The strongest foundation for building a successful and satisfying financial life is a clear understanding of what is truly most important to you. Therefore, it is essential to first engage in thoughtful reflection that will help you to identify your values and clarify your priorities. The next step is to allow this understanding to provide a framework for establishing meaningful financial and life goals that will inform the choices you make on a daily basis.
Also keep in mind that your life is multifaceted and that each of these facets will contribute to the quality of life you experience:
Think of each area as an integral component of your “life portfolio,” and be mindful that it is your investment of time, energy, and money that will make your portfolio grow. In addition, it is helpful to reflect on each facet of life and to become aware of the thoughts and feelings you have as you ask yourself these questions:
- What is my current level of satisfaction in this facet of life?
- What “riches” am I currently experiencing in this area of life?
- What changes in this area of life would boost my sense of fulfillment and well-being?
- In what ways can I invest in this facet to enrich my life and the lives of others?
These self-questions will sharpen your focus and guide you in developing a clear picture of what you want your life to be like now and in the future. You will find that the sharper that image becomes, the easier it will be to achieve your goals. You will also discover that as you purposefully and progressively make room in your life for what is most meaningful to you, the degree of satisfaction and fulfillment you experience will grow and multiply.
There is a lot of truth to the old saying, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.” As you plan for your future, it is important to envision and articulate the various elements you want to include in your life portfolio. Whatever you identify and claim for yourself will become your internal compass guiding the decisions you make and how you allocate your resources.
In The Soul of Money, author Lynne Twist wrote, “No matter how much or how little money you have flowing through your life, when you direct that flow with soulful purpose, you feel wealthy.” She continued:
You feel vibrant and alive when you use your money in a way that represents you, not just a response to the market economy, but also an expression of who you are. When you let your money move to things you care about, your life lights up.
Reprinted by permission of Money Quotient, Inc.