End of Year Reflection – Be Authentic by David Greene
As a firm, we always try to pause as the year comes to a close to reflect on the past 12 months and consider what the next year may have in store for us. 2023 often seemed consumed with headlines about AI (artificial intelligence), deep fakes, and ChatGPT. Now, almost as a counterbalance, my thoughts lead me to the concept of “authenticity”. It seems that I am not the only one thinking of this – did you know that Merriam-Webster’s word of the year for 2023 was, in fact, “authentic”?!?
Exploring what it means to be authentic fits quite well with this time of year when many of us focus on the very REAL triumphs and challenges that we faced in 2023. It’s highly likely that our success in those ventures relied on the genuine authenticity of everyone involved to get to the root of the problem and find a long-term solution. In a world of ten-word tweets and five second sound bites, we often miss the genuine parts of a story or the very real consequences of an event. More and more, we seem to depend on computers and computer-generated content to do our thinking for us. Yet, I maintain hope and confidence that REAL people will maintain their AUTHENTIC dreams and see those dreams to fruition.
We see this authenticity of living REAL lives on a daily basis through the lives of our clients. Adult children generously supporting one aging parent serving as caregiver to another parent struggling with a life altering condition like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s. Professionals inspired to reinvent themselves with a second or third career focused on various non-profits with the mission of helping those in need. Young adults leveraging their parents’ investment in their education to lead fulfilling lives with inspiring careers. Artists and musicians in our client family who show incredible creativity and talent through music, painting, etc. Families suffering through the loss of a cherished grandparent while honoring their legacy through hard work and sacrifice.
At CJM, we also strive to model such authenticity in our support of and interaction with our clients. It can be as simple as sympathy card written by a real person with genuine emotion. Even the act of actively listening to a client without interruption to truly understand their current situation. Our team strives to consistently and genuinely help our clients with REAL solutions and an authentic interest in their lives and their futures.
So, as we all hopefully find time to celebrate the holidays with friends and family, let us commit to each other to maintain our authenticity as human beings. To have empathy and grace. To challenge each other while maintaining mutual respect. To harness passion, innovation, and inspiration. Look out 2024…it is about to get REAL!!!
Day of Service
This fall CJMers volunteered at the Audrey Moore Rec Center in Annandale. We were graced with beautiful weather to do some pruning, weeding, and planting of colorful bushes. We all really enjoyed the positive feedback from the local residents and spending time together out in the community.
GMU Externship Day at CJM
Brian Jones hosted a group of students from George Mason University’s Financial Planning & Wealth Management department. Brian has served on their Advisory Board since its inception and works with the financial planning community to promote the degree program, recruit, and outreach to the student body, as well as accreditation. As part of the Financial
Planning & Wealth Management Externship Experience, the students got to spend time at CJM and learn more about the inner workings of a wealth management firm.
This year CJM had several Pink Days in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. CJM has 4 breast cancer survivors, several of whom also fundraise to support the cause and bring awareness and outreach to their communities. We are stronger together!