Helping people not only get a good return on investments (ROI), but a great return on life (ROL).

Return on Life

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Overload vs Margin

ROL financial planning is more than a numbers-only money discussion and involves a process of self-examination. This examination includes taking a closer look at our lives —what we are experiencing, what we hope to experience—and then designing a financial plan around those life factors. In this newsletter I want to begin to unpack the concept of margin and how it impacts our lives. Margin is the space that once existed between ourselves and our limits. It is something held in reserve for contingencies or unanticipated situations.

Overload is not having time to finish the book you are reading on stress. Margin is having time to read it twice.
Overload is fatigue. Margin is energy.
Overload is red ink. Margin is black ink.
Overload is hurry. Margin is calm.
Overload is anxiety. Margin is security.
Overload is the disease of our time. Margin is the cure.

As much as we complain about it, though, there's part of us that is drawn to overload. It makes us feel important. It keeps the adrenaline pumping. It means I don't have to look too closely at my heart or life.   

Bestselling author and Pastor, John Ortberg tells the story of seeking the advice of his mentor Dallas Willard, author of the Divine Conspiracy. He recounts:  

Not long after moving to Chicago, I called a wise friend to ask for some spiritual direction. I described the pace of life in my current ministry. The church where I serve tends to move at a fast clip. I also told him about our rhythms of family life: we are in the van-driving, soccer-league, piano-lesson, school-orientation-night years.

I told him about the present condition of my heart, as best I could discern it. What did I need to do, I asked him, to be spiritually healthy? Long pause.

“You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life,” he said at last. Another long pause. “Okay, I’ve written that one down,” I told him, a little impatiently. “That’s a good one. Now what else is there?” I had many things to do, and this was a long-distance call, so I was anxious to cram as many units of spiritual wisdom into the least amount of time possible.

Another long pause. “There is nothing else,” he said. “You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”

When Willard said “ruthlessly eliminate hurry” I think he was putting his finger on one symptom of the disease of overload knowing if we can slay the “hurry monster” we are well on our way to killing the overload disease.

I’ve been making a real effort in this regard. Lately I have been driving more slowly choosing the slow lane most often, (yea that is me you are passing on I77)  or picking the slower clerk in the check-out line and leaving earlier for appointments so I don’t feel rushed. It is helping.

The margin principle is simply: the more space we create between ourselves and our limits, whether it is money margin or time margin, the greater the opportunity to increase our ROL. We all know this is true! Begin today by ruthlessly eliminating hurry from your life.


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Your life is not about making money; your money is about making a life


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Suite 210
Charlotte, NC 28209


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Carroll Financial Associates

4201 Congress Street, Suite 210

Charlotte, NC 28209

Office: 704.553.8006

Direct: 704.247.2816

Fax: 704.553.9610


Registered Representative of and securities offered through Cetera Advisor Networks,LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Carroll Financial Associates, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor.  Carroll Financial and Cetera Advisor Networks LLC are not affiliated companies. 

Securities offered through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, member FINRA/SIPC.  Advisory services offered through Carroll Financial Associates, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor.  Carroll Financial and Cetera Advisor Networks are not affiliated. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic stability, and differences in accounting standards. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested in directly. The views are those of Michael Jette and Ben Ganson and should not be construed as investment advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources: however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. All economic and performance information is historical and not indicative of future results. Consult your financial advisor for more information.



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