In last week’s blog post, we took a look at some important factors that are often inherent in financially successful people. This list is by no means perfect, but these traits are characteristic of some of the most financially confident people that I’ve worked with in my career as a financial planner. (As a review, the first six traits that I discussed in the previous post were 1) purpose, 2 ) creativity, 3) courage, 4) willingness to act, 5) commitment, and 6) integrity.) Here are some additional traits that are important to possess along the journey to improve personal financial wellness:
“The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man.” – Euripides
It has always been my belief that the most successful people in this world are well rounded people that find happiness and joy in various aspects of their life experiences. They take time for their families and fun times and celebrate the whole of their lives, not just parts of it. Strive for balance in your life as you continue on the path to financial freedom. Focus on other goal areas such as family, physical health, spiritual, career, social, and intellectual pursuits. Otherwise, financial goals such as eliminating debt or accumulating wealth can become a meaningless endeavor.
“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” – Dale Carnegie
“When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
Many people with significant debt issues succumb to the urge to give up before they really even start the process of establishing a plan to take charge of their financial lives. Others who have started saving for goals such as retirement a little late in the game may give up hope without exploring alternatives for a revised plan that works. Whatever your financial challenge may be, make a commitment to yourself and your family to be persistent with your financial life plan and always stay focused on your long-term goals no matter how hard the journey may be.
“It’s not that optimism solves all of life’s problems; it is just that it can sometimes make the difference between coping and collapsing.” – Lucy Macdonald
If you are optimistic about your financial future, you can use this strength to your advantage and avoid the potential dangers of extreme optimism regarding financial matters. In contrast, pessimists believe that financial difficulties will go on forever and nothing can be done to change or influence life events. It’s kind of hard to succeed with a financial plan if it is doomed from the start.
Love of Learning
“Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes
“Learning is like rowing upstream: not to advance is to drop back.” – Chinese Proverb
Whether through reading, attending classes, learning new hobbies or exposure to new life experiences, knowledge is a key to success. The love of learning inspires successful people to be open minded and willing to advance their minds. Every person that you meet and every life event provides an opportunity to learn something.
“If you are truly flexible and go until… there is really very little you can’t accomplish in your lifetime.” – Anthony Robbins
Adaptability and flexible thinking is a vital trait of successful people. Success demands thinking outside the box. Adaptable and flexible thinkers see both positive and negatives in every situation. They also possess the ability to adapt their style of thinking in different situation.
“Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow – that is patience.” – Unknown
“He that can have patience, can have what he will.” – Benjamin Franklin
Most financial problems do not usually occur overnight. Therefore, they probably cannot be dealt with in a short amount of time. Dealing with financial problems such as getting out of debt takes time and a great deal of patience. In this day and age of instant gratification, very few people have the patience needed to succeed financially. You probably have heard the old saying that anything worth having in this world takes time to get. Success takes time to build. However, patience does not mean sitting around and waiting. As the quote above indicates, you need to keep going and take action even when the going is hard and slow.
Hopefully, you have already incorporated many of these characteristics and personality traits into your life. If not, the best time to create meaningful change is now and the only constant in life is change. If you are going to change your financial life then you may want to adopt the behaviors associated with these characteristics of success.