In a recent interview, author and speaker Leif Babin, said “There’s only two measures that matter… effective and ineffective,” which struck a chord with me in its simplicity and conviction. Often, we are content with almost succeeding then finding a scapegoat for what robbed us of the win. But it’s far better to understand why we failed so that we can do better the next time.
By default, we make excuses even about the most innocuous things. If your football team loses, you’ll complain about the missed field goal or bad call, but at the end of the day, it’s still a loss. Your team was ineffective—they should have trained harder and played smarter.
But the same is true of our financial lives. When we fall short of our goals, we start to make excuses. If you have an unexpected expense like a medical bill or home repair, it can completely derail your financial plan. And even though those circumstances are completely outside your control, they still make your plan ineffective.
So it really doesn’t matter if circumstances are within your control or not because the plan is. And if your plan is ineffective, it’s your job to adapt and put a plan in place that will be effective next time because the objective is to always do better and learn from past experiences. Now, you know to plan for unforeseen circumstances. You build that into your budget.
The process isn’t about agonizing over failure; in fact, it’s the opposite. It’s about embracing past failures so that you can learn from them and become more effective in the future. If you just whitewash the past and pretend it never happened, you won’t learn—you won’t adapt—and you won’t become more effective.
Josh Norris is an Investment Advisory Representative of LeFleur Financial. Josh can be reached at josh@LeFleurFinancial.com.