Change Your Philosophy About Money and Change Your Life

One of the greatest powers of wealth is your philosophy toward money. This year has been a challenge to many of us and you may have not met your savings goal or some other type of goal. However, our philosophy of life doesn’t change whichever way the wind blows economically or otherwise.

Think about your deepest convictions about life – personal, professional, marital, charitable, etc. Most likely these deeply rooted philosophical beliefs came from someone in your family or a close friend or an author of a book you read. My beliefs about money came to me early in life from my parents and, surprisingly perhaps, Jim Rohn and Zig Ziglar. Philosophy is what keeps you grounded during times like this that we are currently experiencing.

One of the greatest habits you can foster is the creation and continuance of your philosophy of money. Too many of us are chasing wealth and overlooking diamonds on the way. What I am referring to is the fact that money doesn’t define us in life but rather it affords us the opportunities we receive and the freedoms to enjoy them. Let’s analyze the thoughts of the billionaires of the United States, a very small group, and attempt to understand their philosophy about wealth. Wealthy individuals view money in long-term time horizons. There are no “get rich quick” schemes to lasting wealth. By diligently and consistently working toward their goals for success every day, the billionaires of our country amass great fortunes that last far beyond their lifetimes.

Another philosophy upheld by billionaires is their optimistic attitude. Do you believe that positive people attract opportunities? It certainly does! By maintaining an attitude of positivity and optimism, the people you meet during your day will notice your demeanor and reward you with a smile or kind gesture in return. This is another means of billionaires discovering the next great investment that will continue to grow their wealth.

The philosophy of “pay yourself first” is evidenced by the lifestyles of the ultra-rich. This approach to life is to invest your money toward your long-term goals first and then use the remainder for your current lifestyle. The key to balancing this philosophy is to clearly articulate and write down your goals. By focusing on the bigger future, you will not frivolously waste your resources today. One method you can demonstrate this philosophy is your current retirement account. Instead of instant gratification for a new vehicle or boat, be deliberate about funding your future and save for the asset you desire. To illustrate the opposite of this philosophy, many people will utilize debt to purchase their “toys” and when retirement or an emergency arises, they are ill prepared and sink further into debt.

Lastly, money is nothing more than a ticket to freedom. Your choices that are availed to you through your preparedness for life are considerable. Think about your freedom of choosing a place to live, the freedom to choose the type of car you drive, the freedom to support the charity you believe is making a difference, etc. These freedoms are critical to the state of happiness you enjoy in life.

During my speeches across the United States, I often state, “Money has never purchased happiness but it can lease joy on a long-term basis”. I am amazed this statement continues to confuse people by its simple inference. It’s Christmas and time to think about your goals for 2021. Give some thought to changing your philosophy about money and life. The rewards you will gain are impactful and world-changing. If you wish to learn more about goal setting and other philosophical approaches to life and money, go to www.compasscapitalmgt.com.

Wishing each of you a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Note: The “Invest in Yourself” column will not be published for the next two weeks. We will resume publication the week of January 4, 2021.)

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Thanksgiving – Wealth Is More Than Money!

It is that time of year when each of us should pause and reflect on the life we lead in the United States of America. While our nation is far from perfect, the freedoms, opportunities and rights we claim are superior to any other nation on the planet! I am often asked how I define “wealth”. Many people think it is about tangible goods (i.e., cars, houses, land, etc.) and intangible assets (i.e., investments, cash in the bank, etc.).

To me, to be wealthy simply means that I have the freedom to live my life in the manner I choose. An old friend, I will call “Bill”, was diagnosed with cancer and given a short time to live. He and I were talking and I thought I had known him pretty well. Boy, was I surprised with the words that came out of Bill’s mouth over the next thirty minutes!

By all outward appearances, Bill had a great life – money, land, houses, cars, boats, etc. When he started telling me about his life he quickly dismissed the value of his property, cars and investment accounts and began a story of loss in his life. His daughters had been estranged from him due to a misunderstanding when the girls were in the 20s. Now, with his daughters in their 40s and Bill dying of cancer, he realized the most valuable “asset” in his portfolio of wealth had been squandered many years ago. With tears in his eyes, I could see he was living a life of regret.

As I sat there intently listening, Bill continued his saga to define the difference between riches and true wealth. Although he had not worried or wanted for any material need during his life, his emotional void with his children had left him feeling that his life had been lived without meaning. I asked him a simple question, “Would you give it all away to spend some quality days with your daughters before your passing?” The biggest smile came upon his face and he nearly shouted, “You bet!”

After a discussion with Bill’s daughters, a meeting was established to reacquaint themselves. Bill and his daughters’ eyes were swollen with tears of joy as their family was reunited. Bill only lived a few more months but his daughters conveyed to me that those few months were the most happy he had been his entire life.

Remember, a thankful and kind heart is an asset that can’t be bought with material goods. I often define wealth to people as “those things in life that money can’t buy and death can’t take away.” Seek out the true “assets” in your life and enjoy a blessed Thanksgiving Day with family and friends!

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