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Bossa Nova and New Years Resolutions

Have you ever heard a Bossa Nova? If the answer is no, I can only tell you one thing: you should. Bossa Nova is a Brazilian rhythm with an unmistakable harmonious melody. Sounds like Jazz, but it´s not Jazz. It sounds like samba, but it’s not. The funny thing is that being Jazz and samba so different it seems impossible that something resembles both simultaneously.

“Tall and tan and young and lovely the girl from Ipanema …” These are the first words of perhaps the most famous Bossa Nova: “The Girl from Ipanema” (originally “Garota de Ipanema” in Portuguese). It is a work made by four hands: Vinicius de Moraes and Tom Jobim. The English version is very efficient in maintaining the sound of a soft music with a rhythm that refers to a pretty girl walking on the beach of Rio de Janeiro. When Frank Sinatra sings this song, it becomes immortal. So much talent together, compressed into just under two minutes could not result in anything less than this: a masterpiece of music.

That’s Bossa Nova: a rich blend of rhythms and talents that merge to form a new thing, which is not a mere mesh of disconnected parts, but a new body with its own personality, without giving up many references from their origins.

A few days before the end of 2011, I had the pleasure of going to Rio de Janeiro (which is some 300 miles from Sao Paulo, where I live). I reserved a time to walk around the beautiful beach of Ipanema. I thought that on that beach, as well as in Copacabana (right next to Ipanema beach), more than one million people would attend the New Year’s Eve festivities. Nearly everyone would be dressed in white (inherited tradition of the rich African culture so prevalent in Brazil), many of them throwing flowers into the ocean and jumping seven waves for good luck in the New Year while making requests and New Year’s resolutions.

New Years Resolutions and Material Goods

The wishes and New Year’s resolutions are certainly no different from those of the people who saw 2012 arrive in Times Square or watching the show on the Sydney bridge. They are all variations on themes of love, friendship, health, money and material gains.

I have a very clear vision about money and material goods. I understand that somehow they are the support for all other aspects of life. True love and friendship cannot be bought, that is true, but the money helps to give them brightness and intensity. Health, I have no doubt, can be bought – see the cost of health plans and specialized treatments. Not to mention  other material objectives.

I made my own resolution. I will strive to make all those people on the beautiful beaches of Rio and perhaps throughout Brazil understand that personal financial planning is not a boring process that limits freedom of choice. On the contrary, it is the shortest and most efficient way to achieve all other objectives, which are not unrelated, but are part of a tangle of well-being that makes life happy. That is, I want to help them to understand that all their goals, irrigated by a good financial condition, may generate well-being and personal happiness, and their success depend on the planning and execution of their personal financial plan.

Well, life is like an amalgamation of pieces of well-being that sometimes seem independent, but are interconnected and create a reality of an overall happiness. Just like a good Bossa Nova.

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