The Main Problem With Big Material Goals
Material goals like a car, a house, or a fancy vacation can be great motivators to reach material achievements and ever-present reminders of what you’ve accomplished in the material word. You can also build very material schools in Africa, or help cure very material diseases such as cancer.
But there’s one main problem with material goals.
“What’s the best way to reach this goal?”
When you first set a high material goal, the first actions steps are to…
Work hard. Put in effort.
Get smarter. Learn new skills.
Grow your business. Increase revenue.
Reinvest. Reinvest. Reinvest.
Stay focused for the long term.
You get better and smarter and your business grows.
But the answer changes once you have the money in the bank. Now, the best way to reach your goal is to…
Buy the darn thing!
Unfortunately, this switch happens when you have ‘just enough’ money to afford the price or down payment.
You can buy that $5,000 vacation as soon as you have $5,001 in the bank and you can make the $100,000 down-payment on the $1MM house too.
The problem is that while these are your goals and you have the money to pay for them, that doesn’t mean you can afford them yet. You may even have cash-flowing businesses, but ask yourself if those cash flows are truly ‘guaranteed’ for months or years into the future.
This is the problem with setting specific, well-defined material goals, and using them as your motivators. The focus switches from reinvestment to divestment as soon as you can just barely buy it.
Material goals work (they’ll put you to work) but you need a bigger goal. One that includes material possessions/experiences, but that is larger and more powerful.
The Master Goal: Ever-Increasing Wealth, Financial Freedom, and Cash Flow.
A part of this goal is having many once-in-a-lifetime experiences and owning beautiful things, but only a part.
Another is having control over your time on a day-to-day basis.
Another is knowing that you’ll be more than financially secure as you age.
Another is being able to help a family member who has a medical emergency.
Your material goals can excite you, but you should be more excited about becoming wealthy for life, reinvesting forever, and applying never-ending motivation to grow wealth indefinitely.
What if, instead of living on 90% of your post-tax income, you could live fabulously on 10% while reinvesting the rest?
Here, the focus never switched from investment to splurging. You don’t buy one-time experiences or make down payments you can’t afford because they pull you away from the larger, more important goal. When you do buy experiences or toys, it’s because the cost is small compared to your accumulated wealth and they add to your experiencing general financial freedom.