He’s talented, he’s charming, and he’s dedicated his life to helping those in need. He’s Noah Kass, Clinical Director of The Realization Center and author of hit column “Ask Noah” on TheStreet.com. His style is a strong blend of empathy and understanding with a dash of no nonsense. But what really grabs readers is his sense of purpose and desire to exact positive change through open discussions about difficult subjects like love, trust, personal power, and financial insecurity.
Noah recently left his imprint on MSNBC’s “The Dylan Ratigan Show,” discussing how to talk honestly about money in relationships. He firmly understands that life is full of the unexpected and uses this theme in his column to provide comfort to readers that have been hit hard by the economic crisis. And it resonates now more than ever.
We often partner up with the “idea of a person” rather then the “reality of the situation.” ~Noah Kass
He’s a busy guy and rising star, so it was an honor and a pleasure to catch up with Noah Kass this week for a quick discussion about his column, the rising tide of financial anxiety, and creative ways to assist readers in making their lives happier and healthier.
Andrew Nyquist: I’m sure I am not the first to tell you that I really enjoy your “Ask Noah” column. I find it both educational and actionable. How has the feedback been and is it as rewarding for you as it seems to be for readers?
Noah Kass: What is more egotistical then writing an advice column? I cannot think of anything. Already, I am behind the eight ball! “Ask Noah” is centered around the macro social and economic problems we are currently facing and its affect on our personal and spiritual lives. Not an easy sell for a readership whose focus is receiving investment tips, and charting the ebbs and flows of a trading day!
Feedback has been mostly positive. The investment world rarely publicly discusses subjects such as the effect money has on relationships, balancing your personal and professional life, living in the moment, how to handle abusive bosses’, and not letting your job define you. I do it in a digestible manner. The goal is to motivate smart people into making smart choices about their personal and professional lives.
I love writing the column because it allows me to re-evaluate how I view a given subject or theme, and also to make the necessary changes that are needed in my own life — it is a parallel process.
Andrew: In your recent column “7 Ways to Deal with a Financially Insecure Partner,” I liked how you spoke about unconditional support and hand holding to boost a partner’s confidence. Is this the “for better or worse” part of the equation? And what makes offering that support so difficult?
Noah: Why do we search for a partner to spend our life with? We want a teammate who helps bring joy and meaning to our life. We also want someone who won’t bounce when things get tough. If your partner is financially successful, it is easy to feel support. What happens when they lose their job? Are your feelings going to change? Is your love conditional on his/her net worth? We often partner up with the idea of a person rather then the reality of the situation.
It is difficult to share a life with someone. It is hard to give up power and control, to accept that every decision will not be yours alone. To admit that you are part of a team, and to sacrifice some of your own immediate needs and desires, for the team’s good is a learned skill. It takes practice. It goes back to grade school – It is just hard to share!
Andrew: What advice do you have for readers struggling with anxiety and high stress levels due to the economy and personal finances?
Noah: I would tell people struggling to find financial security and process economic hardship to lean on those they love, practice skill based relaxation methods, participate in activities they enjoy, and to not be intimidated by the media’s negativity!
Anxiety can be regulated by challenging our often irrational belief system. Skills such as controlled breathing, exercising, yoga, and journaling can give us an outlet to express negative feelings. We are constantly told that our economy is collapsing, and yet America seems to always recover. Always remember, this too shall pass.
Andrew: Name a few things people can do today to make them better, healthier people tomorrow.
Noah: Seven things.
1. Identify ways you can relax and detach from the negativity of the day.
2. Enjoy moments of quiet, and relish time alone.
3. Appreciate the little things in life.
4. Understand and reiterate to yourself that financial success and emotional pain is relative.
5. Keep your evolving mind and physical body in shape.
6. Experience all of life, and not just in the small universe we often inhabit.
7. Love those that love you.
Andrew: Lastly, hit me up with one cool motto on life?
Noah: “Life is a long lesson in humility” by James M Barrie.
A very special thank you to Noah Kass for taking the time to share his thoughts and talents with See It Market. Have a great week everyone.
Any opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author, and do not in any way represent the views or opinions of his employer or any other person or entity.