Thinking Like An Owner

By Scott Spiker


The Online Magazine from First Command Financial Services

Finding Balance PrintRSS

Don't let money define your worth

What if the true underlying cause of stress during a financial crisis is an addiction to consumerism?

By Stan Lankowitz, Contributing Writer

Contrary to popular stories, the 1929 stock market crash did not leave the streets of New York City strewn with the bodies of distraught investors who jumped from windows. Only a few individuals actually committed suicide. Nevertheless, there was much pain and suffering; the crash is widely regarded as an important precursor to the Great Depression.

Sleepless nights, overwhelming stress and family struggles are common during financially hard times. On the surface, it appears that the financial problems cause the distress. But what if the true underlying cause of stress during a financial crisis is an addiction to consumerism? What if the real source of our problems is misidentifying who we are and, consequently, what we really need to be happy?

Here’s an interesting idea about who you really are. Roberto Assagioli (1888-1974), an Italian psychiatrist, said that although you have a body, you are not your body. Your body continually changes. It gets sick, gets well and grows older. But throughout these changes, the essence of who you are remains the same.

Similarly, you have thoughts and emotions, but you are not your thoughts and emotions. While incessant thoughts and volatile emotions bounce all over the map, you are probably aware of something deep inside yourself that steadily endures and never changes — your true self.

Assagioli claims that your true self is a center of consciousness and will. Consciousness is an awareness of yourself and your environment. With this awareness, you can observe the circumstances of your life without becoming entangled in, or addicted to them. You can manage “life” from a place of clarity and peace of mind instead of circumstances managing you.


Starting Out

By Kara Peterson, Managing Editor

As part of its continuing commitment to bring the latest technology to customers and to safely make the banking experience easier and more convenient, First Command Bank recently introduced Deposits on Command™, a free service that allows eligible customers to scan and deposit checks instantly from anywhere with a computer and scanner.

 “It’s our goal to continually deliver services that make banking easier for our customers,” said David White, president of First Command Bank. “We’re thrilled to offer our customers Deposits On Command™, and we think this service will help streamline their everyday banking tasks.”

Through innovative services like Deposits On Command™, First Command Bank offers banking for the way people live today, which means allowing customers to bank when and where they want.

And by enabling customers to instantly upload checks for deposit with a computer and scanner, Deposits On Command™ helps customers avoid waiting days for deposits sent by postal mail. Deposits submitted by 4 p.m. Central time on normal  banking days are posted the same day, allowing customers to better plan bill payments and manage daily budgets while reducing paperwork and postage costs.

“With much of the economy out of their control, our customers are always looking for ways to manage the aspects of their finances that they can control,” White said. “Taking out the guesswork associated with deposits seems so simple, but it can be very helpful for customers in balancing their checkbooks, paying bills and planning monthly budgets.”

The service launched in October, and has been well-received.

“We knew this would be attractive to our numerous clients outside the Fort Worth area,” White said. “But we have also been pleasantly surprised to find that many of our local clients simply appreciate the option of avoiding a trip to the lobby to make a deposit.”

First Command Bank continues to provide customers with tools that help them pursue their financial goals—whether saving money or paying down debt—and by simplifying the deposit process, Deposits On Command™ can help with these goals.

For more information about Deposits On Command™ and other First Command Bank services, please visit

Banking products and services are offered by First Command Bank (Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender), an affiliate of First Command Financial Planning, Inc. (Member SIPC) Securities products offered by First Command Financial Planning, Inc. are not FDIC insured, have no bank guarantee and may lose value.

A logical extension of Assagioli’s idea is that you have money, but you are not your money. When you confuse who you are with your money, you believe that your life and well-being depend on your portfolio balance and on what you can buy. You’ve become addicted to consumerism.

If you are your money, when your finances take a hit you take the same hit. You believe your value as a human being is directly linked to the value of your net worth.

But if you have money, a financial statement cannot disrupt your peace of mind. You might have to adjust your budget, but you do so with courage and confidence.

First Command recognizes the relationship between knowing who you really are and making sound financial decisions. The company’s web site states: “Through experience, we know that your motivation, commitment and confidence are greatest when your plan is aligned to your values — what’s important to you.”

Consumerism is important. It drives our economy and improves the quality of life. But addiction to consumerism is trouble. The former is a preference, the latter is a need. If you prefer a new car, even while you’re excited about it, you know that you’ll be perfectly fine whether you get it or not. But if you need a new car, your excitement will be compromised by stress and worry.

Embracing the idea of having money without becoming addicted to it creates freedom from financial stress and will likely prevent a few sleepless nights.

About the author

Stan Lankowitz, M.Ed, has been a psychotherapist and life coach for more than 30 years. His clients include business owners, corporate executives, directors of non-profit organizations and individuals in all walks of life. To schedule a free, one-hour session, e-mail him at Stan is not affiliated with First Command Financial Services, Inc.