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Preparing for uncertainty

BY DOUG MAYBERRY Published: May 7, 2012
Q. Our 17-year-old granddaughter is an enigma in that her attitude is that everything in life comes to her as a surprise.

For example, when a classmate asks her for a date, her usual response is to say that she will think about it. Later, she is unhappy because she declined and is often disappointed that the opportunity passed her by.

How can we convince her she needs to make decisions and make her own successes and failures?

A. For some, this ability comes naturally, while others need to experience it. Setting goals, both short and long term, is a winning strategy.

Schedule time with her to discuss and write down her lifetime objectives. Share stories of your lives and how your plans actually worked out.

List and discuss both her avocation desires and a work path that would best provide an income for her daily living. Does she have a passion, and if so, what academic program would best achieve that?

She already knows there is a lot of job competition ahead.

Would she prefer to marry and have children and be a housewife? Marriage, singlehood, divorce, widowhood, accidents, poor health, money issues and other major events surprise us and demand our attention.

The secret to happiness is to learn to make decisions and anticipate surprises, which always occur, and to figure out how best to deal with what happens to you. Become a proactive problem solver!

As John Finley observed: "Maturity is the capacity to endure uncertainty."

Q. In our search to increase our wealth, we seek financial advice that we hope will make us rich. We make investment decisions based on information from friends, stock market advisers, publication articles, our family, promoters and many others who claim to know how to make money.

How can we find the most qualified individuals to share their knowledge with us?


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