If a man does not know to what port he is steering, no wind is favourable to him.
The Resources Available At The Different Stages of Your Life
Most of our life journey is made up of four main stages as follows :
At each of the different stages, our needs and wants will change. Our priorities will change. Our goals and objectives will change. Even the economic environment surrounding us will change. The question is, “Do you have enough resources to meet your changing and possibly also, increasing needs?”
In order to achieve our life goals and needs sufficiently and comfortably, we need to have a winning game plan and a strategic roadmap to help us progress steadily to our desired future position.
It is said that our future determines our present. Having a clear view of what we hope to accomplish in the future will then allow us to establish our plans and allocate our resources accordingly and appropriately to achieve our long term goals and objectives. Many who have failed or struggled much in life are those who have overlooked these important aspects of planning –
Know where you want to go and where you are now.
Generation Y – Know Your Resources and Have a Good Start
The usual focus of Gen Y, aged 18 to 25, is on things that will provide immediate gratification i.e. a “We want it now and we want it now!” attitude. They give very little thought and consideration to their futures. They can only see the immediate distant, but not the far horizon well ahead.
When I was in the Gen Y time line- fortunately or unfortunately – my dad passed away. The event pushed me into the harsh reality of life. My focus then was on survival, and not the luxurious things in life. We were struggling to provide even for our basic needs, much less the others – no time for love, no credit card, no car, no holiday trips and no spas. Making ends meet was already a big challenge. Having three meals a day was considered a luxury, never mind what dishes we had on our plates. We did not have many resources then – only Time Energy and a little Money. But I started to learn to use these scarce resources prudently and efficiently. I started to understand that to achieve financial independence; I had to have a fully paid home, reasonable savings in the bank and sufficient IGAs to generate a regular stream of income.
“IGAs” refer to “Income Generating Assets”.
If I could accomplish this as early as possible, I would be able to do many more things in life and not just work day after day.
I started with a 5-Step Strategy as follows:
1. Have a specific plan
2. Identify my current resources
3. Have a reliable strategic financial coach and mentor
4. Conduct a bi-annual periodic review
5. Structure my IGAs
Having followed my 5-Step Strategy diligently, I fully repaid my entire home loan by age 24 and I also managed to accumulate a sizeable amount of savings and a portfolio of some stocks and shares. Considering my age, I would feel proud of my own ‘achievements’. I believe that if we put our mind to it we can achieve much more in life. The late great Napoleon Hills, once said :
“Whatever the mind conceives and believes, it can achieve.”
By age 25, I was able to enjoy a relatively comfortable lifestyle above many of my peers. My ability to earn a good income in the early days has enabled me to enjoy other luxuries that others can only dream of i.e. taking up skydiving as a professional sport, travelling the world to the most exotic places every 6 months and engaging in a myriad of other activities that many may not have the time or resources to participate in. All my ‘extra-curriculum’ was funded by my IGAs. When you are about to move from “Man @ Work” to “Money @ Work”, you will achieve a new dimension and perspective in life. You will be able to appreciate the real essence of life and the freedom of financial independence.
The virtues of ‘delayed gratification’ will allow you to compound your early success to achieve permanent success and significance at the later stages of your life. Avoid the compulsion of indulging in activities that bring immediate gratification – i.e. owning a car, partying every night, getting into relationships, enjoying a high lifestyle or trying to keep up with the Jones. Nevertheless, this does not mean that you cannot enjoy even a little luxury in life. Certainly you can – and in fact you should – so long as you can exercise a sense of accountability and responsibility towards your financial future.
Look for a Strategic Financial Coach and mentor and start organising your time line. Most importantly, you need to plan, manage and develop your career path amidst a fast-changing environment. If you consistently plan, execute and monitor your career plan –whether you are engaged in an employment career or your own business career- you will soon be a millionaire!
If you have managed your financial and career journey well during your Gen Y stage, you will most likely enjoy your journey during the Gen X stage.
On the contrary, if you have neglected to plan your life journey during your Gen Y stage, you will most likely be confronted with many challenges and difficulties. Life may possibly be miserable as well.
When you hit the Gen X time line, the situation becomes a little tricky. From that point on, in most instances, your decisions and considerations will affect not only yourself but the people around you – your parents, your spouse, your children, and even your in-laws. We call this “family”. Things can get a little complicated, a little difficult and a little challenging at times. If not managed well, situations can get out of hand. Managing this stage of your timeline requires tremendous amount of discipline and focus.
At whichever stage you are now, the most important considerations are:
1. You must know what the total resources needed to meet all your financial goals and objectives are
2. You must identify all the resources that you currently have
3. Only then, will you be able to establish a financial roadmap to help you get there
From my many years of working closely with clients, it is indeed true that without proper financial planning, most people would not be able to achieve lifetime success.
“Without a proper financial plan; it doesn’t matter which path you take”