There is certainly much more to life than money.
However, whether we like it or not, money plays a huge part in most of our lives. Actually, for many people, it’s rather the lack of money that causes trouble. But does it have to be that way?
You have probably heard sayings like “Money is just a tool” or “Money is just a game”. While I think that this is absolutely right, you have to keep in mind who is saying things like this about money. Typically is the people who have a lot of it. And logically speaking – who better to learn from than people who have actually managed “the game of money”?
I do believe in learning for the best. I also believe that personal finance and how to manage your money is a double-edged sword. On one hand, the simple logical way to approach it is to simply follow the advice you read everywhere, whether that be from Tony Robbins, Dave Ramsey, Tim Ferris or Robert Kiyosaki. All of these guys have a lot of great things to say and are clearly very successful even though they all have a slightly different approach to personal finance. The easy way is to pick one and stick with it.
This leads me to the other side of the case. Because as simple as it looks on paper to just follow the advice of successful people, the fact is they we can very easily find and digest good advice, but we really usually have a lot of struggles sticking to it. Why is that? We want to have our personal finances in order, don’t we? We want the master the game, and being able to confidently say that money is just a tool. So why is it so hard for us regular normal human beings?
Well, I’m just a dude rambling about big things in life, so please know that I do realize that I have not personally figured out all of life’s’ big puzzles (even though I’m quite sure the answers are in the range of 42). I would like to share my thoughts we you though.
So to illustrate my point, try to think back to the time where you went to school. Maybe you are still attending school, college or university. Do you remember learning about geometry, desperately trying to make time go by faster by drawing doodles on random sheets of paper? All this time you are thinking to yourself: “Why am I learning about geometry?” Maybe you or a friend in the class even had the nerve from time to time to stand up and ask the teacher the million dollar question: “Why do we need to learn about geometry?”
At my job, I spend the majority of my time teaching colleagues about laws, products, and services related to retirement. My job is to educate and train them so that they over the course of 2-3 months can give advice and help our customers all by themselves. Sometimes the people we hire have no prior background in the financial industry whatsoever. In fact, some of the most unlikely people to succeed in a job like that end up being some of the best advisors in our firm over the course of a couple of years.
If there is one thing I have learned, it is this: Young people usually are able to learn things because you tell them to. They almost automatically learn stuff. Adults however only learn the things they want to learn. And they usually need to understand why they need to learn a given subject in order to create the want.
My theory is at most of us mortals fail at achieving things and changing habits (like how we manage our money) because they don’t really get the why of it.
A year ago I read the book Start with Why by Simon Sinek, and he really makes a compelling case. His model, the Golden Circle, perfectly describes the issue at hand.
The Golden Circle consist of What, How, and Why. By focusing on the What or even the How, you are much less likely to succeed and to stay motivated during any pursuit.
I think the key taking charge and keeping control of our personal finances is to start with why.
At the same time, this is of course as well very easy to say. A lot of people are struggling to just make ends meet. Maybe they are having issues with their families, at work or in their relationships. To a lot of people, it can seem too overwhelming to even start thinking about the why. If we want to help other people we need to acknowledge that life is tough. However starting with why, getting your house of personal finances in order can lead to other benefits, like less stress on yourself and maybe even your marriage.
On this blog, we will write about a lot of different things. As the title of this post inclines, there are many things that matter in life. However, on the money side of things, I will write about topics like earning money, saving money, getting an overview of your finances and investing. As a matter of fact, I plan to write beginners guide to different financial products, bust some myth and learn a lot on the way.
Thanks for reading