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  • Writer's pictureGary Grewal

May Update: An Adventure Back to the Mountain West!

Can anyone recognize what famous swimming hole this is? Hint, it's near Aspen, CO and has a party beverage in it's name :)

Alright friends, here we are in May! And no, I'm not going to put some cliche meme of Justin Timberlake in his music video still shot, saying "It's gonna be me (May)".

The darkness and bitter cold of winter are behind us, and the promise of long sunny days beckons before the blistering summer sets in. It's a great time to be outside, clean up your yard/balcony if you have one, and plan out the rest of your year.

May is special and joyous for so many reasons. There's Mother's Day, auspicious graduations, school breaks for summer, music festivals, home shows, and more. (Apparently, it's also National Correct Your Posture month, which I should know as I type this hunched over at a coffee shop).

So what's been going on at Financial Fives you ask?

Not a whole lot. Thanks for reading!

Just kidding. Apart from doing my first consulting gig, starting a new job, and learning new recipes and handyman skills, I've been spending more time getting through my reading list, preparing for our wedding later this year, and Spring cleaning.

And fun news, I'll be spending a month this summer back in my favorite home of all, Denver! As much as I keep the dream alive of living there one day, the crazy asking prices even in today's market keep that dream at bay. But there's a benefit to nostalgia, and when opportunity knocks, you take it!

YouTube Videos - the new blogs?

(first time on a plane in 16 months thanks to an interview!)

A few other bloggers and I have been talking about how blog readership is on the decline, and how as people's attention span decline, they gravitate toward more "stimulating" content.

I'm guilty of this myself, as when I need a mental break, what do I do?

Do I call a friend, pick up a book, or go for a walk? No, most of the time I just tap on the YouTube app and see what recommended videos I'll be spoon-fed in my feed. Sometimes I'll venture over to my Watch Later list, which is a clutch feature I must say.

Speaking of books, I mentioned earlier that I'm going through my reading list more these days during my free time. And since it's more convenient to get ebooks from the library rather than go there to pick them up, I read a few pages, and then get tired of looking at my screen for one more thing.

Don't you miss the days of laying out on a blanket at the park under a tree, and having a picnic with a real book? It's as if the conditions were perfect for getting lost in the content or finishing it rather than happy for finishing a single paragraph.

YouTube has been getting better at engaging users, especially for educational, long-form content like a blog would. Things like the Chapters feature let users skip to parts that they are most interested in, or turn on subtitles if they are in a place where they can't use audio.

Visual engagement is important for keeping eyeballs long enough to get to your message. Think of those glossy magazines people love to peruse in airports and bookstores.

Imagine if the images moved or talked, you'd be hooked! And that's what YouTube provides, unlimited video content for as long as your mindless free time permits.

Career? What's that?

(sunset to one job, hello to another)

So another update is over the last few months after speaking with a former colleague, I came upon the world of consulting. Not only for his company but also for a startup that needed someone temporarily. I won't get into too many details, as my LinkedIn connections might be some of my readers!

But I will say this taught me something I'd like to reiterate to my reader.

You never know unless you try.

(didn't know I could bike 30 miles without a break, but the view makes it easier)

I never even considered consulting as something I could do as a financial planner, as I figured it was more for traffic engineers and project-based individuals. It wasn't until I was lucky to have a friend who confirmed my thoughts; that pretty much any professional can be a consultant.

Today's world is full of news of bank failures, inflation, a tired economy, and mass layoffs. I'm not a worrier, but I do think it's wise to build your personal portfolio and continue to bet on yourself.

Even if you never lose your job, you'll never know if you like something better than if you try it. If you have an itch that you would love to try something different, don't beat yourself up for not having done it yet, but keep the dream alive. One day it will come true, whether in a major life event realization or waking up one day deciding it's now or never.

Our country is known to be a bunch of workaholics with an undeniable loyalty to corporate America and a penchant for leaving vacation time unused.

But there is a small, yet mighty group of individuals who listen to the voice in their head and take a chance when it's given to them, to put themselves in a growth mindset.

From famed restaurants to lifestyle festivals to nature preserves and biking trails, our lives have become enriched because of people to took a risk to do something uncomfortable, because they believed in it, and felt they could no longer silence their calling.

I hope to take this lesson with me throughout my career and always keep my eyes open for an opportunity to use my passions and skills to make my community better, whether that's through my career or grassroots neighborhood groups.

And I encourage you to do the same! Once you have enough of mindless YouTube watching, look up some community news. Follow community organizations that interest you, such as a gardening group or bicycle advocates.

You never know who you'll meet through these endeavors that will either change your life, or change your mindset, and enable you to grow into a better version of yourself that you never thought was possible.

Now go out there and meet some neighbors! And then go read a book :)


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