself. What does that mean? In this part four of the Todd Langford series, Todd and Patrick Donohoe discuss how having experts can be helpful, but you need to know the facts, processes, and perspectives for yourself. When you do, you start to lead the course of your life, and you become invincible. Take the lead, begin with this episode. Not a second waste, dive in! 

 

Watch the episode here:

Listen to the podcast here:

 Why You Need To Know For Yourself With Todd Langford

Entrepreneurs inspire me. I love meeting leaders of successful ventures who discover an idea, formulate the business, and then execute. Youd assume that they know how to structure their personal finances. I believed that too, but I was wrong. Entrepreneurs are never taught to effectively manage their wealth to work alongside their business and lifestyle. All of that work effort, toil and time wasted. Entrepreneur 101 is an online course that teaches you a financial strategy that works, so that success is not a flash in the pan but lasting. The spirit of the entrepreneur doesnt have to be compromised. Register for the Entrepreneur 101 course for free at TheWealthStandard.com/ENT. 

In my experience, people seem to make decisions and think within frameworks. Most peoples frameworks are incidental and over the course of their life created haphazardly, not by design. There are others who intentionally create or develop proven frameworks in which they think and make decisionsElon Musk is a name that most of you will recognize. I noticed that in many of his interviews, he references something that he credits to a large part of his success. Itthe way in which he looks at things, thinks and solves problems. He calls it first principles. 

First principles are fundamentally breaking something down to its foundational building blocks that something could be a problem, an objective and then from that foundation, reasoning upward. Musk also contrasts first principles in these interviews saying that most people think by analogy. Thinking by analogy is doing what everyone else is doing, but trying to improve it slightly, improve it by variation, instead of asking the question“Why does that exist in the first place? 

We’ll be the ones responsible for what the results are. You have to make an effort, take the time, and keep your mind turned on. Click To Tweet

Let me give you an example. I did an exercise with my team that was interesting. I had each of them complete a simple maze as quick as they could. The quickest time was around fifteen seconds or soI then asked them if they thought they could do it three seconds faster than their original time if they had the opportunity to do it again. All of them raised their hand. I asked the question, “Could you do it in less than a second? None of them raised their hand. 

I then showed them a red line that went around the maze. It started at the same starting place, ended at the same finish line, but didnt go through the maze. It went around the maze. I showed them a line that went right through the maze because I never said that the maze wasnt threedimensional. This is first principles thinking. Trying to go through the maze quicker is thinking by analogy, understanding the foundational objective, which is starting and finishing, leads you to find even better waysMusk is an iconic figure but this is a thinking model that has been used for hundreds of years. 

What does this have to do with wealthpersonal finance and investments? Only to consider the possibility that you are approaching your finances by analogy. That at least has been my experience working with thousands of clients and me experiencing it personally. What are you trying to do? Are you trying to improve a little here, a little there, improve the rate of return, the riskreward ratio, potentially get into something with fewer taxes? Were trying to improve on what already exists. 

Take a moment and ask yourself whyWhy am I planning? Why am I strategizing? Why am I investing? What is the ultimate goal? What are you trying to achieve? Most people will say retirement. That is a very abstract idea because its different for anyone. There was a couple that I interviewed a few years ago that run InternationalLiving.comThey hosted twelve beautiful locations around the world that you could live on like a king or queen on less than $30,000 per year. Some of you may say, “Financial independence. Financial freedom. I ask the same question, What is that to you? 

Let me give you an example specific to those ideas. I was speaking to a clientvery successful and entrepreneurial physician. He wanted to meet because he felt he should be diversifying out of the market and into real estateI asked why. His initial response was, I want passive incomeI kept going down this track. Ultimately, he said he wanted to be financially freeI asked him the same question as I asked you generally like, “What does that mean?” I gave him the exampleI said, “Right now, there’s a handful of locations throughout the world that you can live on for the rest of your life, your kids life and their kids life. We started to break down what financial freedom meant, what it means to him. It was a realization that he had never come to before. 

TWS 12 part 4 | Know For Yourself

Know For Yourself: If things don’t map out exactly like your mentor said they would, it’s going to be on you to make the decision and make the adjustment.

 

The majority of the financial world is thinking by analogy. They’re trying to improve on what already exists with slight variation. That’s under the assumption that everyone knows what they want. That collective advice has conditioned you and me to some extent but I want you to step back now and think about your life from a first principle’s perspective. Start asking yourself new questions. What do you want financially? Whats the result youre after? What will that give you that you dont have right now? What are the underlying assumptions of what it will take to have that? From there, I have ainfographic that I found and you can follow that infographic to reason new assumptions and new possibilities. Now to a segment of my interview with Todd Langford. Enjoy. 

 

It’s the very reason we cant shut our mind down in whatever it is were doing. Im not saying dont bring in the experts to guide you, but there’s a responsibility on your part to take that a little bit further and say, If this happens, how do I react to that? If things dont map out exactly like this professional who said its going to go, its going to be on me to make the decision and make the adjustment.” I’ve got to keep my mind open and Ive got to be able to understand at some level what it is Im being told and not just take it hook, line and sinker. 

Unfortunately, like I said, were going to be the ones that are responsible for what the results are. If we shut our mind down, the only thing we can do, which is where the society has gotten at some level, it’s the blame gameIt’s not my fault. Its because somebody else told me this. Its because I read thisIts because I did that.” If iwas somebody elses information, you are ultimately responsible for it. You have to take the efforttime and keep your mind turned on. 

When you experience fear, it ultimately comes from the nature of risk or theres an unknown. In large part, the future is whats unknown. There’s a part of us that thrives to establish certainty or safety. It’s one of those natural instincts and invariably what happens is when you place the control or influence of the future on somebody else, it creates aamplified amount of risk and subsequently more fear. It’s not you that has come to a conclusion. It is somebody else that has come to a conclusion. You are ultimately leveraging them because you dont have responsibility or skin in the game to the discovery of the assumption by which youre acting on. The fear is not going to go away. Its going to go up. 

The thing about control that weve talked about in the past, we want to push in that direction. I liked your wording of influence. That’s probably a better word well get into maybe a little later on. We’re never completely in control. The idea is the level of control that we can secure is probably indirectly proportional to the amount of anxiety we have. That’s what the issue is. As soon as we start to give that control up willingly to somebody else, it’s got to raise our level of anxiety because were now in a period of hope. Hope comes out instead of being able to direct the course. 

That’s going back to the simple example of an airline pilotThey dont know what the environment is going to be like but they have the instruments and training so that as the environment changes, they know what to doTechnology responds to it just as much, if not more than the pilot. This is the ability to influence. You cant control the environment. Environment’s going to be the environment. People are going to treat you a certain way. Youre going to wake up with energy one day, with not much energy one day. You’re going to wake up and something happens to government, laws, your employerto the clients you have if youre self-employed. There are all things that are going to happen that are outside of your control. 

One of the biggest tools you have is your brain, and that’s one of the easiest things to shut down and let somebody else fill the void.  Click To Tweet

That’s where you establish a degree of certainty around influence so that when that environment changes, that is when you are able to respondTheres a preparedness there. That’s what mitigates anxiety and fear. When it comes to the financial Math side of things, people these days are concerned about money and their future. Whats the environment that theyre making conclusions about what could go wrong in the futurebased onHow would you describe that environment? 

Part of it is the unknown. That’s where a lot of that fear comes from and then you hear people rattling stuff around about, “What happens ifthe dollar disappears? What happens if this or that?” Bad news, unfortunately is exciting for a lot of people. People want to be the first one to tell whatever different news it is in some form and add their bias to that about how they think its going to happen to drive emotion. The bottom line is we all make decisions based on emotion. We make decisions based on our beliefs, not necessarily on the truthThat becomes a discipline or a conscious effort that we have to separate our beliefs, hype and our natural tendency to go to the fear to step back and be able to say, “What is the truth? What is it that I have influence over? What can I change in this scenario to fix that? 

It goes back to what you were saying about the pilots. It’s to have those tools in place and the knowledge. Thats one of the biggest tools we have is using our brain and thats one of the things thats easiest to shut down and let somebody else fill that void of that difference is just turning your brain over to somebody else because theyre a professional, and then when you get into a crunch, what do you do? Because youve given up your best tool. That’s your brain to be able to think through whats going onI think knowing that you have that tool is a key piece. 

TWS 12 part 4 | Know For Yourself

Know For Yourself: The bottom line is we all make decisions based on emotion. We make decisions based on our beliefs, not necessarily on the truth.

 

The guy that I was listening to is Sean McDowell, Josh McDowell’s son. One of the things he talks about when he was teaching kids was the idea of knowing something versus knowing you know something. There’s a key, huge difference in those two. What he talked about was this. He had students that knew the answers, but they might fail a test and then hhad students that gave a little bit more effort to the point that they knew the answer. The difference is in knowing the answer and writing the wrong thing down because you can talk yourself out of it versus knowing you know the answer. In life, thats a big piece. When we know what we knowwere invincible because we can rely on our knowledge to get us through an anxious time instead of reverting to the fear and talking ourselves out of what the real answer might be. 

The environment now is interesting because theres so much information, perspective and opinion out there. The degree of understanding when it comes to Math and Science is, in large parts instituted by a system that people just don’t like. How many kids do you know that love going to school? If you dont have an enjoyment or curiosity associated with learningyoure going to be checking boxes and learning in order to pass a test as opposed to learning to have knowledge which is more of the practical side of things. You have ainteresting environment where life is pretty easy when you compare the way in which even someone in a less fortunate circumstance in the United States has likely access to healthcare, shelter, entertainment that kings of old didnt have anything close to. 

Important links: 

About Todd Langford

TWS 12 Part 3 | Mathematical TruthsTodd Langford is the Founder & CEO of Truth Concepts, Partners 4 Prosperity, and Prosperity Economics Advisors.

 

 

 

Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!

Join The Wealth Standard community today:

 

Mathematical Truths: On The Constants In A Non-Constant World With Todd Langford

TWS 12 Part 3 | Mathematical Truths

 

We have reached an age where we reward people for their deep specialization of knowledge. Now, we have experts who have become multi-millionaires from leveraging what they know best. The downside is how, by being someone whose opinions and insights are held at a pedestal, it can be so easy to lose other people’s trust when you admit you’re wrong. Patrick Donohoe explores this topic by bringing back his conversation with Todd Langford, the CEO of Numbers Analytic, Inc. Here, they unpack the idea of the role of mathematical truths and what it informs us of the constants in a non-constant world. Dive deep into this brief but insightful conversation on individual specialization and how the uncertainties of the future impact what we do. 

Watch the episode here:

Listen to the podcast here:

Mathematical Truths: On The Constants In A Non-Constant World With Todd Langford 

Humanity and life are messy. Every morning, we wake up to this individual awareness of what’s going on that no one else has. Our self-awareness recognizes our vast imperfections, our past and present mistakes and shortcomings, and our taxing insecurities if we’re being honest. We then venture out into a world of billions of other people who are in the same situation, and then hypocritically judge and discriminate against those who manifest imperfections or differences. Likewise, we envy and scorn those who live up to society’s lofty expectations or at least hide them well. As I said, humanity and life are messy. 

We’re fortunate to live in a world where we don’t have to think that much anymore. It’s a world that no longer rewards generalized knowledge such as the breadwinner of a family knowing how to till the land, break a horse, hunt, skin animals for food, defend against predators, build a house, patch a roof or build furniture. Nowadays, the demand and the rewards go to those with deep specialization of knowledge. Specialization has led to multi-millionaire status by learning how to entertain viewers by opening toys or gifts on YouTube and maybe winning professional video game competitions. Deep specialized knowledge spreads across a wide range of subjects way too numerous to list here but I hope you get my point. 

The math is absolute, but the assumptions that are applied to the formula are not.  Click To Tweet

My purpose here is to identify that with increased individual specialization comes even more trust in the specialization of others. The paradox is that trusted sources might do more to protect pre-existing trust than to deepen their knowledge. More often than not, deepening knowledge requires admitting or at least being willing to admit that you may be at fault. You may be wrong. When you admit you’re wrong, you lose trust. I hope you enjoy this episode’s The Truth About Money segment with Todd Langford. 

That’s when the development of knowledge is in red. It’s in the experience of testing and proving in the real world. That’s where we’ll go next which is this balance between math, factual truths of the equations and how they apply to a non-constant world that’s ever-evolving. Adding a layer to that is as human beings, we all have these limitations. We have to have sleep, eat food and drink water. We can’t just operate at full levelten awareness and capacity for very long. We’re constantly seeking ways to conserve energy. 

When you accept the truth, it’s almost as if you’re now able to conserve future energy because you don’t have to figure something out anymore. This puts things in a dangerous place. Especially the professional context not only has this belief established, but it also puts this layer or force field around it where that force field is built on, “If I’m wrong, I’m no longer a professional.” You look at the different truths that have been subscribed to. You have some of those simple ones whether it’s lightning, thunder, storm, fire or drought. It’s the wrath of God. That was the original explanation of how things operate. Science and math then came along and you’re able to disprove those things. 

It didn’t go well for the Copernicus of the world. The other discoverers of these mathematical factual truths, many of them went to jail or were killed. You don’t necessarily have those consequences now. At the same time, you have people that are stuck in the adoption of belief systems passed on by someone who is a professional or their culture or some other way. It wasn’t necessarily the experience of the factual mathematical truths behind it. Maybe unpack that idea of what’s the role of mathematical truths and constants in a non-constant world. 

You talked about people being jailed for the truth. Maybe it’s not as drastic but in a lot of ways, it’s probably as devastating to them when they shut their mind out because they hear the word professional. They turn their mind over to this other person without ever checking anything that’s been said, without even passing that through common logic to say, “This fits or this doesn’t fit.” There are some real dangers there but the math behind it is absolute. This idea of relative math, that’s not true. There are relative events in nature. There are changes in the components of the mathematics that might be wrong but the math itself is correct. Two plus two is always going to be four. That’s just the way it is. It may be that it shouldn’t be two plus two, maybe it should be one plus three. Maybe it should be some other number in the assumptions that are put in the wrong. 

Think about Christopher Columbus. What happened in his timeframe was four ships went out and none of them came back. Mathematically, zero minus four means we lost four ships. The analysis at the time was they fell off the side of the earth because the earth is flat. The math was right but the analysis of what happened to the four ships was incorrect. You’ve got Christopher Columbus that does some math work, looking at the skies, looking at different things and figuring out, “The Earth is round.” I believe in those pieces but the only way he could find out was by proving it. 

Even though the math was right, it might not come out that way. He had to send ships out to go find out if it was true. Prior to that, the fact that four ships didn’t come back could mean a lot of things. They went down in a storm or it could even be that they found a place that was a lot nicer than where they were and they didn’t want to go tell anybody else because they were afraid their place wouldn’t be as nice anymore. Who knows what happened to those four ships? We know now that they didn’t fall off the side of the earth. Something else clearly happened. 

Over time, that happens. When we learn mathematics in grade school, everything is one-dimensional or maybe two-dimensional from the standpoint of two plus two is going to be four. Everything is considered constant. One of the differences we get into is when we get into more advanced math. Even financial math is more advanced math because it adds a dimension and it’s the dimension of time. That’s a big one that gets left out often. When we add that dimension of time, it changes the formula. It doesn’t mean the math is right or wrong. Pure mathematics is still the same. It’s just that now, we have different components in there. 

One of the unfortunate things that skew the math when we add the element of time is we have to add other assumptions that are not constant or not guaranteed to be in a certain area. For instance, we’re going to look out 30 years into the future. If 30 years is our time frame, that is absolute, but what happens over the 30 years? Interest rates, taxes and inflation fluctuate. We have all these assumptions now that we have to guess on and that makes the end result flexible. It makes it move around. It makes it not absolute. The math is absolute but the assumptions that are applied to the formula are not. 

There’s no way around that outside of using past experience. That’s a dangerous thing to some degree. If we use past experience for what’s going to happen in the future, it can be one of those traps that put us back to, “This is the way it’s always been done. This is the way the environment has always occurred in the past. Therefore, it’s going to occur that way into the future.” Some things act like that but with technology, we have no idea what the future looks like and that’s one of the big unknowns. 

Thirty ago, who would have thought that everybody walking around would have a cell phone in their pocket at all times? That they could not get more than 10 feet away from without being anxious and bothered? What kind of stuff is going to continue to the future along that same line? We have no idea what’s even going to be invented that we’re not going to be able to live without. The impacts of that both on inflation and on opportunity can’t be weighed. We can only guess. 

TWS 12 Part 3 | Mathematical Truths

Mathematical Truths: One of the unfortunate things that skew the math when we add time is that we have to add other assumptions that are not constant or not guaranteed to be in a certain area.

 

You also have preferences. There are many different forces that will impact life and the purpose behind what you do financially. You’re right. You are basing your future on the assumptions now. It’s similar to how we look back on what people did 200 years ago with a completely different moral code, set of circumstances, concerns and environments. We assume that they should have every bit of knowledge, experience, and wherewithal that we have today. It’s not fair. It’s the same thing looking into the future. It is changing at a rapid pace, and yet there are some widely held constants that are used that are essentially hurting whatever the future experience is because they’re based on today. 

It’s similar to all planes have to create a flight plan. What’s the constant in the flight plan? It’s the starting place and the destination. What happens between the starting place and the destination? You have altitude changes, speed changes and pitch changes. There are all sorts of things happening. That’s why even though a pilot may fly the same route a million times, every single time he flies it, it’s a different environment. The idea is that there must be constant open-mindedness and an open door to what’s happening at the moment. Are the assumptions the same? Have they changed? If they’ve changed, what do I do about it? The requirement almost to stay in the course is to constantly be asking questions that challenge the previous assumptions. 

Important Links: 

About Todd Langford

TWS 12 Part 3 | Mathematical TruthsTodd Langford is the Founder & CEO of Truth Concepts, Partners 4 Prosperity, and Prosperity Economics Advisors.

 

 

Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!

Join The Wealth Standard community today: