We live in a world of instant gratification. Sad, but true. So, planning for anything several years into the future is going to be a challenge for most people. It is often said, individuals will spend more time planning a vacation then planning for their retirement. Unfortunately, the reality is one will last about a week and the other for 30 years!
It doesn't have to be this way. Planning starts with the first step - as in life. A fairly new concept in the planning world pertains to "Lifestyle Planning". Matching your personal beliefs & goals with your lifestyle. Finding enjoyment in each and every day through yourself and your surroundings is a key component. This reminds me of the old adage, "Wherever you go, there your are." Happiness & fulfillment start with you!
We often turn to financial publications for guidance. However, sometimes it's easier to get inspiration from a non-finance book. Both fiction and non-fiction books will have real life correlations. Sometimes a simple thought gets us to visualize our future goals.
As I read the book "This I Believe - The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women" edited by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman, I am drawn to the individual stories and philosophies. The editors challenged the general public to write a few hundred words expressing the core principals that guide their life - their personal credo some would say (some writers are famous, others are not).
Here are a few excerpts:
- If I have one operating philosophy about life, it is this: 'Be cool to the pizza delivery dude; it's good luck.'" - Sarah Adams
- "I believe in the pursuit of happiness. Not it's attainment, nor its final definition, but its pursuit." - Andrew Sullivan
- "I believe that what we often call survival skills is simply creativity at work." - Frank X. Walker
- "I've always been an optimist, and I suppose that is rooted in my belief that the power of creativity and intelligence can make the world a better place." - Bill Gates
What's your "This I Believe" statement? Basically, what's important in your life? Use this as a starting point for your financial future. Education, family, love, career, sense of self, integrity & honesty are all good character traits. Remember, the first step is the hardest. You have to crawl before you walk and walk before you run. But, it all starts with the first step.