It has been a very difficult and stressful week. I was sick for 3 and was unable to put any logical thought into my writing. There have been many, many times over the past several years when I have felt completely overwhelmed by my work as a human resources professional, managing the Thornhill Wealth Forum, writing my book, investing in family and reaching true financial independence.
By that, I mean that I have enough money socked away in relatively stable investments so that the income from those investments provides me with enough for my family to live on regardless of whether I’m actually earning income.
Why is that my goal? It’s not so that I can sit idle. It’s so that I have the freedom to take giant personal risks, like spending several months doing nothing but perfecting a novel or spending a bunch of time laying the groundwork for a charity or making a real difference to the lives of a few people without having to worry about failure.
There are moments – and those moments are surprisingly frequent – where that goal simply seems impossible. It feels like an absolute pipe dream. I tell myself that it’s something that I will never, ever achieve.
I feel overwhelmed. I feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the goal. I feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of little steps that it will take to get there.
In those moments, I’m sorely tempted to just toss the goal aside, forget about it, and live solely for today. It is very, very, very easy to just believe that “future me” will take care of my future and that I have no responsibility for it.
The path to where I want to be is a very long one. It feels enormous, and I almost feel overwhelmed.
For me, the way out of this is to go back to the very basics.
First of all, I look at what I already have achieved. I can achieve things – big things. I built the Thornhill Wealth Forumout of nothing at all. After 18 months I am nearing the completion of my book and working really hard at balancing work and family.
Second, I look at why I want more. Why do I want more than this? I think about my children. I think about the things I want to leave behind that will continue to improve the lives of others, even after I’m gone. All that I want to achieve in life centers around those things.
Finally, I look at today. Nothing matters more than today. Can I finish off today with a run of good choices? Doing that makes my financial situation at the end of today better than it was at the start of the day.
It’s hard to do that sometimes, especially when everything feels overwhelming, but it’s the key. If you can go to bed that night knowing you did everything right today, you’re going to go to bed happy. Do it again the next day, and the day after that, and you’ll really have something.
If you feel overwhelmed by your goals, look at what you’ve already achieved. Look at why you’re striving for something more. Then, just focus on today. Get that momentum back and, before long, that sense of being overwhelmed will fall away.