After reading yesterday’s article about Setting Personal Finance Goals, I hope that you are pumped. I know I am, and I’m really looking forward to sharing this series with you.
For the purpose of this week’s series, we are going to think big – and then we are going to learn to think small.
I want you to do something for me, and while it will feel quite cheesy, I really want you to give it a shot. Take out a piece of paper – some plain white stock from the printer will do just fine – and grab a pencil. Now, on your piece of paper, I want you to draw your ultimate future. Just for the sake of keeping things simple, let’s assume an age between 55 and 70. (We’ll talk a bit more about the whole age thing in a future article.)
Your drawing can be as simple or as elaborate as you would like, but it should include – where you would like to live, the type of house you would like to live in, the type of automobiles you would like to own, the property your house wold sit on, and the people who might be living with you. Over in one corner, you might draw the boat you hope to buy, or the golf course you would love to be a member of, or the destinations you would like to visit. Whatever comes to mind, and is significant, put it on your piece of paper. Take as much time as you need, and really imagine where you would like to be in your future. Oh, and for now, imagine that money is no object.
It’s amazing what these drawings reveal. For some of you, you will be amazed by how elaborate your hopes and dreams already are. For others, you’ll marvel at how simple, how gloriously ordinary you hope your life will be. I’ll be honest. The picture on my piece of paper is kind of… boring.
I have drawn a house, with a simple two-car garage, and a workshop in the backyard. The house has a pool, and a shaded patio, with some place to cook dinner on nice evenings. The house is big enough for our three kids, and their future spouses, and our future grandchildren. It has a massive den, and an equally impressive dining space. The yard is big enough for a good game of touch football, but no so big as to become a burden to keep up.
On the left-hand side of my paper, there’s a faint sketch of a golf course. I love the game, but I really don’t care if I ever join a club or not. I’d just like to play, two or three times a week, with a couple of my good friends. On the right-hand side, there’s another faint drawing, of a house, or condominium, at the beach. I would really like to go there, for two or three months each year, just to relax and enjoy the beauty of the ocean.
At the top of the page, is a church. A bright, functional space, where I can gather with my fellow believers, and worship our King. I couldn’t imagine thinking about my future without dreaming of what Father might have in store for us, so I just drew a church, knowing that wherever we live, and whatever we do, we’ll always be drawn to a local body of believers.
Near the bottom of the page, I just drew a tree. This tree represents my family-tree, and the hopes and dreams that I have for my kids, their kids, and their kids’ kids. For some reason, I gave the tree a name – hope.
See, I told you this could get quite cheesy. I hope, by now, you see the point of this exercise. What you see on your piece of paper – that’s your dream, your desire, your ultimate financial goal! There it is, right in front of you eyes, more real than it has ever been. As simple, or complex, or radical, or basic, or boring, or outrageous as your dream might be, it’s still your dream!
Don’t you understand the power behind what you just did? Please, do not ignore the significance of your dream.
Do you realize that we are living in the middle of a dream-less society? People have given up. They are no longer dreaming. And when we fail to dream, we fail to plan And when we fail to plan, we fail to care. And when we fail to care, we fail to live.
I hope that you are dreaming. I hope you’ll take your drawing – your beautiful dream – your ultimate financial goal – and place it on your refrigerator’s door, or in your briefcase, or in your purse. When you feel down, and discouraged, take a look at your drawing. That’s your goal – your ultimate financial goal. And that’s what you’re moving towards.
Debt Reduction Book Giveaway –
Don’t forget, as part of this week’s series on Setting Personal Finance Goals, I’m giving away five debt reduction books. Click over and find out how you can be eligible for a chance to receive your very own free debt reduction book.
Final Note –
I’m sure you noticed, but I really didn’t talk about money, much or at all, today. That’s because, more money isn’t our goal, more money is simply a means for achieving our goal. Much more on that, starting tomorrow!