“Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
― Abraham Lincoln
We’ve written so many blogs about mindfulness and being grounded in the present; understanding that the future doesn’t actually exist yet means that we mustn’t get lost in fear, anxiety and worry about it. But, we still need to plan for it.
This is why it’s so hard. We seem to have competing messages, not just from the world, but in our own heads too. We need to learn and grow from the past, be mindful of the present and be prudent for the future. But when we’re faced with a big decision about how our choices today will affect our lives tomorrow, our current self generally always wins.
We recently read that most people are disconnected from their future selves, seeing them as the equivalent of a stranger and leading to decisions that satisfy the current self.
This is because of the gap between the current and future self. If we don’t have a goal or a picture of how we would like life to look, both now and tomorrow, it will be very hard to make choices today that will benefit our future selves. As Abraham Lincoln put it, If we know we need to chop down a tree; we can plan properly by sharpening the axe and not simply start hacking away, hoping for the best.
Another study from Morningstar found that our mental time horizon (how far out we plan in the future) has a greater impact on our savings behaviour than our age, income, and education!
So, the more connected we can be, the better; for our current self, and our future self.
This connection comes through living a life that is integrated. When we can see how we’re connected within ourselves (our emotions, thoughts and actions), we will find it easier to connect with others and to a future that we can truly create today. Our wealthspace isn’t something that just happens one day in the future; it’s something that we start living today.
As we’ve been saying for nearly a thousand years: Rome ne fu pas faite toute en un jour. (Rome wasn’t built in a day!).
If you’re struggling to connect with your future self and create a financial plan that is integrated with how you want to live life, then let’s chat soon.