Revisiting some of our top financial wellness tips (Part 2)

The mind-money connection

Grab your headphones and listen to some more podcast gold—snippets of our best financial wellness advice from three years of Money and Mindset.

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Brian Ford (00:07):

Hello and welcome to another episode of “Money and Mindset With Bright and Brian,” a podcast about improving your financial confidence and well-being. I'm Brian Ford, head of Financial Wellness at Truist, and someone who's spent years helping people feel better about taking control of their money. For the other side of the equation, I'm joined as always by my “Money and Mindset” running buddy, Bright Dickson. She is a senior purpose advisor at Truist who studies ways to live with more intention and joy. How are you doing today, Bright?

Bright Dickson (00:34):

I'm well, Brian. Thank you. By the time this episode comes out, we'll be days away from the new year, which has me thinking about New Year's resolutions and all that kind of stuff a little bit. I know at least one thing I want to accomplish by this time next year, which is that I want to go on another big, exciting trip in 2024. I just got back from Ireland, and you know what? I liked it, and I want to do it again and I'm going to have to plan for it.

Brian (01:01):


Bright (01:02):

What about you, Brian? Any resolutions for next year, financial or otherwise?

Brian (01:06):

Yeah. Well, look, travel. I love that. That wasn't on my list. That should be.

Bright (01:11):

Put it on there.

Brian (01:12):

I know. I'm thinking so seriously again, Bright. I was thinking focusing on my career. I like yours better.

Bright (01:18):

Great. Do both. Do them both.

Brian (01:20):

Yes. Yeah. Well, look, for now I'm still in reflection mode and spending time thinking about the past. With that in mind, we're going to pick up where we left off from our last episode where we shared clips from some of our favorite past episodes. As we head into year four of “Money and Mindset,” we wanted to go back and highlight a few more of the top insights and lessons we've explored on the show so far.

Bright (01:45):

“Money and Mindset” year four, that's wild to say.

Brian (01:50):


Bright (01:50):

There's so much more to come, and I'm so excited about the topics we're going to cover in 2024, but I'm loving this look back into our archives. I'm so excited to hear more, and I think our listeners are going to dig this too. It's like a sample platter of all the delicious and awesome stuff we've cooked up on the show.

Brian (02:08):

Most definitely.

Bright (02:09):

What do you say, Brian, are you ready for part two of “Money and Mindset's” greatest hits?

Brian (02:14):

Let's go.

Bright (02:21):

One of my favorite episodes that we've done came out just a few months ago, and it was called “How To Talk About Money with Your Friends.” It's all about navigating these super complicated, weird money issues that come up when you're with your friends. Attending weddings, figuring out the check at dinner, planning activities with friends who maybe want to spend a lot more money than you do or maybe a lot less.


That episode is a little too recent to make the cut for our highlight reel, but it gets into something we talk about on the show all the time. Money is an important part of our relationships with other people. If we want good relationships with the people we care about, which I think we all do, then we need to think about the role of money in those relationships.

Brian (03:06):

Yeah. Yeah, I think a big part of that is just knowing how to talk about money with your loved ones.

Bright (03:12):

It's also about knowing what we really mean when we're talking about money. Usually, what we're talking about is our priorities. It's the things that we value and that we want to spend money on. These can be tricky conversations, but they are so critical, and that takes us to this next clip that I'm about to play.


It's from an early episode called “Love and Money: Are You Financially Compatible?” That episode is really full of great stuff on how talking about money can help you build stronger relationships with your romantic partner, whether you've been married for years or just started dating. Let's play the clip.

Brian (03:52):

Typically, when we argue about money, we're not arguing about these little pieces of paper in our pockets and in our purses. Really what we're doing is we're disagreeing on how to spend it, and that's an argument about what we value. As soon as I started to realize that, I was like, "OK, this is about what we care most about in life." I remember after I had been married for a little while and I started to figure out that it's not about money. It's more about what we care most about and how we spend it and so forth. I sat down with my wife, and I said, "Look sweetie, let's just write down the things we care most about in life." We did this separately. She made her list, and not just the big things like faith and family, freedom, we kept going.


We listed out like 20, 25, I think one of us got to 30. Again, when you get past the big things, you have to start listing more everyday type things. But we listed these out, we did it separately, we prioritized them. Then we came together and we started chatting about it, and it was fascinating. I will tell you, this is the honest truth, she looked at my list and right after some of those big really important things, I got that right. But right after that, I had listed college football. I'm sure some of our listeners are like, "Oh my gosh, I actually thought this guy was for real." My wife seriously was like, "Babe, are you kidding? Is that real?" I'm like, "Yeah, that's in order. I love college football." To this day, it's still true. I just absolutely love it. I could watch a game just about any time.


I follow all the different teams, but she knew I liked college football. She didn't realize it was that high. I looked at her list and I was like, "For real? That is that high?" She was like, "Yeah." But what was awesome, Bright, is we started to have a conversation about the things that matter most to us. We realized the good news was we had a lot in common. The big things, thank goodness we had in common. We realized that the majority of our hard-earned money needs to be spent on these big things that we have in common, but then there was some stuff that I had, that I cared about that she didn't and vice versa. But instead of arguing about it in the heat of the moment when we spend money on those things that we don't think are important, but to our partner they are, we had a conversation about it.


We could talk about it, and we made allowances within our budget. Again, it's fascinating. I just think that if couples could do this a little bit more often or if they could just realize, again, it's not the money thing. It's this deeper ‘What do you really care about?’ thing. I found that very helpful in my relationship.

Bright (06:24):

Yeah. A couple of things I want to just highlight in what you were saying, Brian, is that one, that nugget of it's not about the spending, it's not about the money, it's about the values. That's huge because money is just a representation of what we care about. How we spend our money is just a reflection of what we care about.

Brian (06:44):


Bright (06:45):

You want to be aligned on what you care about. The other thing is that you had the conversation at all. Because I think there's so many people out there who are in relationships and there's this tension around money. The short-term, easiest thing to do is just not talk about it or talk about it on a really surface level. A huge part of compatibility, financial and otherwise, is this openness to discussion, to talking, to compromising, to planning. Being able to have those conversations, is a huge part of a relationship anywhere you are on the duration and intensity spectrum of relationships.

Brian (07:31):


Bright (07:32):

You’ve got to be able to talk about it. Right, Brian? That's what we're saying is you’ve got to be able to talk about it.

Brian (07:38):

Communication, not always about the money. What's the stuff behind the money? I like that conversation. That was a good one. OK, so let's keep things rolling. This next clip is from an episode we released in January 2022. It's called “The Challenges of Entrepreneurship and Tips for Starting Out.” This one was interesting for me, Bright. I remember I brought a lot of my personal history to this one. I shared things that I hadn't ever shared in really a public forum before. Because before I joined Truist, I started my own workplace financial wellness company called 8 Pillars, and it was hard. But looking back, I am super proud of what I accomplished, and it was great to share some of the lessons I learned in that episode.

Bright (08:21):

You really opened up in this episode, Brian, and I remember it being so powerful and so detailed. You started your own business and had a successful exit, which is inspiring in itself. You've obviously got a lot of great advice for anyone thinking of starting their own business and the practical challenges that you have to overcome. But I remember you also talking about the mental challenges that can come with striking out on your own as an entrepreneur.

Brian (08:46):

Yeah. That's actually the part I wanted to highlight in this clip, because it leads to some really helpful insights from you, Bright. You had some good feedback for me about dealing with stress. Understanding your mindset whenever you're facing a challenge is huge, so let's go ahead and play that part. Put a little money away every month as that revenue comes in, to set aside some cash for unforeseen business events.


Those are a couple that come to my mind. But I will say, Bright, I want to get into the mental side of starting your own business, because I know this is very real for entrepreneurs. I consider myself a pretty even-keeled person. In fact, those who know me best, if you were to speak to my wife, known me for 20 years, she would describe me as that. She would say, "Yep, Brian's pretty even-keeled."


The highs aren't that high, and the lows aren't that low. You get what you get. He's steady, he's reliable, he doesn't get nervous very often. I can be in front of a crowd of 300 people and speak on a stage and not get that nervous. Having said all that, Bright, I remember in the early days of starting my business, I would be in the shower just getting ready for the day, and I was so anxious that I would throw up in the shower.


I even get anxious telling this story because it brings back such memories of fear. I would, I'd just be in the shower and, boom, I would throw up and I'd be like, "What am I doing? Is this crazy? You've got a wife and children. Is this the right thing? Am I qualified for this?" It was tough. Bright, what I'm getting at is help me and our listeners, how do entrepreneurs stay sane while building their business?

Bright (10:40):

Oh man, it's such a challenge. First of all, Brian, thank you for sharing that very honest story about throwing up in the shower. It brings me to my first point here, which is that it's really important to know your stress patterns and what you do when you're under stress, and what puts you under stress and to plan for them. Before I get into talking about that stress pattern, let's remember, and we've talked about this in previous podcasts, that stress isn't always bad.


Stress, like most things, is on a bell curve. Most of us have a pretty high tolerance for stress, and we call that eustress, good stress, but there's this tipping point. For all of us, we have this tipping point where we get too stressed, it's too much and our performance starts to decline. We start exhibiting some behaviors that help us process this stress, but they don't always do good things for us.


Brian, I’ve got to say, I'm happy to know that you're also a stress vomiter because I have done this in the past too. I remember a moment in college where I threw up and it was not a good situation, but it was related to just some stress I was under at the moment. That's good for us to know that we do that because it's a red flag of like, "Whoa, you need to do something. You need to take more care of yourself. You need to calm down a little bit."


Remember, one, not all stress is bad, that's not true. But when you're in that cycle of bad stress, you've really got to address it and nip it in the bud. Part of the way to do that is to know your stress patterns. Track what happens in your body when you're under stress. Does your heart rate go up? Do you get tense somewhere? Note that stuff down as red flags, so that you can be aware of them in the future and then address what's going on.


You might also see behaviors like withdrawal. You might see behaviors like lashing out. All of that stuff, just know that that's likely to happen because when you're an entrepreneur, when you're starting a business, it's going to be stressful. It's not going to be a peaceful walk in the park. You're going to have to make important decisions. You're going to have to change your plan sometimes.


Things are going to happen that are going to put you under stress, so go ahead and plan for that. Know those stress patterns, know what they're about, what is it that's getting you so stressed? What's the root of it? Usually, it's something really important to you. Just know that, that in any moment, something bigger is going on, and this stress is significant towards something that's bigger right now.

Brian (13:26):

Yeah, I couldn't agree more. I actually wish I better understood some of these strategies when I was starting out. I'd add to that, too, that as you were talking, I was just thinking and I remembered how important it was for recovery. We're going hard, we're pushing hard, we know we need to set goals. I just talked about the importance of deliverables and setting big goals. However, you’ve got to step back every once in a while.


You’ve got to realize that recovery is just as important as the sprinting, and we can't keep sprinting unless we do take time to recover. That will be different for everybody, but find those things that allow you to recover so that you can continue to sprint when you need to as an entrepreneur. Oh my goodness, Bright, it's interesting listening to that clip.


I haven't listened to that section of that podcast since we recorded it. I had a reaction just now that I wasn't expecting. I genuinely started tearing up, and it was more out of gratitude, but it made me think back that, man, some of the toughest things in life have been some of the greatest sources of joy as well and feeling of accomplishment.


Yeah, it was interesting listening to that again for me. But I do want to say, Bright, your thoughts in that episode, they continue to help me, so thank you.

Bright (14:47):

Well, thank you, Brian. It's not every day that one stress puker meets another. We don't talk about it that often, us stress pukers out here.

Brian (14:57):

I'm like, "I'm not a stress puker. That's not me." But it was, because it was that hard, so maybe I am. Okay, maybe I'm in denial.

Bright (15:06):

In the hardest times, it's just something that your body does to process it, and mine too. I think it's one of those things where it's our body really giving us some strong feedback about what's going on, and we’ve got to listen to it. We talk all the time on the podcast about how emotions can function as information.


Just like we heard in that clip, even an emotion like stress is telling you something really important, and what matters is how you respond and act on that emotion. Which is a point that also comes up in our next clip from a September 2022 episode called “The Emotional Side of Investing and How to Overcome Anxiety.” That's when we were so fortunate to have Dr. Daniel Crosby on the show.

Brian (15:55):

Yeah, I remember that episode well. Daniel is someone I've known and respected for a long time. Daniel's a psychologist and a behavioral finance expert. He studies how and why people make money decisions.


Very cool. He also has a podcast of his own, which is called “Standard Deviations.” It is definitely a good listen, I'd recommend it. I did appear on an episode a few years back, which was a lot of fun.

Bright (16:20):

If you want to learn more about the field of behavioral finance, I'd point you to another episode we did earlier this year called “The Psychology Behind Our Money Decisions.” You'll learn a lot more about the way our brains are wired and what it means for the decisions we make.


This next clip is about psychology, and it's about dealing with stress and anxiety as it applies to investing specifically. But it also leads into some bigger insights about taking care of yourself in general. Let's go to the audio.

Brian (16:48):

Today, specifically, we want to talk to you about investing anxiety, more importantly, how to manage it.


Daniel, let's jump right in. How can listeners change their mindset from anxious to confident investor?

Dr. Daniel Crosby (17:01):

Thanks, Brian. That's a great question. When we think about moving from being anxious investors to confident investors, I think there's a couple of things we need to understand and a couple of things we need to do. First, we have to understand that the physiological pathways through which we experience anxiety or stress, are no different than the way we would experience a real physical danger.


Whether you're being chased by a bear or whether you're fearful of a bear market, your body's response is going to be just the same. It's going to be really fear inducing and really panic inducing, so what can we do from it? Well, the first thing that I suggest that people do is to try and learn from it. Sometimes fear is legitimate. Sometimes the anxiety we may be feeling, may be a clue to us that perhaps we aren't saving enough.


Perhaps we aren't invested in a sensible way, that we're taking too much risk. So, the first question I would ask someone who's experiencing some anxiety around their investment paradigm is, "Look, is there any information here? Is there any signal in all this noise?" The second thing we can do is to try and face it in a small way. When psychologists cure people with simple phobias, like an arachnophobia, or fear of spiders or a fear of snakes, the way they do it is through gradual exposure.


First, you think about a spider, then you talk about a spider. Then you hold a picture of a spider, and soon you're visiting a spider at the zoo sort of thing. We can do the same thing with investment fears. We can bite off just a little bit at a time, dipping our toes into the markets, gradually, getting comfortable with the way markets work and getting comfortable with volatility, until we're ready to invest a larger amount.


The third thing we can do is just fake it till we make it. This is an old phrase that many of us use, but there actually is some psychological complexity to this. We know that just as surely as our thoughts can produce behaviors, our behaviors can produce thoughts. We can do things like just leaving it alone, not checking our accounts, acting the part of a competent, unworried investor until that's really what we become.


Then the last thing that I would say, which is I think an area of expertise for Bright, is to take care of ourselves. Some of the research around taking care of ourselves comes from the positive psychology movement that Bright's so familiar with. One of the frameworks that is part of positive psychology is called the PERMA Model, and it looks at five markers of personal wellness. The first one of these is positive experiences, like are we having enough fun?


Are we getting enough fun in our lives? The second one is engagement, which is hard, meaningful work that satisfies us. This could be a hobby; this could be our job. The third is relationships, just what it sounds like. Are we keeping those relational ties strong? The fourth is meaning, which is working for something bigger than ourselves. The final one is advancement or accomplishment. Are we moving forward? Are we making progress?


Because what I find with the investors that I work with, is if they have these things in their lives, if they have strong relationships and meaning, and advancement and a job they love, the investment stuff tends to fade into the background, which is actually really where it belongs. If we are taking care of ourselves holistically and we have happy, fulfilled, meaningful lives, we're not going to be watching every tick of the markets. We're going to have the managed anxiety that'll lead us to be a better investor.

Bright (20:48):

I think that's so smart, and I love that you brought the PERMA Model in there. I think too, that it's about not having this be the center of your life.


But this be a supportive piece of the center of your life, which is how you're supporting your own well-being, your family, the things that you love to do, all of them.


I could have talked to Daniel Crosby all day. That was one of my very favorite conversations we've ever had, Brian.

Brian (21:15):

Agree, Dr. Daniel Crosby is a good dude. I'm pretty lucky because he goes to my church, so I see him every week.


He teaches Sunday school, so I get to hear his quirky humor and psychological tidbits all the time. I love it. Now I will say, even beyond Dr. Crosby, we've just had some great guests on the show.

Bright (21:36):

We have had so many great guests.

Brian (21:39):

Yeah. That last clip, in particular, did remind me of a couple other episodes I want to call out, especially for any listeners who are interested in going deeper on investing. There's an episode we did called “Reasons You're not Investing and How You Can Start,” and that's just a good one. It's a solid primer with a lot of no-nonsense info on becoming a more confident investor, so that's one. The second episode I wanted to call out, is we did with a friend of mine.


He's a colleague here at Truist. His name's Ben Appel, and that episode was called “What Is FIRE and Is Retiring Early Possible for You?” If you remember, Ben's an expert on FIRE, which just stands for Financial Independence, Retire Early. The whole FIRE movement is dedicated to the idea that if you spend and save with a whole lot of discipline and extreme frugality, you can retire as early as your 40s or 50s.


We're not going to do a clip on that one. Even though I wanted to, I got shot down. I love that episode, but there's just some good investing talk in that episode.

Bright (22:43):

Yeah. Even if the FIRE thing is a little too extreme for you—I think we both decided that it wasn't for us personally, Brian—that episode with Ben had some really great discussion about identifying your values and figuring out what really matters to you.


I've been thinking about that actually since then. Plus, some of those saving and investing strategies can be helpful for your retirement plans, even if you have no intention of going full-on FIRE mode.

Brian (23:10):

Totally. OK, so onto the next clip. This next one is from 2021, and it has a title that I think asks a very important question. The title is “Can Money Actually Buy Happiness?” This is one of my favorite episodes. I like this question partly because I think the answer is complicated and may not be what you expect.


It's absolutely true that money doesn't necessarily mean more happiness. Having money isn't what creates happiness, and there's lots of studies and research that bear this out. However, on the other hand, how we use money based on what's important to us, can have an enormous impact on our happiness. The answer to “Can money actually buy happiness?” Well, it's not a simple yes or no.

Bright (23:56):

I remember in that episode, we talked about a study that found that we're happier spending money on experiences rather than on stuff.

Brian (24:05):

Yep. That takes us right into this particular clip, which starts off with you, Bright, talking about this concept of savoring.


You did such a good job here breaking down why it's not spending money on stuff that can make us happy; it's using money to support our values and really experience life. Let's play it.

Bright (24:23):

It's really interesting, there's a lot of positive psychology in here, but one of them is this idea of savoring. Brian, have you heard of savoring?

Brian (24:33):

It sounds cool. OK, I'm going to say no.

Bright (24:37):

Savor it. Yeah, that's fine.

Brian (24:38):

Give me some knowledge. I don't know.

Bright (24:42):

Savoring is essentially how we pay attention to experience in a positive way. Just like you'd savor, or maybe your son would, savor that ice cream while he's eating it, just being really in the experience. There are three types of savoring, so you can think of it as future, present and past. The anticipation of the experience, thinking about, "Oh, here's what we're going to do on our vacation. I want to try and have this moment with this person. I can't wait to eat this thing at this restaurant."


That anticipation of the event or the experience. Then there's the actual experience of the experience, being present in the experience, which I know for so many of us is really, really challenging. Then the third type is that reminiscing over the good memories you have and savoring those memories. What we find is that when people savor in any of those three ways, the experience actually ends up being more positive than if they didn't really take the time to think of it.

Brian (25:50):

Yeah, I love that idea. Plus, I love this cool, new way of using the word savor. I'm going to sound wicked smart when I talk to my family later tonight, but I like that, I believe that. I like this idea of experiences over things. That's something that I know to be true in my life. My family feels the same way, and I would say that I am an anticipatory savorer.


I love the idea of thinking about the vacation, planning for it, talking about it, so that's where I'm at. I will say, I've gotten better over the years of enjoying the actual experience. It's something I've consciously worked on, and my family and I when we're out and about, it's like, "All right, guys. Let's put down our phones. Let's not have to take a picture of everything. Let's just enjoy this moment right now."


We've gotten better at it, so that's pretty cool, but I will say I'm not much of a reminiscer. I don't look back as often as I think I could, so I think I'm missing out on the third facet of savoring, but I like that. I appreciate that explanation. That's good stuff.

Bright (26:52):

Yeah, it's interesting to think about it. My friend and I had, when we learned about this in graduate school, we started telling each other in those good moments when we were doing something, having fun, learning, whatever we were doing as a positive moment, we would look at each other and go, "Savor now," as a little reminder of this is a good thing. But when you think about the experiences versus things idea, another principle that comes in here is this idea of hedonic adaptation.


Let me break this down. Hedonic means pleasure, so it comes from the Greek word hedone, which you can think of as you might call someone hedonistic. Hedonic adaptation, which essentially means that when we have something that's pleasurable to us, we adapt to having that thing just like we adapt to all sorts of things. This is why when you get a new car, or in my case, a new-to-me car, that's how I buy my cars.


What really happens is that for maybe two to three weeks, you're really excited about it and you're into your car. You're like, "Oh, look at this new feature, and look at that thing. Oh, I've got a backup camera." You get excited, and then you just adapt, and you've got a car and you also have a car payment. We adapt to these things that we get and they just become part of what we consider baseline, normal life.


The new car smell wears off, I guess is what I'm saying, and that's hedonic adaptation. What can happen is hedonic adaptation turns into what's called the hedonic treadmill, where you're just going after a new thing and a new thing, and the next thing and the next thing. But it really actually brings you no more happiness or well-being than it would if you didn't have any of those things at all. Isn't that interesting?

Brian (28:48):

Fascinating. That episode brings back a lot of great memories, and we could only play one clip from that episode, but can money actually buy happiness?


That was a good episode. I'm going to go back and listen to the whole thing.

Bright (29:03):

Yeah. I agree, Brian, and I'm savoring now. That little savoring conversation was such a good reminder. I'm savoring now. We're nearing the end of our little trip down memory lane. I have just one more clip that I want to share, and this is from an episode that came out a year ago this month called “How Self-Reflection Can Help You Achieve Your Financial Goals.”


We had the amazing Valorie Burton on that episode. She's a coach, a writer, and the founder of the Coaching and Positive Psychology Institute. She's written something like 13 books on personal development, and she speaks professionally on resilience skills and on happiness.

Brian (29:42):

What a resume.

Bright (29:43):

I know, right? I first met Valorie in graduate school, and I remember just immediately knowing that this was someone I needed to pay attention to. When she speaks, I can feel myself sitting up straighter and becoming more present and locked in. When we talked to Valorie last year, she spoke a lot about slowing down, taking a deep breath and taking stock of where you are and where you want to be.


Whether you're writing your thoughts down in a journal or just taking a quiet moment, taking that time to look inward and self-reflect can help you move forward. That's true when you're talking about financial goals as much as anything. Let's go to the clip and hear what Valorie has to say about pausing for self-reflection.

Valorie Burton (30:29):

I think for each and every one of us, taking the time to pause and notice what's going on, and to be intentional about moving forward is something we need more than ever. Because we're living in such a fast-paced world where I think we get overwhelmed.


We forget to reflect on what we're learning, how we're growing, maybe even how we need to grow, and the choices that we're making and whether they're working well for us or not.

Bright (30:57):

Yeah. I noticed that in myself, Valorie, now that you say it, that I'm always just moving to the next thing and not really pausing to do a review of how is this going? How am I feeling about it? I'm just going on and on and on.

Valorie Burton (31:11):

Yeah. I think a lot of times we don't feel we have the time.

Bright (31:14):


Valorie Burton (31:14):

We keep going because we know there's more to do. There's more to check off the list, and so the finish line becomes the starting block for the next race every time we finish a project, finish a goal. I think really it's an epidemic in terms of how pressed we feel for time. But when you take the time to pause, and that's really what coaching is, pausing, reflecting and making intentional choices about how you move forward.


When you do that, you feel a greater sense of peace. Even if you look at the research, you know that cortisol levels go down, that's the stress hormone. When we pause and just are more intentional, our heart rate goes down, our thoughts come together. It's a really great success strategy, even though often we feel the most important thing we can do is just keep going. Sometimes the most important thing you can do is to pause and reflect.

Bright (32:06):

Yeah, just stop. When we think about the self-reflection idea, what are we really trying to learn?


Are there particular things we should target? Is it dealer's choice? What are we really going for when we self-reflect?

Valorie Burton (32:21):

For me, the whole purpose of self-reflection really is being able to do something I call self-coaching. I've been coaching for over 20 years. My company trains personal and executive coaches, and so this idea of stopping is really about getting to the answers you need. When you pause to self-reflect, what you're pausing to do is, number one, notice the dilemmas and the situations and the opportunities in front of you, that need an answer.


Oftentimes, we're just going and asking everyone else or doing what others are doing, but when you pause and self-reflect, you're saying, "What do I need right now? What's the challenge or the opportunity in front of me? How do I want to show up?" We're pausing because we are really trying to figure out what is it that needs my attention, and what is my best way forward?

Bright (33:15):

Brian, now that we've gone back and listened to clips from 10 of our favorite “Money and Mindset” episodes, I thought we could take a moment to do just a little final self-reflection of our own. We've had three awesome years doing this podcast, and when I look back on it, there's so much I've learned.


But actually just as we were listening to that clip, what really came to me around this idea of how have I grown? Brian, I have personally, this is me, I have so much more freedom about talking about money. In my own life, I feel so much freer and more powerful around voicing how I'm feeling about money, what I want to do. I'm not as self-conscious about asking what I think are dumb questions.

Brian (34:10):

Oh, I love that. Yeah.

Bright (34:10):

I really have you to thank for that. That would not have happened without you and your expertise, and your teaching style even as we're having this conversation.

Brian (34:21):

Thank you.

Bright (34:21):

Yeah, thank you.

Brian (34:21):

That means a lot.

Bright (34:24):

What about you, Brian? What are your top takeaways from 33, now 34 episodes of our little podcast?

Brian (34:31):

Yeah, my goodness. These last two episodes have been so fun, going back, listening to these. A couple things came to my mind, and I just felt like I'm going to just chat with our listeners for a minute. This is why we do this podcast. We appreciate you so much, and I thought I'd just let you know that Bright and I work really hard at making this sound conversational and off the cuff, which to a certain extent it is.


But I do want to let you know there's a lot of preparation that goes into this podcast. We care about what we say, and we want to make sure that it's meaningful. Just listening to all these clips, Bright, it is. It's meaningful, it's good information, and it's not all information that we can take credit for. One, we have so many good guests, which we already acknowledged.


But also you and I have learned from so many great, wise people, which I'm grateful for, and we've had an opportunity to re-present that information here. It's been so much fun going through recording these podcasts. Can't believe it's been three years. Something came to my mind, which is a quote by Maya Angelou, which I did not plan on sharing. It just came to me as we were listening to these clips.


She said, "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better." I love this idea that so many good people in my life have helped me learn good financial principles. Bright, you've really helped me on the mindset side of things. Because of these things, I now know better and now I can do better. Because of that, my life is blessed.


My family is doing great; we're doing well, and a lot of it has to do with the information that we shared on this podcast. Look, I'll just end with saying I am very excited about 2024. I'm excited about the episodes to come, and we appreciate so much our listeners. Thank you. That's a wrap on another episode and another year. I can't believe it, another year of “Money and Mindset With Bright and Brian.”


Thank you so much for listening. We appreciate you and everything you do. We do this for you. Thanks as always to my co-host, Bright Dixon.

Bright (36:39):

Thank you, Brian. Thank you, listeners. If you liked what you heard today, we hope you'll subscribe on your favorite podcast app and consider leaving us a rating or review. Remember that you can write to us at Suggest some episode topics for the year ahead, or share some of your financial resolutions for 2024.


We love all reader emails. We'll be back next month to kick the year off with more conversation and insights that can help you feel more confident about your money and your mindset. Until that time, Happy New Year.


This episode of “Money and Mindset With Bright and Brian” is brought to you by Truist.


We’re back with more highlights from the first three years of “Money and Mindset With Bright and Brian.” In Part Two of our highlight reel, we keep the party going with a few more of their favorite insights from our first 32 episodes.

Tune in to learn:

  • Whether money can actually buy happiness (the answer might surprise you)
  • How to handle your emotions when it comes to investing
  • Tips for talking with your loved ones about money
  • How taking time to reflect can help you chart the future you want—in the new year and beyond

If you enjoyed the clips and want to listen to the full episodes, check out:

And if you missed Part One of our highlights reel, you can catch up here: Revisiting some of our top financial wellness tips (Part 1)

Send us your questions and stories:

We love hearing your questions and stories, whether they’re about your money or your mindset. Email us at to share with us (you can remain anonymous). We may talk about your question or give you a shoutout in an upcoming episode!

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This content does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial, investment, or mental health advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial, investment, or mental health professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.