So What is Personal Sustainability?


Many years ago, while a financial planner, I was asked to describe what I am all about in one word.  Well, I could not do it in one word; but I could do it, and did, in two words:  Personal Sustainability.

Since that time the word “sustainability” has been used quite a bit to talk about many different things.  When I talk about “Personal Sustainability”, it does relate to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which I will not bore you with today.  In short, Maslow was talking about personal sustainability or the ability to take care of whatever an individual needs to keep them going moment to moment, day to day.  In today’s society, many people think of this as “money”, but it is much more.

In my mind, personal sustainability includes money and all money can do to keep the individual alive and well, plain and simple.  That would include health in all areas: emotional, mental, nutritional, physical, and more.  It can be living off the grid or living in a palatial setting, it does not matter.  Different folks have different needs.  Different folks think differently about their needs.  All in all, personal sustainability comes before the sustainability of a family, a community, a country, or the planet.  That is hard for some to grasp as they see thinking this way as being selfish.  We were not brought to this planet to do anything before we take care of ourselves.  It is the old adage to put your oxygen mask on first in time of peril on an airplane.  

Over time, those personal needs require some level of monetary support.  That is the plain and simple truth.  It does not matter how simply you live, there needs to be money in the picture somehow from somewhere whether it is your personal money or support from outside sources.

Begin to think about your personal sustainability, and then think how once you are sustainable that you will begin to look at the sustainability of your family and more…

To do it in another order can become a “house of cards”.



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