If you’re striving to get to financial independence (FI), there are some certainties you can rely on.
Spending less than you earn is always good and will keep you moving forward. Savings add up, compounding works, the rules of math are on your side and never fail.
If these are certainties, then how come reaching FI isn’t a certainty? Because you’re human. The weak link is me, you & us.
“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.” – Julius Caesar
That’s right, the rules of math and compounding interest are there to be used, waiting to serve us. They’re rock solid. The failure happens when you throw people into the equation. Us damn imperfect people with weaknesses, emotions, and irrational thoughts.
You might continuously blow your budget or inflate your lifestyle. You might fall victim to overpriced gadgets, and overpriced vehicles. You might mistake wants for needs and succumb to peer pressure. There are so many ways to fail, and modern society is producing more by the second.
The tools to get to financial independence are there, and everyone can use them. Even though most of the tools are reliable and predictable, we humans are not. We’re the most likely to be the weak link that will cause failure.
The good news is that even with these lapses it’s possible to get to FI. Perfection is not a human trait. You are the weak link in the formula to achieve financial independence. But a weak link can still hold the chain together.
You’ll screw up — because we all do. Forgive yourself and move on.
Study after study shows that self-criticism is consistently associated with less motivation and worse self-control. It is also one of the single biggest predictors of depression, which drains both “I will” power and “I want” power.
In contrast, self-compassion— being supportive and kind to yourself, especially in the face of stress and failure— is associated with more motivation and better self-control.
In trying to do anything to better your life, it’s okay to stumble.
You’ll learn that it takes time, and that’s ok. Time give us an opportunity to heal and recover from our mistakes, rather letting them define us.