My son is 6 and, no surprise here, he really doesn't like to eat his vegetables. But, unlike when he was 3, he at least now understands that eating them is important for his body. Of course, this hasn't yet increased his willingness to eat more vegetables, but it's a start. And, fortunately for his beta carotene levels at least, he does have a barely calculable fondness for carrots, so he'll eat them every day "if he has to."
Not surprisingly, in my role as a financial advisor, working with clients in their thirties and forties to build a sound financial plan is pretty much the exact same thing. They know it's a good idea, and that it's important for their overall wellbeing, but they are still not particularly motivated to get it done. But, like my son and his carrots, they'll do things like create a budget or save for retirement "if they have to."
The irony, however, is that while my son is faced with the actual task of eating his vegetables, financial planning is really more like eating dessert. OK, maybe that's a tad bit of an exaggeration, but it's at least akin to thinking up the dessert of your dreams and putting together a shopping list so you can eventually start baking it.
"Are you insane," you ask? Well, I don't think so, but if I were I'd probably not have the ability to recognize it, so you'd need to ask someone close to me for a more reliable opinion. But I digress...
Let's get back to the beautiful realization that financial planning is actually analogous to baking an amazing dessert, shall we? The reality is that having clarity about financial goals, and then building a plan to maximize your chances of getting yourself there is not just another dreadful and inane task representing the chains of adulthood responsibility; instead, it's an all-powerful opportunity to develop a robust vision of what you truly want your life to look and feel like, both now and in the future.
And it's that clear vision, my friends, of a life truly aligned with what you value most, that when built thoughtfully, purposefully, and realistically, is the most delectable dessert of all.
Now, if I could only get my son to be as excited about eating his vegetables as he is to get his friends to smell his "toots" I'd really be able to bring this analogy home, but alas, some mountains are too tall to climb.
Instead, I'll settle for the satisfaction that I've "nudged" your consciousness towards appreciating the tremendous power you possess to more positively frame this important life work.
So may you now all be one step closer to reaching out to a financial advisor whose process will help lead you to a deeper understanding of the relationship between your finances and your happiness, thereby beginning the magical transformation of the carrots you have to eat into the carrot cake you simply can't wait to devour.