“Knowing WHY is essential for lasting success and the ability to avoid being lumped in with others.” — Simon Sinek
Do you ever stop to think about how many different decisions we make every single day? The average person potentially faces hundreds of decisions every single day, but few of us actually realize that our days are so filled with actionable choices. The reason for this innocent blindness is that we have conditioned our mind to make so many of the choices for us–to remove the actual thinking part of the decision and just be on autopilot.
Don’t believe me? Consider when you are driving your car–how many actions do you actively think about? Do you have to focus intently on staying in your lane? Do you have to send brain signals to you foot so that you press the brake in time to stop for the red lights? If you are not a teenage driver, the odds are your body and mind have conditioned themselves to operate that vehicle on a subconscious level—allowing your mind to focus on more important things like what song you want to play in your mp3 player or where you might eat lunch or “did I forget shut the garage door again?”
We don’t realize it, but we live so much of our lives on autopilot simply because our brains are wired to do that—take care of the easy stuff so that more brainpower is available to focus on difficult tasks. Sadly, this also applies to our financial lives, especially in the realm of investments. You see, I have rarely met anyone who doesn’t believe they need to save more or invest more money for retirement. It’s become a social norm in our society that, for the most part, investing in a 401k, IRA, or some other type of account is just what you do.
Unfortunately, that’s where our minds fail us once again…by focusing on the WHAT or the HOW before we focus on the WHY. I meet clients from all walks of life that have a portfolio of some sort. In truth, portfolios are not hard to put together…especially now that we have all of the online discount brokers (I’m trying to hide my sarcasm). What IS hard, however, is helping someone understand WHY they are actually doing what they are doing—you know, what’s the real purpose?
Too many institutions and representatives in the financial sector only focus on the WHAT or the HOW. Very few take the initiative to engage their clients on a personal level to find out the WHY. I know this because whenever I speak with clients that have been working with another group, they react as if they’ve never been asked that before…and it’s because they haven’t.
What is your WHY? Why do you Invest?