Whether you are a go-getter, a planner, or a set-it-and-forget-it type of person, I think we can all agree that our chances of living a life of our design are improved when we have a fairly detailed idea of what it is that we want. As Zig Ziglar put it, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time!” Unfortunately, too many of us do just that. We don’t establish a clear vision what we want, and yet we expect whatever it is to just fall into our laps, somehow and someday. Well, I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that that isn’t how things work, but the good news is that once I explain how things do work, you can start putting them to work for yourself.
It is that time of the year again! That time when we put the past behind us, begin to look forward and set new goals in the form of New Year’s Resolutions. Most of the time, we identify the opportunities to improve out lives by examining what is not working well and attempting to close the gap. I have previously shared my tips on transformative New Year’s resolutions in a post on the subject. While those tips are all well and good, instead of going over them again, I’d like to present a different approach, one that is often overlooked when it comes to pursuing future accomplishment. I’d like to propose that one of the best ways to move forward is to look backward at where you have been and how far you have come. Although this sounds counterintuitive at first, I hope to make it obvious by the end of this post.
Today’s post is about a topic that most people, even highly educated and successful people, often know very little about or pay little attention to. It is about how personal financial habits have far-reaching implications on the quality of your life and the amount of career satisfaction you will experience, no matter where you are on your journey. This post is not about necessarily elevating one method over any others, but just about the value of financial integrity in general, how it has benefited The Ghannad Group personally and professionally, and how it can do the same for you. And fair warning: this is going to be a long one.
We live in a world that is increasingly obsessed with quick fixes and instant gratification. We don’t have time to stop and get gas, even though we are running on fumes, because we left late. We don’t have time to stop and sharpen the saw because we are too busy trying—and failing—to cut the tree down. We don’t have the money to save or invest in retirement because we have to have that car/phone/vacation right now, instead of waiting until we can afford it. Examples abound, and I’m sure you can think of some of your own. The bottom line is that we end up being so focused on efficiency that we often end up sacrificing effectiveness as a result. All too often, we judge the potential solutions and strategies on how quickly and how well they are going to address the symptoms that we see right in front of us, while completely ignoring the cause of our discontent. This feeds the perpetual focus on fixing problems rather than creating a discontinuous shift in results, i.e. we ignore the roots of transformation to pursue the fruits of change.
This is the week that the United States celebrates the Thanksgiving, and, in fact, this blog is being posted on the exact day this year. Although to many Thanksgiving is a great occasion to take some time off from work and enjoy some good food with family and friends, it also provides a great opportunity to reflect on and give thanks for the many blessings we have in our lives. Even more than that, it is an invitation to examine our lives and try and appreciate the things that we take for granted, and to cultivate gratitude not only for what we consider the good, but also for things that we have complaints about and may be dissatisfied with.