Climbing the mountain!
I like to equate our financial lives to hiking up a mountain.
You may wonder what similarities there are between the two? Well, more than you may think.
You see, when you start, you see the “end goal”, the top of the mountain, which you want to hike to and it can seem so inviting, so alluring, but so far out of reach! Is this not a picture of personal finance in some ways? You have that “A-Ha” moment one day! You realize that you are in a mess financially, debt up to your eyeballs, no peace, no joy, and no contentment. Then, one day, you catch a glimpse of a better ideal — One with no debt, with passive income streaming in, and whatever else grabs your heart as you gaze upon a better tomorrow…the top of the mountain, one could say.
You decide to set off and start the long trek to the top. This is just the beginning of the journey. You need to knuckle down and keep your face set on the prize.
You see, like hiking up a mountain, personal finance carries many similarities. It’s tough to climb the mountain, but life at the top is so worth it. However, you need to break this down into small increments of success, otherwise, you may risk getting burnt out, discouraged, and decide to not push up to the top of the mountain.
Firstly, you need to set incremental goals or milestones. During hiking, this is like stopping for a water break, taking in the views around you, and realizing how far you have come.
Perhaps your first milestone financially is to build up an emergency fund? Once you have done whatever it is you need to, stop, and take some time to enjoy and celebrate that milestone. Realize there is much further to go, yes; but enjoy how far you have come thus far. Then, look ahead, up to the top of the mountain (That end destination) as a reminder of where you are going, and then move along to the next milestone.
You cannot expect the path to be free of things that may want to detour you, but press on, nonetheless. If you need to adjust your route, fine — that is life, but don’t set up camp. Keep moving.
Remember the top of the mountain is the vision / the ultimate destination that you are headed to. The milestones on the way are the goals or the steps to get you to the result.
Once you hit the next milestone, do the same thing. Stop! Look around, enjoy how far you have come, and what you have achieved, remind yourself where you are headed, and then press on.
Practically speaking, let’s say your next financial milestone which you have set is to be debt-free. When you get there, celebrate! Take in the view. Maybe book a holiday or buy yourself something nice which you have always wanted. Then, once you have enjoyed the view there for a while, refocus, re-energize, and push on to the next milestone.
As they say, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Don’t get discouraged by how distant the end goal may seem; just break the vision down into smaller steps and start walking. Don’t forget to enjoy the journey, capture the views along the way, and you will reach the pinnacle.
You better believe the journey at the top is well worth it.
Don’t give up — SEE YOU AT THE TOP!