As a child, I was always highly active. I liked playing whatever sport was in season at the time, either by myself or with others. I recall many times getting injured during my activities; crashing my bike into the mailbox, being hit in the face with a baseball, getting brush burn from falling on macadam playing football, and many others! Each time an injury would occur, I remember vowing in the moment that I would not engage in that same activity again, like when I told my Dad I would never throw again after taking one to the face. However, later that same night, we were playing catch again. A quick turnaround!
Financial planning follows the same pattern. We don’t always make perfect financial decisions. The market does not always give us short-term positive returns. Sometimes, we experience multiple setbacks and don’t know how to move forward. We may even make statements like I did as a child, promising to quit trying all together.
How we respond to these inevitable setbacks is a key factor in our future financial success. Do we give up when we face challenges, or use them as opportunities to gain experience and move forward? The future will never go exactly as we expect it to, and I believe accepting that notion as reality helps us react rationally when setbacks do occur. It allows us to prepare ahead of time to make wise decisions, rather than acting out of emotion in a stressful environment.
I encourage you to think of a time you had a financial setback. How did you react? What enabled you to move forward? How can you set yourself up for success in the future and avoid the same results again? Be prepared to make another catch, even if you just got hit in the face!