Sunday, June 8, 2014

Getting There, 6 Feet At A Time


I'm looking at the pool in front of me.

With my body bent in the shape of an embryo, I lunge forward, diving head first into the icy water beneath. Instinctively, my legs engage in a flurry of flutter kicks and not long later, I am swimming at a steady pace.

The objective is simple, and that is - to reach the other end of the pool.

But every time I tilt my head up to look at the other end, the less efficient my swim becomes. It feels like I've been paddling so hard, but the other end still seems so far away. Morale drops. The remaining 20 metres or so is a struggle.

*****

Our journey towards financial freedom is like swimming in that very same pool. Unfortunately, many swim in an endless pool, ending it only when their bodies give in after 40 years of slogging it out. No real aims, no directions.

But for those who are a little more ambitious, like you and me, we set goals for ourselves. We want to be financially free within a fixed number of years, and saving 10% of our income to retire 'comfortably' at 65 sounds like a really bad joke.

So, we want freedom. And, that is our goal - our finish line.

However, constantly focusing on that finish line is like tilting your head up when you are swimming. It is inefficient and doing too much of it affects your morale.

I've realised that, to get to that finish line efficiently, I have to focus on each and every stroke, ensuring that the rhythm of each stroke is propelling me towards the direction I'm headed - and that is to glide forward.

And as I glide forward, I focus on the next 6 feet in front of me, and the next 6 feet after that. Instead of being bogged down by the 20 metres that's ahead, I realised that it is much more efficient to focus on the actions and decisions that I make now.

Getting to that finish line is not achieved by flicking a switch.

It is a process.

So, what's ahead for you? What do you see, 6 feet in front of you?



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