Editor’s note: This is part one of two parts, with part one including Lessons 1-2. Part two, with Lessons 3-5, will arrive next month.
As a financial planner, I think about money more than most people. I think about my personal life, the financial decisions I make every single day, the lives of the clients I have guided over the last 20 years, and the ones I continue to guide to this day. At 40, I have learned a lot about money and a little about life.
In case the title didn’t make this clear, I turned 40 a few weeks ago. Forty is one of those funny ages that causes you to stop for a moment to reflect on where you have been and where you want to go. In my career as a CFP® Professional, I am an educator, coach and guide for my clients, so I naturally think about lessons to share with those around me in the hopes that they can learn (at least) one thing that will help them improve the quality of their lives.
Lesson #1 – It All Starts With Your Mindset
Our money is not the problem; it’s our mindset. When we make a decision, we think – emphasis on think – that we are being logical and rational. But it’s often our subconscious mind that’s in charge. We are shaped by our attitudes, beliefs, values and experiences that have accumulated throughout our lives. That subconscious programming is what drives our emotions and is responsible for 90% or more of the decisions we make every day.