For some reason, every war movie has a scene in it where a soldier is telling the new guy some interesting fact.
“When I get home I’m getting married.”
“When I get home I’m going to see my son for the first time.”
“I have a job waiting for me in my dad’s furniture store!”
Then they go on to state that today is their last day in the war. Only to have to wait for the ride home.
What could go wrong, right?
I mean the guy only has one more day to go. He has made it, for sure.
This is the point in the story where you know something bad is about to happen to that guy!
No way is he going to make it home alive. Zero.
He is like the random red uniformed member on the old Star Trek TV show. First time on the episode. Last time on the very next episode. LOL!
In the movies and TV, there is a lot of watchable drama in seeing someone almost make it across the finish line. Everyone can relate to this.
It evokes emotion.
Connects us to the story.
It is good for fiction, but no one wants this to happen to them in real life. But it does.
Especially in a metaphorical sense. Let me give you an example.
Before I knew anything about real estate, I was in the financial planning industry. I worked in a big Canadian firm and they had sold me the dream.
“Become a ‘corporate-preneur’ with us!”
“Build your dream career with us!”
“Become a trusted advisor… with us!”
These things get thrown around a lot these days. I believed what they were selling and I worked super-hard to try and achieve all three.
Soon I had a big client base, and I’d even become an award-winning Division Director, and I was ready to start enjoying the fruits of my labour.
I achieved ultra-exclusive President’s Roundtable Elite status. This meant that I got sent to Tokyo to rub shoulders with the C-suite executives of the company.
I was the best of the best. At the conference, I felt like that naive soldier in those movies.
Young Roel: “When I get home, I’m finally going to start living the good life. I have made it!”
Unlike the soldier in the movie, I made it home alive, but then something strange happened.
Corporate upped my quotas. They had a very “what have you done for me lately” attitude toward me. But what about the dream THEY had SOLD ME?
That is all it was. A dream (“I used to read Word Up Magazine”).
Have you ever climbed a ladder and reached the top only to realize that it was leaning against the wrong building?
I had bought into the wrong vehicle to get where I wanted to go.
It is not the only flat-out-wrong strategy out there. There is the idea that you trade your whole life for a pension.
Giving away the best years of your life for a gold watch and a meager stable income… until you die.
There is this idea that if you just arrange things perfectly. Your job, your expenses and income, and your dreams you can get the life you want.
I was trying to do that my whole life.
It was like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
Some people preach that you only need to do it with your finances.
This is The Budgeting Myth.
I talk about this in my book. It’s the idea that if you can just sit yourself down and write out what you should and should not be spending, i.e. create a budget, then somehow you’re magically going to be able to follow the said budget.
Theoretically, yes, it SHOULD work that way, BUT…
The problem with this approach is that there is not a strong enough WHY involved. At the end of the day, they are just numbers on a page.
Same with my job. There was not a strong enough WHY to keep me on the hamster wheel with ever-increasing quotas and expectations.
When I realized this, I left the firm. Soon after this, I discovered real estate investing. I found a way to use it as the right vehicle to live the dream.
I am able to take a 3-month vacation (which I’ve done twice–once with one kid, then again with two kids).
I live in Florida. The exact place I want to be when I “retire”–something I achieved 20+ years ahead of schedule.
I’m living a mini-retirement lifestyle. Doing work I love doing, but NEED to do.
Heck, even my family is bigger because of real estate. There is no way we would have had a third child if I was still doing financial planning–children are expensive!
My system works not just for me, but for my students as well.
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