Having and working towards goals is a core aspect to flourishing in life, so we need to be careful not to let finances stop us in our tracks or overshadow the excitement and opportunity in pursuing our goals. Of course, we all experience money-related stress at some point in our lives, but I’m not talking about covering the day-to-day necessities here. I’m talking about financing the bigger things that we really ‘want’. Those things that make our lives richer, more meaningful and worth living, whether it’s saving for your first car or starting your own business, buying your first house or putting money aside for your children’s education. These things are possible, and by adopting certain strategies you can reduce the stress and feel more in control along the way.
When I learned to ski at 19 years of age, someone said to me, “Nothing worth having in life comes easy.” Of course, I thought they were talking about the skiing or perhaps my eight-year plan to get to the Olympics as an Aerial Skier. As it turns out, the finances were probably the biggest struggle I had to overcome on my way to the Olympic Games. Fortunately the next person I spoke to told me, “You can’t eat an elephant in one go, you need to nibble away one bite at a time.” And that’s exactly how I made it happen.
All too often, people think in boom or bust terms. But what about backing yourself in and taking things one step at a time? Giving it a red hot go but playing the long game? Aiming for the stars and perhaps just landing on the moon? It's not always a matter of if it can happen or not – it may just be a case of it can't happen yet, or you need to try a different approach.
Now I’m not saying there weren’t a few tears along the way – wishing I was born with more money, that money grew on trees and that life was easier. But without a doubt, my journey of getting to Salt Lake City in 2002 taught me not to limit my future self based on my current finances.