There is an intuitive order behind the scenes of our financial lives that greatly influences our financial decisions. Yet we rarely take time to consider the relationship between our thought life and our financial behavior.
As a Certified Financial Planner, I’ve spent far more time than most pondering this hidden order in an effort to identify ways to help my clients and readers make progress on their financial goals. The framework I’ve come up with applies to people of all walks of life and is summarized as follows:
1. Beliefs create values.
2. Values, in turn, create priorities.
3. Priorities, in the mind and heart of a person who is intentional, give rise to goals.
4. Completed goals create a fulfilling life and a meaningful legacy.
If your good intentions seem to be insufficient to keep you on track with your financial goals, you may benefit from rethinking how you think about your money.
If you lack conviction (belief) that a particular behavior (though it may be highly recommended) will really result in an improvement in your life, you will not force yourself to continue that behavior for long. The foundational levels of the pyramid must be solid if they are going to sustain positive long-term financial behaviors that contribute to a fulfilling life.
We cannot act in a way that is inconsistent with our beliefs or our values for very long. The key then, to financial success (and success in every area of life) is adopting accurate beliefs so as not to build our lives with a distorted perception of reality. (The quest for truth is a worthy endeavor for every individual who would lead an empowered, influential and meaningful life.)
Think about how you think about your money:
• Are there false beliefs about money that are sabotaging your financial health?
• Have you tried to adopt a recommended financial goal or priority that ultimately doesn’t align with your values?
• Have you been funding a financial goal that is out of line with your current priorities?