The title of this post may lead you to believe that I am going to deliver strategies pinned to outlining and achieving goals of fame and fortune. Not so, for this article will hopefully help you to see what is really important in your life.
One of the most exciting meetings that I offer to my clients is the goal setting meeting. During this appointment I have the privilege to hear my clients’ dreams, wishes, and desires. This is a wonderful opportunity to search for continuity between couples and their goals, as well as explore what people really dream about.
After years of listening to my clients’ goals and dreams, their responses always seem to pleasantly surprise me. The popular perception that real goals are lofty aspirations of wealth and riches is just not the case; at least not in my world. Most folk’s true desires are often very simple.
It has been fascinating for me to learn what really excites people is the connectivity to family and friends and not flashy cars or opulent mansions. Relationships and endearing memories are what people really desire! Money can certainly help facilitate relationships and create memories, but time is the only real solution to building relationships and creating lasting memories. Creating a portfolio of wealth is not something we can fully control. Sure we can and do develop investment strategies that are time tested and built on fundamentally strong ideas, but ultimately we cannot control what the market is going to do. What we can control is our time!
We all have responsibilities and obligations…many to our careers, but again we can still control what we do with our time. I encourage us all to take the time to explore what (or should I say who) is really important in our life. I often tell my clients to find their “it.” Find what really brings you joy. It could be as simple as walks with your spouse, coaching your child’s sports team, or golf with friends. Once you understand what really drives your dreams, we can then focus on getting you there. Again, money can help facilitate this, but often money is not the driving force.
We live in a society of over-indulgence and consumerism. We have seen firsthand the devastation created by greed with the collapse of the real estate market and this recent economic downturn. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the finer things in life as much as the next guy. Society programs us to want more when we often have what we want right in front of us.
Take the time to review your goals and dreams. Explore what really brings you joy. Focus your efforts, including financial efforts, in this direction and you cannot miss. Again, it is important to view your financial life as a giant puzzle where the individual aspects (taxes, investments, insurance…etc.) create your big financial picture. Your goals should be driven by what brings you true joy and not by consumerism or society.