Someone always wants your time, attention or money.
Businesses build in complexity to distract you. Thus it is extremely important to simplify and eliminate the unnecessary.
All this distraction is meant for people to drown out their own thinking. Zoning out allows businesses to imprint what they want you to feel and then for you to buy without questioning.
More information and more choices does not necessarily help you make better decisions. In fact you will more likely make a bad decision due to utter confusion.
Everyone KNOWS what to do. The issue is why is it so hard to do the right thing?
That is why I keep writing about keeping things simple. Anything I need to waste bandwidth on must be something that only I can do. Otherwise I best leave it to automate without me.
The internet is a wonderful tool- for good and for bad. The internet answers almost any question one can imagine. The bigger problem is making sure that you are asking the right questions…for yourself.
The only way that I can get myself to do pretty much anything is to simplify it. That is just how I am built.
Your mileage may vary.
That’s another thing I write about, you have to know yourself. Many options become clearer once you know what you are looking for.
I will give an example of simplifying. I practice daily yoga at home. In the beginning, I read about hourly routines which required joining classes and more physical fitness than I possessed.
I realize that big sticking points for me is trying to attend classes. That’s one of the by products of being self employed and semi retired for so long. My ability to show up on time at places has plummeted dramatically.
Thus I finally settled on a home routine for thirty minutes. Even that was too much. I found myself not doing my daily practice.
So what worked? I found a fifteen minute routine at home was the best for now. And I know that this is optimal for me since increasing the routine by a mere five minutes will make me stop practicing.
I was often surprised how small a change I would need to make myself not want to do something. Simply adding five minutes to a routine could make me stop a daily practice.
That’s the takeaway for me. I needed to keep any new habits extremely simple and then add to it very slowly. Like very very slowly.
What is my point with finances?
I find people have these outsized plans for investing. But then I find that they are in debt and have barely anything to show after working for over a decade as a physician.
I have become brutally honest with some close friends. I have to tell them that investing in more of a high school stage. Unfortunately for them, they are in the kindergarten stage. They have not graduated from the basics of money management yet.
I repeat, everyone knows what to do but most can not do it.
Folks need to take it slow and focus on the small steps that one can control. They need to follow through consistently. Managing money is similar to building a muscle. These habits take time.
And you need to develop the foundational habits of earning and saving. Investing is high school. You do not gain admittance until you pass elementary school first.
But trust me, if you can not consistently save the money. An “emergency” will surely come along and FORCE you to be unable to hang onto to your perfectly planned investments.
You can not control financial markets or regulatory risks. But you can focus on building a strong foundation so no matter what happens, you will survive and perhaps thrive.
I notice it is the older folks who write me about keeping things simple. And many of these folks are very wealthy.
I am beginning to see a correlation.
There is a template with those who keep their wealth.
You will notice that they play plenty of defense at this point.
The end game is to keep the wealth. Staying wealthy is a very different animal than getting wealthy.