The warmer and longer days of summer are conducive to a relaxed mindset, and perhaps a summer reset.

Jacob Bronowski, Polish-born British mathematician and historian (1908-1974), observed, “Man is a singular creature. He has a set of gifts which make him unique among the animals: so that, unlike them, he is not a figure in the landscape — he is a shaper of the landscape. (The Ascent of Man, 1973)

A piece in the AJCjobs section, May 26, 2019, headlined, “9 signs you’re in the wrong job.” The first two clues? “Sunday nights fill you with dread,” and, “You’re bored to tears.” What else triggers trepidation? You’re aiming for technical school or college and have to decide which school and major? You graduated and must launch your career, start paying off loans, adulting?

You’re in your 50s, sandwiched between children and aging parents, and you’re not where you want to be career-wise or moneywise? You’re an entrepreneur building an enterprise and you’re challenged trying to find the right people, the ones you have and wish to retain and grow, and needed new employees, getting them not only on your bus to success, but in the right seat?

You’re on the cusp of retirement but worry about meaning and purpose when you won’t have a job or company to show up to Monday morning?

What’s bugging you? Unresolved goals? Progress slower than desired? Changing bad habits into good habits? 

Okay, what are you going to do about it? Longer days spur getting more done, tackling changes you know you should make. That’s where gifts come in, yours and the people in your life central to goal attainment. 

We sometimes laud the “rugged individual,” but our Creator designed us primarily to be team based. In procreation itself, it takes two. Our daily dealings involve others —family, business, community and spiritual life. God knows we get better results when we team up with others who have synergistic gifts different from ours. If you dread work, school, even retirement, you’re bored, then your God-given gifts aren’t being recognized or used

Not understanding or applying your innate gifts, your internal MO, how God designed and hard-wired you to have specific talents you can muster for the betterment of self, the world, and fulfillment of His purpose, is at the heart of your discontent. Approaching challenge from weakness versus strength has profound financial implications, which is why advisers adept at financial life planning are being trained, or partnering with outside consultants, to deal with human capital dynamics in navigating life transitions.  

In every aspect of life, you have a specific role for which you are best suited based on your internal MO.

Kathy Kolbe ( has dedicated her life to uncovering and quantifying “the link between who you are and how you perform.” Donald O. Clifton (1924-2003), American educator, psychologist, researcher and entrepreneur, founded Selection Research, Inc., to study success, why some individuals and organizations are more successful than others in goal actualization. He later acquired Gallup, Inc., and developed the Clifton StrengthsFinder. Kolbe, Gallup and other online assessments, increasingly are used by business, educational and other institutions, to fully engage people by placing them in the right role (not “job”) based on innate talent, one’s natural approach to embracing challenge, change and getting things done.

Jim Collins, Good to Great, said, “Leaders of companies that go from good to great start not with ‘where’ but with ‘who.’ They start by getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus and the right people in the right seats. And they stick with that discipline — first the people, then the direction — no matter how dire the circumstances.” 

If you are bored, disengaged, you’re in the wrong role, on the wrong bus, on the road to financial, health, marital, family, financial, business and other distress. Discontent is a gift that screams “change!” Don’t let “a summer of discontent” morph into a “fall of failure.” Comprehensive financial planning includes “human capital planning” that deals with strengths discernment, development, and maintenance. Clifton defined strength as talent+skill+knowledge. As Collins noted, operating from strength is a discipline, an ongoing life development, personal and business management success cultivation tool. 

Are you on the right bus? How will you shape your personal landscape?

Lewis Walker, CFP®, is a financial life planning strategist at Capital Insight Group; 770-441-3553;  Securities & advisory services offered through The Strategic Financial Alliance, Inc. (SFA). Lewis is a registered representative and investment adviser representative of SFA, otherwise unaffiliated with Capital Insight Group. He’s a Gallup Certified Clifton Strengths Coach and Certified Exit Planning Advisor.                              


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