Discipline is a much-maligned concept these days. With technology controlling and structuring our everyday lives, we have become accustomed to instant gratification. Everywhere you look, you will find “instant” programs for health, financial well-being, and stress reduction. Truly successful people realize that nothing good comes easily or quickly. They understand the concept of deferred gratification and set their goals accordingly. Becoming financially independent is a process and only works with a proactive and consistent daily routine that becomes a habit.
Financial well-being and physical wellness go together. When you look at successful people, you find that very few of them lead unhealthy lifestyles. They devote significant time to taking care of their bodies by making healthy choices every day. They realize that their health is more important as their wealth and know that without their health, all the money in the world is useless. No one lying on their deathbed ever begs for the chance to make more money, they would give everything for a chance at being healthy.
Deferred Gratification and Discipline
These are two words not used very often – from Amazon Prime shipping to instant movie downloads, we have been accustomed to getting most everything immediately. Life was never meant to work this way. When we work out at a gym, very often we are hit squarely in the face with a dose of reality in just how out of shape we are. Similarly, when we look at our finances, we can be hit with the same reality. These two are inextricably linked together.
Exercise is not meant to be easy, it hurts, especially in the beginning. Disciplining yourself to get past the pain and keep your goals in mind is the only way to physical fitness. Building a sound financial life is the same; the pain of delaying instant gratification by not spending money we don’t have on things we don’t need, will provide a huge reward and guarantee future financial success.
Compounding Muscles and Money
The concept of compounding is also applicable to both these areas of our lives. You don’t go to the gym for a week and walk out a physically fit person with new muscles. It takes some time to build new muscles, and the only way that happens is by tearing the old muscles by working past our comfort zone so that new muscles can grow in their place. Eventually, the workouts become less painful as the new muscles compound on top of each other. The same is true when structuring and building your financial plan. You must stretch, often to the point where it hurts, so that your money has the chance to build on itself.
And, just like the workouts in the gym get easier and more enjoyable, building a sound financial future becomes easier the more you do it and becomes fun. Math doesn’t lie, so the quicker you start taking advantage of compound interest, the better your chances are of becoming financially independent.
In the end, it is all about discipline. Financial planning is nothing more than establishing a disciplined approach to achieve financial independence. Physical fitness is the same, developing a plan, sticking to the plan, and enjoying the results. Staying healthy and wealth building are partners – put them to work for you and enjoy the benefits.