Imagine if everything up to this point in your life was simply “practice”? Those mistakes with money were merely stepping stones in helping you learn how to play the game of life correctly once it started. That business venture that failed wasn’t actually a failure, but rather a practice run in knowing what to do and not do when real life begins. The short sale or foreclosure you went through was simply education on how important it is to have more money saved in the bank. The conflicts with your spouse or children were just helping you master your marriage and parenting skills for when life really gets started.
How would your mindset shift if none of the past really mattered, and everything that was truly important for your life actually started tomorrow?
What experiences and lessons would you bring forward and build upon going forward? What burdens of the past would you be able to mentally let go of and forgive yourself (and others) for?
When you really think about it, we tend to carry a lot of baggage around with us. Our past dictates many of our present and future decisions. The past keeps many of us from taking risks or pursuing big goals. We allow past failures to erode our confidence. And without confidence, we don’t have the courage to do what we need to do for a bigger, better future.
Here is a simple, yet powerful process I’ve learned over the years to continuously work at building a bigger, better future for myself and my family. It is rarely easy, but having a path to follow definitely helps.
The 4-Step Formula for Starting (a Better) Life Tomorrow
- Commitment: Commit to a bigger, better future for you and your family. This might mean a new, stronger commitment to saving more and spending less. This could mean committing to living healthier or spending more quality time with those important to you.
- Courage: If you do not truly commit 100%, you will not have the courage to do what must be done to make changes. Have the courage to write that book. Have the courage to meet with a financial advisor. Have the courage to cut back on your spending so you can eliminate your consumer debt.
- Capabilities: Having a new capability means you can get something done in the future that you can’t get done now or you can get it done far better than you are doing now. Committing to getting out of debt, and then having the courage to cut back on your spending to free up money to pay off debt, requires new capabilities or skills. We teach clients The 4-Step Money Priority Model™ and the Debt Snowball for having a plan to eliminate debt easier and faster. A new capability is learning new exercises to lose weight, or new recipes to eat healthier. It might be learning how to set measurable goals with specific action plans to achieve them.
- Confidence: Confidence is actually the result of the first three. At the end of the day, we all are in search of more confidence. The secret is, we can’t find the confidence that quitting the job we can’t stand and starting our own business is a good idea, until we go through the first three steps. The confidence will come as we see that first credit card balance paid down to zero. And the great part is, as your confidence grows, you will then commit to even greater things going forward!
View everything up to this point as practice. Life starts tomorrow for real. How will you approach it differently?