What is Your Why?

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Setting your financial goals is not a simply a process of deciding how much money you need. Examples of common financial goals are:

  • To save $5,000 over the next year
  • To save $500,000 for retirement
  • To have a passive income of $50,000 a year

Goals such as these are unlikely to be achieved. That’s because money has no intrinsic value; its value comes from what it is used for. Unless you are clear about what purpose money serves in your life, you will never be motivated to accumulate it. Finding your purpose is simply a matter of asking yourself ‘why’. For example, the reason why you have a goal of $50,000 passive income a year might be ‘to achieve financial independence’ . Now ask yourself why financial independence is important. The answer might be ‘to have financial security’. In turn, the reason why financial security is important may be ‘to provide for my family’. The trick is, to keep asking yourself ‘why’, until such time as your discover what is fundamentally important to you. Ultimately, you may uncover higher level objectives such as pride, satisfaction and personal fulfillment. These are the things that will motivate you to achieve your financial goals.

For most people, lasting satisfaction and fulfillment come not from possessions but from intangibles such as relationships with family and friends, good health, or broadening your life experience through education and travel. When you truly understand what motivates you and what you want to achieve in life, rewrite your financial goals to include how much money you need and why, for example, ‘to achieve financial security and independence through having a passive income of $50,000 a year’. Writing your goals in this way makes them much more meaningful and powerful and more likely to be achieved.

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