Is the goal to get rich or stay rich?
By November 19, 2023– Published on
There is a lot of emphasis these days on rest and recovery. Endless newsletters and podcasts that share the importance of healing and being “kind to yourself.”
And I agree - rest, recovery, and a good debrief are important - as long as you have something to rest from. The problem is that most people skip the hard work and go straight for the rest.
Most people spend their life rolling downhill - taking the path of least resistance.
When you peruse the people that surround you in life, it is not hard to determine whose situation is a consequence of vision, strategy, work and discipline and whose situation is a consequence of comfort, complacency and settling for less than they dreamed.
The evidence surrounds us - when we see a super fit person walking down the street, we notice them - because they are an anomaly.
Becoming super fit is a path of hard-core resistance. Most people aren’t going to do that.
So is building a career you truly love and that rewards you favourably.
Google whichever employee satisfaction survey you want; the consistent theme is that people work jobs they don’t enjoy, for companies that don’t inspire them, in exchange for pay they feel is insufficient.
But they settled. Rolled down the hill.
“Most people die at 25, but aren’t buried until 75.” - Benjamin Franklin
I think about this in the context of social media distraction.
When sitting in a waiting room or standing in line, how many people are going to stoically sit with their thoughts and resist the urge to pull out their phone to scroll for a quick dopamine hit?
It is the same muscle - discipline. Most will pull out the phone—the path of least resistance.
There is danger in this. We are all armed with brilliant little devices that help us escape our thoughts and disappear down the rabbit holes of “scroll culture.”
We know social media platforms are designed to pay attention to everything we look at. Their revenue model depends on us staying on their platform. So if we stop to look at one post longer than another - or heaven forbid, click or engage with something, the algorithm will feed us more and more of the same.
When you see the faces of the people around you unconsciously bent toward their devices, the vast majority are tumbling down a unique path, becoming surrounded by more content that affirms their convictions, biases and fears.
People settle for being out of shape. They settle for careers they don’t love. And when they open their phones, they settle for the cultural and political beliefs that are served to them.
They have no agency. No sovereignty.
This is why it is so important to plan, strategize and execute a process.
Most people want to be wealthier than they are. Most want to be fitter than they are.
Far fewer people want to do the things that make you wealthy and fit.
So focusing on the goal, although fun - and important, is not as important as focusing on the process.
If I want to run an ultramarathon, I can focus on the ultramarathon - or I can focus on running every single day.
One of these is more productive than the other.
“Success is not meant to be pursued; it is to be attracted by the person you become.” - Jim Rohn
If I want to become wealthy, I can focus on “becoming wealthy” - or I can focus on building and protecting wealth every single day - how can I increase my cash flow, how can I leverage my savings better, what can I do to increase my skills and build my competitive advantage?
The little things we do every day transform us into the person who can run further and earn faster.
Focusing on the little things - the boring and laborious process, should be the goal.
After all, is the goal to get fit or stay fit?
Is the goal to get married or stay married?
Is the goal to get rich or stay rich?
Newly acquired wealth is the most vulnerable, especially when made quickly. I know countless people who have taken the “round trip” with their net worth - they made a pile of money but shortly ended up right back where they started. They were focused on the goal, not the process.
Here is an example in my life right now.
My wife and I have a strategic planning framework we use to keep ourselves accountable to the life we want. It starts with a Ten Year Vision - a high-level, value-based description of where we want to be in a decade. This trickles down to a Three Year Picture - a more descriptive and measurable selection of targets. And finally, a One Year Plan - effectively SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.
But the real juice is when we break down the One Year Plan into Quarterly Rocks, Weekly To-Do’s and Daily Habits.
This is the process. This is what moves the needle.
We have three boys. In a decade, they will all be teenagers. One of our ten-year targets states the following: Relationships with kids are open and honest with great communication.
We know our kids will get in trouble, push boundaries, and make shortsighted mistakes.
We can’t prevent any of that.
Our hope is that even in the tunnel of teenage years, we maintain open and honest relationships with great communication.
It is a polarizing goal because it would be completely useless without a daily process. I can’t wake up nine years down the road and get started if I have any hope of succeeding here. The only way to accomplish this is to compound a daily habit over many years.
I have accountabilities in my Quarterly Rocks and Daily Habits that ensure I am the kind of Dad who has great communication with his kids - a process that I practice every single day. Of course, some days I miss and mess it up - but having the documented framework pulls me back to the process and, I hope, keeps me on track to succeed.
So put down the phone and pick up the pen. Put vision to paper, and break down the process.
And Now a Special Announcement…
As many of you know, I am working on a very special conference that will be streamed live on November 30th.
“This may be the most dangerous time the world has seen in decades.” That is what Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan, the world’s largest bank, told investors in early October.
Meanwhile, respected voices from The Economist to Elon Musk are warning the possibility of a real global conflict is rising:
“What A Third World War Would Mean For Investors” - Oct. 30, 2023, The Economist
“Elon Musk Warns World War III Could Arise Could Arise From Current Conflicts” - Oct. 25, 2023, The Wall Street Journal
This is your opportunity to hear what some of the most prominent military, geopolitical and economic experts candidly think about what is happening. Experts like:
General Wesley Clark, the former Supreme Allied Command Europe of NATO
Dr. George Friedman, founder of intelligence platforms Stratfor & Geopolitical Futures
Dr. Pippa Malmgren, advisor to Presidents & Prime Ministers
Elbridge Colby, former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense
Marin Katusa, top hedge fund manager & NY Times best-selling author
Erik Prince, the billionaire founder of Blackwater
These experts will be joining me for Crisis & Chaos: The Changing World Order. This very important LIVE online video event will cover the rapid political, economic and social transformations shaking the globe. Experts will answer my questions, along with moderated questions from you, the audience. Expect to be challenged; expect to hear ideas you have never heard before; and expect to find clarity in an ever-more chaotic world.
This exclusive LIVE video event will take place all-day on Thursday, November 30. All you need is a computer or phone to join us.
Click here to sign up for this LIVE online video event, Crisis & Chaos: The Changing World Order.