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[The following is a partial transcript of this episode of The Scott Alan Turner Show. Listen to the full episode to hear this story, listener questions, money hacks, and inspiring stories of people that are changing their financial lives. Subscribe to the free podcast on iTunes or Google Play]
Most people have these things they want out of life. Things like
- saving for retirement
- pay for college
- pay down debt
- buy a house, buy a nice car, eat out
- Have $1 million
Maybe they hear me and realize I don’t want to have to buy the cheap cat food.
- I think it’s pretty interesting people get caught up in rates of return and dollar amounts
- I think the goals, that it’s unfortunate so many people never think about the reasons behind them at all
- I think when you start asking questions, you get to this point where you realize you may already have what you want out of life, or what you thought you wanted didn’t give you what you were really after.
In the piling on of money moron moments – more and more keep surfacing the more shows I do – a few months after graduating college I was just super lonely living in Atlanta. Being the lousy dresser I was and still having no social skills and no confidence, I hadn’t met a single girl.
I ended up paying this ridiculous amount of money – ridiculous for someone with no savings, which is pretty much anything more than $0 – for this dating service where they created a video of you and matched you up with people.
The interviewer during the video asks where would you like to travel to someday.
I say Egypt.
She says why is that.
I dunno, it seems cool, it’s historical. I’m a nerd, now I”m definitely not getting any dates.
Ten years later when I got married we were filling out a goals worksheet with a financial planner. One of the questions was what’s a 10 year goal?
Me: travel to Egypt.
It wasn’t really a goal, just a dream. Because I didn’t have any power behind the goal.
- No date
- No cost
I think it’s interesting people have these dreams and visions, and then they stop there.
- They spend their time daydreaming instead of day-doing.
- They want more out of life but keep settling for the same ol’ same ol’
- They have this lack of belief in themselves
Instead of day-dreaming try day-doing.
Maybe it was the exotic cats or I watched too much Stargate, I really had no idea why I wanted to go to Egypt.
If you’re a bit like me and most people, you want to have enough wealth to
- feel secure
- buy some cool stuff or do some cool things
- work because you want to not because you have to – have some purpose in life that’s rewarding
Some people though, they want the thing, the job, the degree, or the money, and they they’re going to tell you, I know this is going to make you happy.
- you need to save this much
- you need to have that much
- you need to do this thing over here
- you should buy that
- this is how you should spend your money
and when you’re not doing that or not there yet you feel disappointed, or when you do and you hit that goal, you look around and wonder, is this it?
There nothing wrong with setting goals. We need goals.
- You should have goals for yourself
- I expect you to have goals for yourself, as a member of this community
- I have goals for myself
But there’s more to it than that. It misses the mark.
- Yes, have big hairy audacious goals
- Yes, stretch yourself
- Yes have big dreams
- You’ll live a rich life
Realize behind every goal there are some dreams and values that make it meaningful to you. And if you haven’t yet uncovered what those are yet, know that it’s going to be a bit empty on the other side.
You have to look at these goals and think:
- I’m saving for retirement, because I want security
- I’m paying for college to help my family
- I’m pay down debt, because I want freedom
- I’m buying a new house to be happier, I want the big back yard for the kids and dogs to run around because I love my kids and dogs and they deserve to have a safe place to be.
- I want to travel because I want adventure
- I’ll have $1 million for more reasons than I can count.
My wife and I did end up traveling to Egypt for cheap. One of her college friends was teaching abroad and we stayed with her for a week. It was one of the coolest experiences in my life standing next to the great pyramids and imagining all the alien space ships that aligned the 50 ton rocks down to the nanometer. And I got to ride camel which scared me to death that I was going to fall off.
Knowing what’s most important to you gives you the focus and purpose to achieve your goals.
First you dream it, then you describe it, then you do it.