“Ok Dan, make me rich.” Those were the exact words the young man spoke as he signed the document opening up his relatively modest account. “Wait a minute,” I replied. “Despite several meetings, somehow you have not understood what I do. It is not my job to make you rich, nor is it your doctor’s job to make you healthy. Likewise, your Lawyer can’t keep you out of prison and your minister can’t get you into heaven.”
This conversation was not unlike one I had with my Dad at 5 a.m. in the morning one day as he was waking me up to practice baseball. I had told him the night before that I wanted to be able to hit a baseball so I could play Little League like my brother. I distinctly remember wanting to be a great hitter, but I had no recollection of my request including waking up before sunrise to practice. I do remember my Dad telling me then, and many times since, that no one ever succeeded in life who wasn’t willing to get out of bed early.
Humans are creatures of habit. That which we do often, not only becomes easier to do, but usually difficult to stop doing. This tendency to be habitual can be one of our greatest tools, or worst enemies. Our prisons are filled with individuals who developed habits that were not in their best interest. Bad decisions are fairly easy to correct early on, but once they become habits, it takes an enormous and often painful effort to change.
In financial matters this same human trait can lead to a lifetime of financial stability and peace, or a daily struggle to survive. It is all about recognizing that if you want to be successful financially, you have to first realize that no one else can do it for you. They can help. They can teach. They can guide, but ultimately you are the one who needs to figuratively “get up early in the morning” and do something about it.
I once counseled a young person to make the decision early in life to set aside a little money each month for future needs. In a couple of years, she had built up a fairly respectable savings account. One day she suggested discontinuing saving so that she could spend more on her current wants. My response was that she was one of the few her age who had developed a financial habit that would bless her family her entire life.
Did she really want to lose that?
Being creatures of habit can be a curse or a blessing. Whether we are plagued by terrible habits or blessed by good ones, all depends on the decisions we make before the habits form. Can I make you rich? No, but I can guide you along that path if you are willing to develop the habits that will lead you there. Basically, you will need to make the decision to get up a little earlier each day, financially speaking.
Hi, I'm Dan. I'm a CFP® Professional.
Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®.
Member www.finra.org / www.sipc.org , a Registered Investment Advisor. Wyson Financial, 1173 S. 250 W. Suite 505, St. George, UT 84770.
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