2020 was a heck of a year. We experienced a massive shift in how we work and live, as well as novel business challenges of all shapes and sizes. If last year made you reconsider some things about your life, and what motivates you- don’t worry, you’re not alone. When it seems like the world is ending, and the wolf is constantly at the door, it can be hard to maintain the life skills and personal best practices that you need to survive and thrive.
This holds true in your personal life, and in your business endeavors, which are interconnected and inextricable- the habits that lead you to success in your personal affairs often translate very well into your business life, whether you work in finance, corporate law, real estate, or any other sector of the economy.
Now, recognizing this fact and acting upon this information are two very different things. One thing I’ve found that helps me to get the very best out of life is to not focus on the how- that will come with hard work- but to focus on the why. Why do I want to reach my financial goals? What’s driving this daily grind?
Instead of getting bogged down in the day-to-day minutiae, consider a look forward to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Additionally, you need to consistently revisit each of those goals- financial, personal, or otherwise, and determine your inner motivation for setting that goal.
Typically, when you create a goal, you think of the result first, followed by an actionable plan to get there. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this approach- it is a good habit to have, especially if you want to work towards your goals without being overwhelmed by the sheer scale of them! There is incredible power in good habits. But you can’t only focus on the how- if the builders of the US Highway System or the Empire State Building only thought about how they would construct these magnificent structures, they might not have been up to the task- but a combination of concrete, real-world steps tinged with a good reason why can make all the difference.
By taking a combined approach, and looking at the fundamental reasons for the existence of said goals, you can reframe your entire way of thinking in a personally and professionally beneficial way.
But how can you achieve this? We’ll help you get started. There are a few fundamental questions you can ask yourself to get the process going.
– What drives you? What gets you out of bed in the morning?
– Who or what do you love? Why do you love that thing or person and why do you NEED it or them in your life?
– What is your personal goal? What is your hope for the world, and what kind of mark do you want to leave on it?
If these questions don’t light your fire, try, try again, and ask yourself the hard questions until you hit paydirt.
For instance, consider this example:
Goal: I want to retire at 45.
Question: Why do I want to retire at 45?
Answer: Business/financial success gives me the opportunity to choose how to spend my time- and I want to spend more time with my family and volunteering within my community, making the world a better place.
Follow-Up Question: Why?
Follow-Up Answer: Because I want to set a good example for the people in my life, and I want to be there for them in whatever way I can- whether that means financial assistance or just having the time to spend with them.
In the context of turnkey real estate investing, there are a few ways you could go:
Goal: I want to build a passive source of real estate income through turnkey property rentals because:
- I love to travel and a managed solution gives me the ability to generate returns and income without having to stay bogged down in a single location.
- I don’t want to miss a single birthday party, school recital, graduation, or other important life-event.
- Because life is fleeting, and I want to spend time with elderly relatives and friends while I still can.
- I want to be able to provide the best things in life for my family, whether they’re financial or just providing them with a sense that I value and love them.
- Life exists outside of your personal and professional commitments, and the desire to leave the world a better place can be a powerful positive motivator. Working with those in need- whether they’re cancer survivors, veterans of foreign wars, or simply someone in need of a hand up can help you to fulfill this desire.
- Keep working, but without having to answer to “the man” and being free enough to pursue and achieve the work goals that make sense to you- in essence being the captain of your own ship rather than a passenger on someone else’s ship.
Here are a few examples of completed goals you can use to help create your list:
“I want to volunteer at my local church because they helped put me through school, and I want to repay the favor- paying back a debt that means so much more than money.”
“I want to watch every season of “Dynasty” because I used to watch it with my Mom, and she is no longer here, Dynasty ran for 9 seasons, so I’m going to need a lot of free time!!”
“I want my son or daughter to have the opportunities that I never had, so sending them to private school, or being able to afford tutors is a must- something that is helped along by the right investments in my (and their) future.”
You can find clear echoes of these ideas in the work of Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor, and renowned philosopher. He once said: “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” His Magnum Opus, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” wrestles with many of these questions, and may help inform this exercise if you’re having trouble coming up with the right “why’s?” You can read more about his life and philosophy, here.