I was driving home from the gym, after a stressful workday, so forgive my inability to quote exactly what was said, but here’s the gist of it – learn to say “Yes, if…” instead of “No, because…”
Although Gingrich was referring to bipartisan negotiations among our currently dysfunctional and ineffective federal government, the message can be applied to our personal finances and even our everyday lives.
Question: Will you be able to retire comfortably by the age of 65?
Possible Answer #1: No, because conservatives want to destroy Social Security and Medicare, the United States is bankrupt, greedy corporations only care about profits, all good paying jobs will be outsourced to India, the rich are getting the richer, the poor are getting poorer, and there’s no hope of EVER saving enough to retire before I drop dead.
Possible Answer #2: Yes, if I inherited a sizable estate from a wealthy relative.
Possible Answer #3: Yes, if I define my destiny, command a higher salary by excelling in my profession, save at least 20% of my income, build a well diversified portfolio of assets, invest consistently, invest wisely, and accept responsibility for my decisions.
Work through the answers with several money related questions, making sure to focus on issues that are within your control.
- Can I fund 100% of my children’s college education?
- Can I pay off student loans that resulted from 6 years of private school education?
- Can I accomplish my childhood dream of becoming a successful entrepreneur?
- Will I be able to take care of my parents if they’re unable to care for themselves?
- Will I be able to quit my job and stay at home with the kids?
No one said the questions would be easy. Sometimes hard questions call for hard answers.
If you really don’t believe a challenging goal is attainable, and you’re unwilling to search for creative solutions, then your answer may be, “No, because…”
Even when the answer is “Yes, if…,” you’re not exempt from making the tough choices required in order to get to “Yes.”
Don’t squash unconventional ideas. Develop the habit of answering difficult questions in the affirmative.
Try it. What money related questions have you been answering with, “No, because…”? And what’s your path to “Yes, if…”?