Start With Why

“Nothing is more likely to help a person overcome or endure troubles than the consciousness of having a task in life.”  –  Victor Frankl

Victor Frankl wrote an excellent book called “Man’s Search for Meaning” in which he reflected on his thoughts and experiences during his time in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. He observed that individuals that had something or someone to live for were much more likely to survive the cruelty, disease, freezing cold, and lack of food that Victor and many others were subjected to.

Thankfully, many of us will never be subjected to such evil, but we are all vulnerable to struggles and obstacles in our lives. These come from all angles and I’m sure you know many of them well: medical problems, car trouble, family issues, and of course: money problems. This last one may be what led you to Honor and Equity. Whether you are trying to get out of debt, save for a new home, or start investing in real estate, you must start with a clear idea of what you want.

My personal goal is to retire from the Navy at 20 years and have enough passive income so that I don’t have to work a normal 9-5 job again if I don’t want to. If I achieve this, I can spend time with family and enjoy my favorite hobbies and activities. I’m not saying I’ll never work again – but I love the idea of having the freedom to stay at home with my wife and our future children and do whatever we want to do. With this goal in mind, I’ve been very intentional with my spending and intentional with how that money is used.

So before you set any goals, think about your why. If you are married, you should ensure you and your spouse are in agreement on your why. If you want to start buying real estate because you like the cash flow and appreciation over time, but your husband is more risk-averse and doesn’t feel comfortable with real estate, then you need to spend more time talking with each other about your collective risk tolerance. If you go behind his back and buy a property, it will not work out well for you in the long run.

The concept of starting with why applies to more than personal finance – it applies to everything. You should have a clear vision of what you want in your professional life, your relationships, and even what you want to achieve with physical fitness. I recommend you set your phone to ‘do not disturb’, turn Netflix off, and have a few moments of quiet contemplation with yourself or your spouse and determine your why before you think about how.

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