Whoever coined the phrase “life isn’t fair” was probably having a bad day.
The truth of the matter is “life is fair.” The road of life is paved with hurdles, obstacles, speed bumps, potholes and detours for everyone walking the face of the earth.
We look at other people who appear to have what we desire in life, be it money, wisdom, skill, physical shape or relationships and form the opinion that they had it easier than we have it. They had more resources, more time, more opportunity, and more cooperation than what we had to work with. We think to ourselves, if I had what they had, I’d be just as successful. We play the hand that we were dealt and strive to do our best. We experience success here and there but feel we’re working way too hard. We perceive other people to have it easier. There has to be an easier way! This leads us on the journey to seek out the “magic pill”—that thing that’s going to allow us to quickly solve our problems or quickly achieve our goals with minimum effort.
As a money coach, I come into contact with a lot of people who say aloud that they’re seeking sound advice on how to get a better handle on their money and make good financial decisions.
In reality what they’re seeking is a “magic pill.” They want me to wave a magic wand, make money drop down from the sky, fix their financial problems overnight, and help them to become instant millionaires. I recall preparing a financial plan for client. The plan answered all of their questions, calmed all of their fears, addressed areas that they never thought about, and provided a crystal clear road map on how to get from where they were to where they wanted to be financially.
My client responded, “This plan is great. You’re very knowledgeable and good at what you do but I was expecting something else.”
I asked, “What were you expecting?” My client responded, “I don’t know.” This client was seeking a magic pill. My client was seeking a shortcut. They were hoping that I knew something that would allow them to wake up the next morning with zero debt and a huge savings account with minimum effort on their part.
In 2004 I flew to Tennessee to learn more about the personal finance and business philosophy of internationally renowned financial guru Dave Ramsey. Dave started with nothing and has built an empire that includes several bestselling books, a nationally syndicated radio show, a syndicated newspaper column, and a television show on a major business network. His company offers an array of valuable products and services. I aspire to do many of the things that Dave has done. I jumped at the opportunity to learn directly from him and his staff. I was exposed to a wealth of great information. The experience was worth the expense.
When given some private time to ask Dave questions, I asked, “What’s the best advice you can give to someone who aspires to build a platform similar to what you’ve created?” He responded, “Never give up!” I walked away frustrated thinking, I wrote a four-figure check to attend this training workshop and the best answer he can give me is “never give up!”
Turns out it was sage advice! I didn’t know it at the time for what I was really seeking was a “magic pill.” I was seeking a shortcut. I wanted to achieve what took him more than 20 years to develop instantly with minimum effort on my part.
In a “Become Legendary” Michael Jordan commercial, Michael is talking to a group of young basketball players who aspire to achieve Michael’s greatness. Michael says, “Maybe it’s my fault. Maybe I led you to believe it was easy when it wasn’t. Maybe I made you think my highlights started at the free throw line and not at the gym. Maybe I made you believe that every shot I took was a game winner—that my game was built on flash and not fire. Maybe it’s my fault that you didn’t see that failure gave me strength—that my pain was my motivation. Maybe I made you believe that basketball was a God-given gift and not something I worked for everyday of my life. Maybe I destroyed the game. Or maybe you’re just making excuses.”
I think this commercial illustrates the fact that we live within an illusion when we think, behave and act as if there’s a shortcut to success. Not only is there no shortcut to success, there isn’t a straight-line path to success. The road to success is sort of a zigzag. You’ll be tested, frustrated and knocked down as you move closer to your goal. If there were such a thing as a “magic pill” that would allow us to solve our problems and achieve our goals FAST, it will be a concoction of sort that includes:
Accurate knowledge. The more accurate the information you follow to solve your problems and achieve your goals, the less setbacks you’ll experience.
Behavior congruency. The sooner your behavior and actions are in harmony with your goals, the sooner you’ll be living the life of your dreams.
Hard work. Nothing in life comes easy. Accept the fact that the only place success precedes work is in the dictionary.
Perseverance. Never give up! If at first you don’t succeed, try a different method. No sense of trying the same method that’s proven not to work.
(Mortgage and Money Coach Damon Carr is owner of ACE Financial. Sign up for Damon’s FREE “Ask Damon” e-Newsletter @ www.allcreditexperts.com. He can be reached at 412-856-1183.)