I want my cake and eat it too.
This is true both literally and figuratively. Like, I really want to eat cake. And ice cream, and cookies, and drink beer and eat pizza.
And I also want to be in good shape, and have energy, and be strong enough to keep up with my kids, both today and into the future.
So I know I can’t do both.
I know I must forego certain things. I know a sacrifice is required.
Here’s the thing; tomorrow can be better if we forego something today. We all have choices to make, and those choices will determine whether your future will be better than your present.
Achieving the financial success you desire will require a sacrifice (or many sacrifices).
Here’s what’s required and how to do it:
Let’s get started.
The chicken’s involved in breakfast, but the pig is committed.
I always enjoy thinking about that.
Getting to where you want to go is a story of commitment.
Are you familiar with the famous Stanford marshmallow experiment? If not, it’s worth checking out on YouTube.
The long and short of it is this; kids who were able to delay gratification ended up being more successful than kids who weren’t.
How are you at delaying gratification?
Personally, I’ve gotten better at it with age, which leads me to believe it’s a skill which can be improved upon.
Now, I’m not saying or advocating you need to deprive yourself of things you enjoy. I’m not saying you need to take a vow of poverty and to become a monk. Not at all.
But perhaps you can find things you can dial back on.
You don’t have to stop eating pizza. You do need to stop eating the entire pizza.
How could you practice discipline around money? Are there opportunities to scale back on the car you drive? On where you live? How often you go out to eat?
I don’t know the answer to these questions for you. But I do know how much asking them can benefit you.
Desire is the common denominator of success. If you want something bad enough, you’ll do most anything to get it.
Think about the behaviors of the most driven people in our society, drug addicts. There’s literally nothing they won’t do to get what they want. They’ll lie, steal and hurt others. They’ll put everything on the line for today.
This is the opposite of what we’re trying to do, and I’m obviously not advocating for addiction.
But if we can find a strong enough pull towards our desired future, we can make those tough daily choices.
Why are you interested in getting better with money? What’s your “why?”
One of our superpowers is the ability to envision the future we want, and then to work to make it our reality.
What does financial success mean to you? What level of financial success are you looking for?
How much income do you want?
How much money do you want in savings?
What kind of investments would you like to make, and how much would you like to have?
What assets would you like to own?
What kind of house would you like to live in, and where is it?
What kind of car would you like to drive?
What would achieving your financial goals mean for your lifestyle?
What kind of work would you like to be doing?
Getting clear on what you want is key step in getting what you want.
When I talk about making sacrifices and foregoing things, it’s not forever. Taking a step back can often lead to taking multiple steps forward and actually getting the things you want.
We talked about exercising discipline earlier. What else can you be doing in service of your goals?
What if you could get 1% better everyday? What would that mean to you, your loved ones and your future?
What would it take for you to get 1% everyday? It won’t take moving a mountain, it’ll take small increments of getting better.
Where and how can you do it with your finances?
What can you stop doing?
What can you start doing?
Keep that 1% in mind. Small improvements today mean big improvements in the future.
Favoring our futures over our present, or at least keeping one eye on the future, is a massive key to long-term financial success.
And long-term financial success is available to you, so long as you’re willing to pay the price.
Get clear on what you want, and start making small sacrifices today. I’m confident you’ll see results faster than you think.
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