Before tax season began and I didn't have stacks of paperwork to take care of and meetings at the start of every hour, Adecia, Dawn and I attended the annual Avantax® conference. It was held at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta which made it super convenient. We were looking forward to seeing familiar faces, meeting new friends, learning, getting inspired by the speakers and experiencing a signature Bourbon Tasting. One of the speakers was Jon Acuff the New York Times bestselling author of Transform Overthinking into a Superpower. Jon talked about how overthinking is the most expensive thing companies invest in every year without knowing it, how it can get in the way of what we want and how we can go about changing it. Our thoughts are so powerful that they can grow our brain's-neuroplasticity. Jon gave 3 questions to ask ourselves about our thoughts to combat overthinking: is it true, is it kind and is it helpful? He talked about how one of the greatest mistakes is assuming all of our thoughts are true. Do our thoughts propel us forward or do they pull us back?
Jon pointed out that we all have a soundtrack that plays in our mind. Couples have soundtracks, individuals, places and at different stages in our life we all have soundtracks. Have you thought about what are some of yours? One of my soundtracks is the consistent sound of the tide, its steady ebb and flow. It gives me great pleasure and self worth to be able to help my clients to pursue their financial goals. Whether it is making sure that your kids can attend college or that you are able to retire comfortably and experience joy and peace in knowing your financial future is secure.
Another scheduled speaker was a Rocket Scientist and at the very last minute he had to cancel. Imagine planning a national conference for over a year and having this happen. What Avantax was able to do with no time to spare was quite impressive. How do you top a rocket scientist? You bring in an Astronaut - Mike Massimino the author of Strange Ride. Wow! Mike talked to us about determination. At 6 years old Mike decided he wanted to be Neil Armstrong when he watched on television Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong landing on the moon. Mike went outside and looked into the sky and realized that was the most important thing going on and would be for hundreds of years. His main obstacle was having a fear of heights. That is a big obstacle for an astronaut, right?
Mike is from Long Island, NY, and went to work for IBM as a systems engineer after college and earned two master's degrees from MIT. When Mike applied his first time to NASA he was rejected in the first rounds. This was his dream so in the next few years he applied again and was once again rejected in the first rounds. He persisted with applying to NASA and eventually received a call for a third interview. This time he failed the medical exam due to having poor eyesight. Determined that he would one day be an astronaut he contacted an eye doctor who worked with children under 10 years of age to improve their vision. She had not worked with adults before but agreed to work with him on vision training. His vision improved so greatly that he applied for a fourth time to be an astronaut with NASA and this time he was finally accepted!
Mike worked on the Hubble Space Telescope and is a veteran of two space flights. He had to fight back tears when viewing the Earth from space his first time and thought it was more beautiful than his human eyes could handle. Mike talked about collaborative effort- the importance of asking for help when you need it and when you can provide help, to give it. One thing Mike practices is the 30 second rule. You get 30 seconds to beat yourself up with your regrets and then you move on. It definitely worked for him and the rest is history.
I'm glad I was able to share some meaningful take aways from the conference with you. As always, thank you for being my valued client. I appreciate you.
This is a pic of one of the ballerinas at the Closing of the Conference Celebration.