Posts Tagged ‘recovery’

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Are you smarter than a kinder-gardener?

In Finances,Happiness,Mindset on April 19, 2011 by thefhpblog Tagged: , , , , ,

Everything you need to know to become financially happy is detailed in this blog post.
Now that you just have rolled your eyes and said to yourself “yeah right,” after reading that statement, please focus in for a minute. The truth is you already know how to be financially happy, in fact you learned it in kinder-garden. So I am just here to remind you.

Unless you are kinder-gardener reading this (that would be cool) or have a child that is around kinder-garden age, you most likely have consciously forgotten what you learned during that time in your life.

One of the basic skills we were taught in kinder-garden was responsibility. We learned to be responsible for our coats, lunch bags, and backpacks. We were taught to keep our hands to ourselves, and how to clean up a mess.We were given duties or jobs we were responsible for in the classroom. Ultimately we were being groomed to be able to not only care for ourselves, but to be successful in the real world.

Unlike the nursery rhymes that unfortunately will never leave our memories, (“Ring around the rosie” anyone?), the basic principle of being responsible for our own success and happiness has somehow been forgotten.

You and I are right here, right now, because some ancient bloodline in our species continued to evolve to avoid predators, illness, and even climate change. There are plenty of other species that are no longer here because they were incapable or unwilling to evolve to the changing times or environment around them. The willingness to change and evolve is a contributing factor to the human species still being on this Earth.

When it comes to money in today’s world we have stopped evolving. Traditional financial education, they way most of us were taught about money, is rooted in “lack of responsibility.” We are told to go to school and rely on others to educate us. We are told to find a job and rely on our employer for income, health benefits, retirement, and in some cases such as working for  companies like Google, to feed us. We are taught to rely on financial advisors, to make us money we can live on in the future. We are taught the only way to buy a house or a car is to use the banks money. In fact, we are in the habit of using the banks money (credit cards) for all our purchases.

Where is the disconnect? At what point between kinder-garden and adulthood did we forget to take responsibility for our own success?

Whether or not you believe in the traditional stable of investment options, stocks, mutual funds, bonds, 401k’s, IRA’s, real estate, savings accounts, etc., makes no difference. These, like any investment strategy, are not going to succeed without the owner of the investment taking full responsibility for the success and failure. If you have children you know this is true. You have to nurture that baby, feed it, give it unconditional love, and get to know the child inside and out.

There is no having a baby and turning it over to someone else to manage. I often hear people say, “I don’t know much about investing, so I use someone who does know a lot.” Your money is your baby, you need to take responsibility for nurturing it, feeding it, and making sure it is successful, not turn it over to someone else.

Here we are still in the midst of some serious economic challanges, and most of society seems to be waiting for the kinder-garden teacher to come over and clean up our mess. The common rant I hear is “employers are not hiring, the government is not doing enough, the banks are sticking it to everyone.” I have yet to hear anyone step up and say, “hey I am part of this mess and I am going to find my way out and never go back.”

Instead all that is being talked about is “recovery.” Honestly friends, if you are waiting for a recovery, back to say the heyday of 2006, then consider yourself a dinosaur. If you are unwilling to evolve your financial literacy and take responsibility, then your money will be extinct.

To recover is to “go back to a previous state.” Although you may have had more money in a previous state than the one you’re in, thinking and acting financially the way we did in those days (I know it’s only been five years, but it’s been a long five years), will no longer work in today’s financial climate. We must act like kinder-gardeners and learn to take responsibility for our financial happiness.

An example of taking responsibility is ditching the “recovery” talk and learning how to navigate the brand new financial world we are living in. If you are not financially happy now, continuing to relying on others for your happiness, as traditional financial planning suggests, is like continually being hit over the head with a baseball bat and waiting for the person swinging to stop. Evolve, and get out of the way!

Today, right now, make a commitment to take responsibility to align your financial strategies with you. Yes, you! Align your money with what you are good at, with your own skills, abilities, and knowledge. If you are someone who doesn’t like losing money, evolve, and get your money out of the stock market. If, for example, you know motorcycles inside and out, put your money there. You will have far greater success than putting your money into a retirement account run by some financial firm you have never heard of or even met. Oh and guess what? You are involved in something you love! That’s happiness baby!

Forget going backwards. It is time to evolve beyond the thinking and acting that has put so many people into a financial crisis. There are plenty of lessons to be learned from the old financial habits that are not working. Take the time to learn from them and you will be well equipped to teach any kinder-garden class how to leave a legacy of financial responsibility and happiness.

Cletus Coffey is an athlete and business leader passionate about healthy businesses and healthy business owners. He is the founder of InnovateLive, an organization dedicated to raising funds and awareness for the world’s most pressing causes.

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