Whether we like it or not, adversity is a part of our lives. In everything we do and everything we experience, there will be certain things that don’t go our way, don’t make us feel good, or that even challenge our very faith in our dreams and plans. Often, it is the little annoyances than can test our patience (such as when I attempted to publish an earlier version of this blog post and Blogger did not save it, so I had to start all over). All of us face these sorts of things from time to time. Whether it’s paying the bills, maintaining relationships, growing our businesses, expressing our creativity and seeing it fully realized in the world, or merely getting the house chores done, sometimes life seems almost wryly contrary to making things easy. At times it may even seem downright indifferent to our dreams or unforgiving of our mistakes.
It’s not necessarily that we expect life to roll out the red carpet (the moments when it does happen are precious indeed, aren’t they?). Yet even the most secure optimist can be tested by the normal day-to-day ups and downs that occur when riding the wave of life (Yes, I’m talking about myself… and maybe you too?).
When it comes to building our financial nest egg, the fact of life’s adversity can become our greatest ally. When we commit to a program of saving and investing, we take control of our adversity. We sign on to experience a bit more challenge in the short run by deliberately yielding a portion of our income to our future self. By denying our present spending, we reach our hand into the future and say to that future us, “Here you go! It’s yours… with interest!”
It’s not always going to be easy to do this. It’s not always going to be convenient. It may take some re-training of your day-to-day spending habits, some difficult conversations with loved ones, and a commitment of steel as you set course for your future financial freedom.
Yet what is the alternative? If you do nothing now, you will not get the benefits in the future. As Mr. Money Mustache writes in this great article, don’t give your future self the shaft! We should not let the demands of today take up all our time and resources. We need to invest for tomorrow. I mean investing literally, and I also mean that we should invest in our own financial education, into learning all that we can so that one day in the future we can enjoy great dividends from the knowledge we have gained. As artists, we already invest in our creativity. Our creative careers depend upon it. We need to do the same with our money by committing to a savings and investing program that will get us to our long-term financial goals. (If you haven’t started doing this, watch this Tony Robbins video I wrote about in an earlier post).
If life is going to offer its share of adversity, why not make it pay dividends? Follow this advice, and I promise you, your future self with thank you for it.