As with most things in life, in the realm of personal finance, we humans tend to focus on what we don’t have rather than what we do have. And this is relevant beyond material belongings—it is equally applicable to knowledge, skills, and abilities. Oftentimes, we allow the desire to acquire to trap us in an iterative loop of inaction.
The way to break that cycle is to start where you are. It’s critical to acknowledge what you would like to have or do, but more importantly, understand what you do have now that might assist in the pursuit of what you don’t. For example, maybe you’d like to become more knowledgeable in investing. What do you already possess or have access to that might enable your journey toward investing knowledge?
- Do you have an old textbook from high school or college you could study?
- Is there a neighbor who’s a financial advisor and could share some experiences?
- Could you sign up for one of the hundreds of free, online investing courses?
Remember—you don’t have to be an investment banker to be a skilled investor. But it’s important to start by recognizing that gap as it exists today. Acknowledge the current and lay out a roadmap with clear, actionable steps toward the future. Focus intently and consistently on those steps rather than constantly looking back to where you started. Looking backward could allow you to slip into the iterative loop of inaction discussed earlier.
“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” –Robert Collier