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Saving for retirement is an investment for a secure future. A future that provides for you financially, enabling the saver to no longer work when they reach a certain age in their life. In order to accumulate enough savings to retire, time is necessary to allow compound interest to work. Discipline is also necessary to take out a certain amount of money each month.
If we know that investments in the financial realm take time to blossom and grow, why should pursuing dreams that we wish to materialize and change permanently how we live be any different? In Rory Vaden’s book Take the Stairs, he speaks about the three “currencies” that are necessary in order to invest in our dreams, and why doing so helps assure that once we reach our dreams we will be less likely to let them fail.
The Three Currencies:
In order to achieve what it is we have set out to attain, we must be willing to put in the time to make the change occur. Losing weight, earning a graduate’s diploma, raising healthy, respectful and kind children, are each goals that take time. The weight doesn’t just fall off because we will to do so, a master’s degree will not magically appear on the wall and children are quite profoundly affected by how they are nurtured on a consistent basis for a long period of time. In other words, the test of determining how badly you want something is quickly ascertained when you continue to put the time in to make it happen.
Entrepreneurship takes courage, perseverance and confidence in your product, but it also takes money. Whether taking out a small business loan is an option or investing some of your savings, most dreams – changing jobs, paying for college, traveling to Paris and living there as an expatriate, will require an investment of money. Be willing to part with some of it.
Often the dreams we wish to pursue put us in a precarious position of conflict with our current life. If we wholeheartedly wish to be successful, a rearranging of priorities must take place. After all, we only have so much energy, and if we become too terribly exhausted, it becomes easier to stop pursuing a dream we had originally fought so hard for.
In the interim as you rearrange your schedule, continue to eat well and exercise regularly as this will help increase your energy as well.
While Vaden speaks of the three currencies that are necessary to attain our dreams, I would also like to add the following things to consider, include or practice as you make your way along the road of investing in your dreams:
1. Be honest with yourself
Why do you really want this dream? Is it because of the extra money, fame and clout you will receive? Or do you genuinely have a passion for what you are doing? If you honestly want to write every day for the rest of your life, if you honestly want to raise children because you desire to nurture young human beings helping them live up to their full potential, or if you honestly wish to pursue a career in medicine because you want to use your intelligence for good, not simply to make money then proceed and begin to invest wisely, then strive forward. But if your intentions are not entirely pure, take a moment to reassess.
2. Be consistent
There will be days when it seems nothing is improving, and you seem no closer to your dream than the day/month/year before. Such a feeling can be disheartening, but just as the a young oak tree doesn’t appear to be growing after having just been planted, with time, consistent watering and sun, it gradually grows into what it is supposed to become – a grand artwork found within nature.
Every day do one small task that helps to move you slightly closer: say no to a second helping of dessert, compliment your child/spouse/friend by pointing out something specific that you appreciate about them, write a paragraph, read a chapter in a book about your desired major. Whatever you wish to pursue, be relentlessly consistent and you will, in time arrive at your destination.