Some of our favorite times are when our minds are completely shut. And yet we are fully alive and, in a way completely lost, to the external world.

To me that happens on a bicycle ride, to you it could be when you are thinking through a business plan or doing a procedure or taking a meditation class or cooking your favorite dish or even drafting a legal document.

For an onlooker, it looks like a picture of perfection, watching an acrobat or a juggler lost in the flow of her work. Completely oblivious to the outside world and effortlessly doing what she is doing. In reality, however, when it comes to losing oneself in the flow, being in that space when nothing else matters, ‘perfection’ is actually the show-stopper. Seeking perfection, kills flow.

The reason is, that perfection requires us to be very focused on a specific thing. On the other hand the Zen like flow state requires us to lose focus. It actually requires us to defocus, and become alert & aware of the many things going on at the same time. It’s an antithesis of focus!!

While it's not possible for me to take you through the logic of this, in a short article, I can share out of experience that the essence of good healthy finances is this kind of alertness. An awareness of many things e.g. liquidity, title, taxes, growth, charitable giving and ofcourse the quality of our spends. It is NOT a focus on Risk or Return or Capital Protection or whatever the buzzword is.

These buzzwords are used to grab the attention of consumers of financial advice, much like the fairness cream advertisement. Trying to sell fairness to all those wishing to look good. But looking good has nothing to do with being fair, has it?

The health of our finances depends on our willingness to defocus from any one thing, be it returns, risk, saving or spending. It requires us to appreciate how ALL of them are interrelated, yet the outcome is even more than that. Infact, the outcome is more than money itself, isn’t it? It is about leading a life of our choice.


- Devang Shah

September 1, 2021

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