2020 and 2021 were pretty hard years for many.

The Pandemic robbed us of loved ones; time with loved ones; time with friends and colleagues; our work; our holidays; our hobbies and even our mental and physical health.

There were some positives however – we learned that often we can get by and be happy with a lot less of the material things that we have always taken for granted.

We had more time to speak to old friends, albeit via Zoom or Facetime; and we were able to spend more time with our children as we worked from home.

At Magenta, we have been working hard to distil all the positive bits of the “Pandemic years” and take them forward into the new year that is 2022 – in the desperate hope that it won’t become a Pandemic year too.

As a team, this is our combined view of what we would like to concentrate on in 2022 and we have agreed on 5 main themes:

Take the Pressure Off

We don’t all have to be superheroes – supermums and dads; the best at our jobs or on the sports field. Striving against everything to be the best, fastest; thinnest; richest; most popular etc., isn’t always good for the soul.

We can’t hope to boil the ocean, so maybe being 90% is good enough.

Take a long, hard look at your lifestyle and decide for yourself whether it really matters if you have the most expensive car in the car park or the most expensive handbag in the restaurant. What is the physical and mental cost of these items and will a more modest car or bag do the same job, without putting you under so much financial and peer pressure?

From a financial perspective, having less will cost less, and will give you a greater opportunity to save more for things that are really important to you like maybe holiday experiences, or working less to spend more time with loved ones.

Here are some powerful ways to release pressure from your life:

  1. Don’t listen too much to others. Or worry about what they might think. …
  2. Forget about perfectionism. Perfectionism is pretty pointless. …
  3. Focus on the process, not on the outcome. …
  4. Be OK with mistakes and failure. …
  5. Just do it! …
  6. Cut down on busywork and unimportant stuff. …
  7. Don’t take things too seriously.

Read the full article from The Positivity Blog here

Be Happy

If you think life has to be perfect for you to be happy, then happiness will not be easy to find. As stated above, take the pressure off and aim for “good enough! Striving for perfection can harm or possibly lead you to end relationships, jobs, projects etc. just because your expectations are too high.

It is hard to be happy if you are surrounded by the negative voices of people who themselves are unhappy or frightened or always worried. So spend more time with positive people, inspiring music and books, movies and TV shows that make you laugh and think about life in a new way.

Don’t spend time thinking about the past and reliving old painful memories, conflicts, or missed opportunities. Equally don’t spend time worrying about the future and how things might go wrong at work or in your relationships. Concentrate on living in the present – on the here and now, where you are in control and can make any necessary changes.

It is natural to compare yourself with others – we compare cars, houses, jobs, shoes, money, relationships, social popularity etc but this is usually destructive and harmful to our self-esteem and happiness. Instead think about how much you have grown, what you have achieved, and what progress you have made towards your goals. This has the benefit of creating gratitude, appreciation, and kindness towards yourself as you observe how far you have come.

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success.” Herman Cain

Live a Simpler Life

Living more simply introduces a refreshingly new perspective on life. It helps you to eliminate the unnecessary so that you can spend more time doing what’s really meaningful to you. If done with dedication and foresight, living simply can help you to transform a chaotic life into a more peaceful and fulfilling existence.

Living a simple life allows you to get rid of all the noise, junk and excess in your life. You can swap superficiality, crowdedness and chaos for simplicity, mindfulness, gratitude and meaning. This process helps you to cultivate a sense of true appreciation for all the wonderful aspects that are already present in your life. It will help you to realise that you already have everything you need to be happy, fulfilled and satisfied.

The main benefits of living a simpler life are peace of mind; focus on what’s important and of course, a greater degree of financial freedom.

We love this article by Steve Mueller which considers 40 ways to simplify your life.

Some highlights for us, include:

  • Limiting media consumption including social media
  • Doing more of what you really love
  • Learning to say no
  • Getting rid of negative habits
  • Being comfortable doing nothing.

There is a great deal to be said about a simpler life – almost all of it is VERY positive!

The 5 R’s

Magenta has been working to be a greener company for some time now and you may have been following our Magenta Goes Green campaign. Like most people, we are concerned about the environment and want to do whatever we can to reduce our impact on the planet.

Applying the 5 Rs to our business waste management and recycling strategy can significantly reduce the amount of waste our business generates. In the 5Rs hierarchy, recycling should be the last resort after attempting to refuse, reduce, reuse and repurpose.

The 5 Rs in an appropriate order are:

Refuse –If we say “no” to waste in the first place, we don’t need to think about the other 4 Rs! At Magenta, we refuse to accept supplies in unnecessary packaging and request reusable or returnable containers. Saying “no” to junk mail and promotional freebies may stop organisations from producing them over time. We can refuse straws and plastic bottles too – we all have a refillable Magenta water bottle for home and office use.

Reduce – This is about being clear what you need and simply cutting back on that which you don’t need. We try to reduce the use of harmful, wasteful and non-recyclable products and/or use the minimum amount required. On the rare occasions that we need to print anything, we print on both sides to reduce paper and at home we are trying to be more careful about over-purchasing and overspending, especially on food. Food waste in landfill can produce methane gas, so not only is it wasteful, but it contributes to greenhouse gases too.

Reuse – We are constantly trying to eliminate any single use items in the workplace and at home. It simply means switching disposable items for reusable and permanent alternatives  – eg a reusable coffee cup and cutlery to carry with you when shopping and an assortment of reusable fabric bags for vegetables and other unpackaged foods.

Repurpose – This is the fun one where we can get creative! This can be a real money saver too! Buy second hand; (now called “vintage”) repair broken items; repurpose old clothes, or household items; breathe new life into your wardrobe by participating in clothing swaps. Don’t forget jars! Everyone has spare jars that can be used as lunch boxes; drinking glasses; food storage; pen holders; as well as home-made marmalade!

Recycle – The one we are all familiar with but should really be the last resort, as the recycling infrastructure cannot keep pace with the huge quantities of single-use disposables consumed and disposed of by humans. Recyclable materials that are not successfully recycled into new products, simply end up in landfill with everything else!

Invest Sustainably for Positive Impact

Over the years we have had many clients tell us that they don’t want to invest in certain things – usually tobacco, arms, animal testing etc but few who have a clear idea of what they really would like to invest in. Now we can help clients who want to use their money for the greater good.

For those looking to make the world a better place, but not wanting to sacrifice returns or profits, positive impact investing aims to support positive social and environmental issues at the same time as providing good financial returns for individual investors.

The growing positive impact investment market provides capital to address the world’s most pressing challenges in sectors such as sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, conservation, micro finance, and affordable and basic services including housing, healthcare and education.

All our team are passionate about improving the future of our planet and for its people and we are active both personally and professionally in promoting better practices and investment in creating a sustainable world.

Magenta has been advising on ethical, sustainable and impact investments for many years and as an active member of the UK Sustainable Investment & Finance association (UKSIF) is actively engaged in providing feedback to shape the sustainability of the financial industry.

Magenta proudly contributes on behalf of its employees each month to Ecologi which directly impacts atmospheric CO2 levels and offsets all our employees carbon footprint each year as well as funding important climate projects, making us a 100% climate positive workforce. You can view our impact and profile here.

If you are interested in investing in a way that can have a positive impact on the world and its people, as well as investing for your long-term future, Magenta can guide you.

To Summarise

These are the main themes we will be concentrating on in 2022. As you will note, they all have mainly positive financial consequences, but more importantly, they will allow us to feel happier, fulfilled, and more secure.

Do call us if you would like to discuss any of these issues further.