We have all heard the phrase, “slow and steady wins the race”. That is true in several areas of life. Whether it is getting in shape, losing weight, or getting our financial house in order. These words speak the truth.
Slow and Steady wins the Race – Don’t get distracted!
If we think of the short story of the tortoise and the hare. This is one of the most commonly known of Aesop’s fables. In the story of the tortoise and hare, we have a race of two completely different creatures; one fast and one slow. The expectation is that the hare will leave the tortoise in his dust and win the big race. But as the race goes on, the hare gets distracted. He stops to rest. He has full confidence that he will win. However, the consistent approach from the turtle. Step by step, he moves towards the finish line. He passes the napping hare, he keeps his steady pace and wins.
So how does this relate to real life?
What does this race mean? What is the moral of the story? The answer is simple. We will achieve better results when we have consistency in our behaviors. We need a set plan that will move us step by step towards the goals we have. But it is hard to move forward when the distractions come. These distractions can come in many forms.
I created this short video to address how we might be feeling about the recent craziness in the stock market.
Fear and doubt can push us towards distractions. We might be afraid that we are missing out on some great opportunity. Maybe it was something we heard on podcasts, investment products that seem like sure-fire deals. Or maybe we are doubting that our plan will actually move us towards our goals. It is easy to become impatient as we move towards goals that seem far off. When we start chasing all these different things, it is easy to feel burnout. So what are the strategies we can apply? What money habits should we develop to remove these fears, doubts, and impatience and remove the frustration and burnout? Let’s look at them.
Many times we experience fear because we lack information. We are unsure of certain outcomes or maybe we have experienced failure in the past and we don’t want to repeat that. Talking through your fears and concerns with someone you trust, can help identify those exact places where more information and insight would be helpful. The more we gain in knowledge and understanding, the more we can quell our fears.
Doubt is present when we lack confidence. We gain confidence through diligently assessing our situation and determining the gaps or potential pitfalls we may encounter. Then devising a defensive strategy, a contingency plan for avoiding or removing those areas.
We all deal with some form of impatience. No one likes to sit in traffic. Who really wants to take the long way? (unless it is scenic). Impatience is the bratty child within all of us that want’s it NOW. When I work with people that have a ton of consumer debt and car payments, it is usually a mixture of things, but the biggest factor is usually a level of impatience. It is either we want to take a shortcut or we feel we deserve it now. Many of us can’t imagine that slow and steady wins the race. In this culture of immediacy, whether it be Amazon 2-day shipping, instant downloads, or buying things on credit, we have been programmed to not want to wait.
This also applies to our wealth-building journey. When most of us start to think about retirement, it seems far off. There are several things that compete for our money. But many times we struggle with forgoing a small pleasure today, for a bigger one tomorrow. When we are steadily moving along our journey and we are feeling tired and the end seems so far away, we view other peoples’ short-term wins with jealousy. “Why couldn’t that be me?” we tend to ask ourselves. We get distracted and lose focus. Worst of all, sometimes we alter course to try and take advantage of a certain situation that is not in our plan and we risk derailing our entire journey. We tend to not realize it until it is too late and we need to start over. Don’t let them happen to you.
Slow and Steady
One of my favorite money-related scripture verses is from Proverbs 13:11. “Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.” It means slow and steady wins the race. We constantly need to be reminded of that.
Have a plan
Do you know what your goals are? Do you have a plan to achieve your dreams? Are you confident in your plan? If you can’t answer yes to all of these questions, or if you find that you need more encouragement and accountability, let’s talk. My mission is to help you achieve your dreams.
Personal finance doesn’t have to be intimidating or complicated. Sometimes we just need help and guidance with money management. It might be a simple shift to your money mindset, or you might just want to have a clear vision of your goals and know there is a plan to achieve them. Financial Coaching can help with any of these. Please reach out if you need any help. I am here to serve.