Making 2018 the Year of Achieving Your Dreams

Who cares about finances?

A good friend shared this article with me about how most Americans get no financial advice. The statistics are both not surprising and disheartening. Over 60% of Americans get no financial advice of any kind, and of the remainder who do, over half say that their advisor does not give them a complete picture of their financial situation. That is about 80% of people who are essentially operating in the dark about the current and future state of their finances- supported by the fact that 21% surveyed said that were bringing “high levels of discipline” to their financial planning- whether they were working with an advisor or working alone. Does this matter?

It matters a lot.

The point in all of this is not about money or finances. It is about security. It is about living the life you want. It is also about aspirations and dreaming about something bigger. 31% of the respondents said that their view of the “American Dream” had changed in the last 5 years and 57% said that their view was different from their parent’s view. It is no longer about having more opportunities than their parents had or moving up financially. It is now more focused about having a happy family and being financially secure- which are both really important- but even then, 16% of respondents said that this is out of reach for them.

The thing is this. Before you can achieve a dream, you have to dream a dream. And if we collectively as a society — as a world — have decided to stop dreaming big, we will all suffer and the world will also suffer.

I watched a documentary over the weekend called Jim and Andy — about Jim Carrey playing Andy Kaufman in the Man on the Moon. Although an interesting glimpse into method acting and two very interesting men, to me the most revealing story was about Jim Carrey’s rise to success. He tells the story of being homeless for a time as a child when his father lost his job. He talks about having a 9th grade education and working in a factory. But he also talks about how, once he decided to pursue a career as a comedian, he wrote himself a check for $10 million- for acting services rendered, postdated 10 years. Before the 10 years were up, he had earned that $10 million.

Success isn’t all about dreaming — but it isn’t about luck either. First you need a clear idea about what it is that matters to you and what you want to achieve. We need to not edit our dreams and not shrink from what it is possible for us to achieve. All of the great men and women who have changed the world, were flesh and blood just like the rest of us, but they were unafraid to think big and to go for a goal.

I know I have shared this Mary Williamson quote before- but it seems appropriate to share it again:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be?”

Look up the fill quote when you have time- it is worth reading.

So, what does any of this have to do with financial planning? Finances only matter insofar as they are part of the fuel that can get you to the life you want to live. Money won’t make you have good relationships, or morals, or courage- all of those things are far more important than money. But without having your finances in order you are always scrambling and behind the proverbial 8-ball, which is an impediment to being able to bring the world (and to yourself, your family and your community) the value and the manifestations of the dreams that you have.

You owe it to yourself to take the step in 2018 to get your finances in order…taking that step towards making 2018 the year of achieving your dreams.

#DoLife with Pefin.