I recently attended the Wisdom 2.0 mindfulness conference in San Francisco and wondered what connections I could draw from the conference to my financial planning work with clients. After some reflection, I think it comes down to purposes and leading a fulfilling life.

Our society is obsessed with change and innovation that it leads to a state of frenetic activity and constant striving to keep up with the Jones’s. The implication is that we tend to spend money without really thinking about whether the things we are buying really make us happy and are aligned with our values. As a result, we end up with houses cluttered with junk we never use and unhappy with our lives.

What I realized at the conference is that in order to really lead a meaningful, fulfilling life, we have to first slow down and think about what is important to us and what we want to accomplish in life. We can then be more intentional (i.e., mindful) about how we use our money. We won’t waste money on things that don’t align with our core values and life goals, and will find it easier to make room in our life to save for key life goals.

Another concept gleaned from the conference is that if we focus on being present and enjoying our current life, we might find that we have enough and are happy as we are. It’s hard in a materialistic society like ours to be happy with what we already have, but many of the things that make us happiest don’t cost money and may already be in our lives, such as family, the outdoors and hobbies.

In summary, with a bit more mindfulness, you might find that you can be happy with what you already have and can be a bit more intentional about how you spend your money.