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An Ode to Curly and Work-Life Balance: Service

Readers of this blog (Thanks, Mom!) know that I have offered a few thoughts about the roles that food and fitness played in my effort to achieve work-life balance.  These are not the only components.  Service is an important part of my life as well.

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. – Gandhi

The boss/client/relative/friend needs something.  Getting anywhere in the Washington D.C. area is generally a hassle.  The dishwasher is on the fritz.  Again.  It is fairly easy to get wrapped around the axle.  I try to bring perspective by losing myself from time to time in the service of others.

Serving Our Veterans

As background, my family has a substantial connection to the Marine Corps.  I would have likely ended up at Annapolis and then the Corps myself had I not thought as a high schooler that I was going to be the next Frank Lloyd Wright or Louis Kahn.  As a result, I have always looked for opportunities to serve those who honorably served us.

One opportunity was representing veterans with claims against the Department of Veterans Affairs – either through The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program or as an accredited representative.  I have not been prouder to be a lawyer than when I have helped our veterans try to receive the benefits that they have rightly earned.  And it is the inspiration for my F3 nickname – “Jag” (I told you that I would come back to this.)

Another opportunity was through Operation Homefront.  Operation Homefront provides our military families various forms of support, including emergency financial assistance.  I served on the Board of Directors of Operation Homefront Hampton Roads when the chapters operated as individual entities. (They have since consolidated into a national organization.)  Not only did VCPBP and OHHR allow me to help our veterans, but it also gave me perspective on events in my life.  They faced real issues.

Serving Our Education

My days in the securities industry has shown me that our society’s financial literacy is poor at best.  I was one of them.  Coming out of college I could not tell you the difference between a mutual acquaintance and a mutual fund.  But I learned.  I have tried to help our students by teaching them through Junior Achievement and supporting their teachers via the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy.  Again, losing myself in these projects brought a much-needed perspective.

Serving Our Health

There is something inherently satisfying in helping others’ health or fitness journeys.  This, of course, can take a number of forms.  One is advocating for certain causes.  I have supported Melanoma Research Foundation, which is a cancer that I have had, but there are countless other worthy causes.  Others are smaller acts, such as contributing to a local food bank or donating blood.  Not only does this help me focus on the larger picture, but it just might end up helping me support the home team.

Find your cause and lose yourself.

Thank you for reading this article.  Please know that I wrote it for informational purposes only (some may consider it ADVERTISING MATERIAL) and did not intend for it to be legal advice or to form an attorney-client relationship with you – especially in jurisdictions where I am not licensed to practice law.  I encourage you to seek your own counsel to help you with your specific situation.  To that end, I invite you to contact me if you would like to discuss my services.

I enable broker-dealers, registered investment advisers and their associates to spend more time growing their business by helping them with the legal and compliance needs.

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