Welcome to this month’s newsletter. I would like to point out another blind spot I have found many people have when it comes to creating wealth, and that is that we are often too busy making money “in the future”, but not really doing enough about it right at this very moment. Let me explain.
First of all, I would like to point out that nothing really happens “in the future” as all we really have is this very moment that is happening right now. In other words, things are happening to you right now and you are doing things right now, in this moment. Like reading this article for example. You are not currently doing anything in tomorrow.
The moment of “now” is always here and present, but it is also moving into the future as time goes along. We live in a continuing series of moments consisting of now.
The problem is, that if your attention is always in the future rather than in the “now”, then you will find that many good things in your plan (i.e. future thinking) had the potential to have happened to you but never did, because your imaginary “future” never really existed. All you’ve ever had is the moment of “now”.
Confusing? Let me use some examples to show you a person doing something in the “now” as opposed to “in the future”:
Now: When a consultant is putting his heart and soul into executing a solution for their client right now and is working through their client’s every request and is monitoring their client’s progress towards achieving their goals, we can say this consultant is putting his attention on the “now”.
In the future: When a consultant starts to focus on how much commission they may be getting from making a sale before any real work has been done to their client’s satisfaction, we can say this consultant is putting his attention “in the future”.
A business owner.
Now: When a business owner is putting his full attention on improving the products and services of the business, such as improving the internal processes and the customers’ experience as their daily focus, we can say this business owner is putting his attention on the “now”.
In the future: When a business owner is putting all his attention on the next biggest and greatest ideas for the business, while neglecting the day-to-day customer service and internal processes, we can say this business owner is living in his future dream. And you can always bet that his next biggest idea will be just the same failure as all the ones that have failed him in the past.
Now: When an employee is putting his heart and soul into his work and constantly thinking of ways to improve what he is doing, you can say this employee is living in the “now” and you can bet that he will get better and better at his job over time.
In the future: When an employee is constantly thinking about how they hope to get paid more in their next job or what is the right thing to say to get promoted within their existing organisation, you can fairly safely assume this employee isn’t putting a lot of effort towards getting his work done properly.
Now: When an investor is putting his full attention on looking after his current income source by working diligently at his current job, and is taking good care of his family’s expenses on a daily basis to ensure they always have surplus cash flow to put towards their investing, we can say this investor is putting his full attention onto the “now”.
In the future: When an investor is always looking at the market’s trends hoping that he can pick the top or bottom of the market to time his entry or exit from the market, we can say that this investor is living in the fear and greed of the future rather than concentrating on what is the best thing available for him to invest in, within his capacity, right “now”.
I’m certain that you can now tell by making the above comparisons, what really makes the greatest difference for us is what we are doing right “now”. Whatever you are thinking about “in the future” only tends to make you feel better while you’re thinking about it. It does nothing for you now.
Maybe this is why most people prefer to spend most of their time and attention “in the future”, because the future is always brighter and less painful than the current reality, and as human beings, we all want to gain pleasure and avoid pain.
So to dramatically improve our financial position, we need to have the courage to face reality and put our attention back on the “now” even if it is painful and requires an ability to confront it. For example, let’s take a look at what needs to happen in the above 4 examples:
He will need to ask himself these question: if I was one of my own clients, would I want to be looked after by me as a consultant? In what areas could I put into place better solutions or services as a consultant? And he should then go ahead to put all his attention on making those changes immediately.
A business owner.
He will need to ask himself these questions: would I want to work in this business as an employee? In what areas could I make the work place better? How could an employee get better training and career opportunities in this business? And he should then go ahead and spend more time working at the business instead of spending most of his time chasing big ideas before the all small ones get done properly.
He will need to ask himself these questions: Am I putting my heart and soul into the job I have been given by my employer? Would I like to employ someone like myself if this was my own business? In what areas could I improve to help this business prosper? And then continue putting all his attention on his current job instead of thinking about his next job or next career title.
He will need to ask himself these questions: do I want myself looking after my income and expenses on a daily basis? Am I doing my best to look after my finances? Then he needs to go ahead improving his money management habits instead of spending most of his time waiting for the next big financial break from the market or his career at some time in the future.
Finally, it is worth spending a moment examining how much of your time is currently being allocated on the “future” activities of your imagination, and how much of your time is currently being spent on actually making something real happen right “now”.
Some people spend too much of their time imagining how things might be in the future. While these people are likely to be more creatively intelligent they are often emotionally weaker and end up not making much progress financially. Real financial benefits tend to go to people who are less creatively intelligent but emotionally stronger, as these emotionally stronger individuals have much better capacity to confront the current reality and spend most of their time in the “now” making things happen.
Until next month, happy investing.