Arrival in Time

Arrival in Time

“There are days that define your story beyond your life, like the day they arrived”. Arrival, tells the story of an alien arrival (I’m not giving anything away). The film itself will likely get your grey matter working hard grappling with the concept of time. This is a very different alien movie, unlike any other that I have seen as it challenges the concept of time…well ok Interstellar did this too… and perhaps a little like the HG Wells story, but different in that it proposes time as non-linear.

Time as an image

As a financial planner, we use cashflow modelling in a very linear application. The present, perhaps a nod to the past, but a plan for the future. The result is translated into an illuminating image, which clients find very helpful indeed. Yet it is linear, which is of course it’s limitation. A great financial planning meeting will attempt to address questions about whether some of the plans in the future can be brought further forward, perhaps much more into the present. Never-the-less it is still a linear experience.

Life is a journey… and some

The movie Arrival is not really about aliens. It’s about communication and about being able to develop the adage “life is a journey, not a destination”. One that we play with in this site. Many people find financial services jargon to be fairly alienating. Communication is not something that our sector has done terribly well in the past. The film seems to ask the question whether we would change the image, if our life was reduced to a single image, with all its joys, but with all its pains. One might argue that there is something almost deity-like in this understanding of time and it is rather different from our more linear rational explanation. This might be viewed by the fairly expected traditional male approach of binary thinking, as often displayed in our world, with the “if you aren’t for us, you must be against us” rationale. This is given character in the usual full military display and response to anything different or other worldly. It takes a female linguist (Louise, played by Amy Adams) to have the humility and wisdom to listen and comprehend the message provided by the Heptapods.

Lessons from Arrival

Financial planning looks at the future and adjusts the present to have a better chance of reaching the one you want. Arrival, is more accepting of what is, when it was, is or will be, but all at the same time. Time is not linear. So, from a financial planning perspective, the movie doesn’t teach us a lot other than to remind us to listen to what is being communicated and attempting to avoid the binary choice mentality that is rarely constructive. However, the idea of being able to visualise and create an image of your life for you to see, well that’s very much an aspect of proper cashflow modelling, which is all about conveying your choices about the future visually.

If you haven’t seen it yet, here is the trailer for Arrival. I enjoyed it a lot.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

Arrival in Time2017-02-08T12:46:26+00:00

Dawn French 30 Million Minutes

Dawn French 30 Million Minutes

I recently saw Dawn French perform 30 million minutes at London’s Vaudeville theatre. Most will know Dawn as something of a national treasure from her portrayal as the wonderful Vicar of Dibley which continues to be repeated on television. She is of course part of the double-act French and Saunders and has been one of the leading people behind Comic Relief (who are 30 this Christmas).

30 Million Minutes

The new show called 30 Million Minutes is essentially her story so far. The 30 million minutes being roughly how long she has been alive (there are 524,160 minutes in a 365 day year) the 30 million point passed once 57 years 85 days and 8 hours old, Dawn turned 58 in October. Like most of our stories, hers contains both wonderful moments, some hilarious and some plainly deeply painful. However most of us do not have our stories splattered across mainstream media, neither, thankfully, do we suffer the abuse about our appearance.

Confessions of a Comic?

This is a personal and revealing performance, exposing her self-confessed need for attention and affirmation, which seems to be insatiable. Tremendous credit for her bravery and self-exposure, however I am left to wonder quite why she would revisit this each night in her performances, perhaps therapy through retelling or partly confessional. Her story is moving, and at times desperately sad, whilst being littered with familiar and familial references.

Quite how revealing the story is can only be judged by those that know her best, but clearly the impact of a life in the media has a high price with some very personal attacks, however I was left with the nagging feeling that whilst to some extent the performance is akin to a story between friends, something deeper was missing in the nightly retelling… such as her motivation for becoming the consummate clown.

Despite valiant efforts to convince both herself and audiences in all formats that being comfortable in your own skin and acceptance of body image, I wonder how many are sufficiently convinced within a culture of appearance is all.

Perhaps obviously, but I don’t know Dawn but like most of the population I have a very warm place in my consciousness for her, the new show has merely built upon this. We are reminded that time is fleeting and for a financial planning angle? …. well, reflect on your own story and where you’d like to take it.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

Dawn French 30 Million Minutes2017-01-06T14:39:21+00:00
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