If you think you can't change your life (and the world) ... think again.
-Michael Port

As I cyber strolled, the margin message suggested that I might be among those interested in The Think Big Manifesto. Since I like to think I "think big" from time to time, I double-clicked on Michael Port's invitation to change the world.

Yes, that is me all right. Fully seduced, I hit "enter" on the site's "one click." When the book showed up in my mailbox within the week, I engaged. It is a quick read but it planted some seeds. It especially made me think about personal finance and its place in the world within the implicit "think big" challenge.

I gave it a shot. I looked first to our roots and current circumstances. Then I considered our possibilities to conclude we have lots of room for "thinking big" about personal finance. In fact, we have a terrific upside if we can only embrace the challenges.

First off: vocabulary. I have made my feelings on this known in previous columns, but I have not been disciplined myself. Accordingly, in order to "think big" from now on, I will mostly be using the terms "finology" and "finologist." These terms better describe the subject of our individual relationships with money and those who work professionally with individuals pushing the terms "financial planning" and "financial planners" beyond their current limitations.

Secondly: vision. I predict that finology will constitute the world's most important authentic profession of the 21st century. Seriously.
Thinking big ...

"To think big is to know what we stand for and let it guide us in everything we do," says Port.

What do finologists stand for? I suggest we must stand for understanding issues involving individuals and our various troubles and relationships with money. I am well aware that this concept is at odds with how many/most of us currently earn our livings. That being said, our best work is within the confines of these notions of finology. Product sales enable us to eat; they are not the essence of our real work.

Rather, our work within the people/money paradigm is unique within a world that generally focuses on macro concerns. The finology of our one-at-a-time problems involving money and our relationships with it is not within the macro world view. No matter that these human difficulties are ubiquitous, especially in economically troubled times and ultimately determinative of macro realities. The world needs us to bring our knowledge and our hearts to the fore.

Ours is a world where money and the money forces confront individuals with intensity. Truth is, folks don't get much help. The American Psychological Association recently reported that "the vast majority" of us are stressed. It cited "money, work and the economy [as] the top catalysts." In other words, money and the forces generated by money are the prime sources of stress.

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