Of all of the reasons to save money and build an investment portfolio with a reasonably regular return over the course of your life, depression was one of the last things I would have thought about. That is until I reviewed the book Lost Connections by Johann Hari.
That’s just one of the conclusions that came out of this remarkable book. If there is no regularity to progress, it can actually lead to feelings of hopelessness. In retrospect, it makes complete sense. It turns out that one of depression’s major causes is a lack of seeing a future which is in line with one’s expectations. Another is momentum – or the lack thereof.
So if you are not seeing some form of regular growth in which you can see your future as you’d always imaged it, chances are it may affect the way you feel about life today.
This understanding puts one’s money in a different light. Many people think of saving as a sacrifice we make today so that we can be happy tomorrow (metaphorically speaking that is). As if it is something that you are giving up or losing today.
Perhaps that is not the best way of thinking about it.
How about something like this…
Saving and investing money is a tool for happiness, both today and in the future. If I see regular progress in the gains I’m making (both through my savings habits and an approach to a reasonably balanced portfolio) I’ll feel better about my future. And if I feel better about my future, I’ll feel more confident with my situation today, and thus will be happier with life in general. And if I’m happier about life in general, chances are those around me will be as well. Which means a better family life, better career etc.
Anyone who has dealt with depression, either intimately or through the association of a friend or family member, can understand how challenging it can be. It is something that affects most families at some point over the course of our lives.
As the book points out, however, although some depression is clinical in nature, the majority of it actually isn’t – it’s situational. And if you change the situation, you can actually change the outcome. It would be such a shame to have to deal with someone regularly feeling bad because they perhaps weren’t looking at things the right way.
I’ve come to understand that recognizing depression’s causes, and what we can do about them, is key to helping someone work through it. That helps us all lead better lives, which is what this blog is all about.
So, if you’re a client and you’d like a free copy of this wonderful book, call us and we’ll arrange to get you one. We’ve bought a number of them specifically for sharing with our client’s, their friends and family.