Life Planning – use “Start with Why” to see tangible result

Most of us undermine the importance of planning our finances, unless you are a financial planner by profession of course. The maxims of “Spend less than you earn”, “Invest for Long Term”, “Never get into Bad (aka Lifestyle Debt) and “Protect what we cannot lose with insurance” immediately come to mind.

Nobody is stupid – we KNOW it is important to practice/kick start them sooner or suffer the consequences in later days,  yet often, we Procrastinate about it. Why?

It probably has to do with how we, homo sapiens, are naturally emotional creatures. We act and make decisions driven not by reasons, but by something “deep down”, some call it gut feeling. It’s Simon Sinek’s Start with Why – a concept which I am a huge proponent of.

start with why

We can read countless books on investing, read every single words of wisdom by Warren Buffett, or take plenty of investing courses, yet, NOT be motivated to do the proper thing with our money. However, when we SEE + Realize our peers doing much better than us in life during a class reunion, do we not feel something stirring in our hearts? Yes, that aching feeling that we are not good enough and that there’s so much more we can do in our lives.


So, if you are having problems with motivations in personal finances, ponder over these 2 things could immediately to induce a paradigm shift in your financial life:

  1. Approach a peer who is more successful than you financially. Note – don’t be fooled by luxury cars he drives or the big house he stays. Chances are he’s in deeper lifestyle debt than you. It takes a bit of “scouting intelligence” to know a person really has a healthy net worth even if he drives a national car. Now, with this figured out, invite him out to buy him a nice lunch buffet at a hotel. Eat the humble pie, pick his brain and absorb as much as you can from him about budgeting, investing and insurance. Most successful people will happily oblige. After all, people LOVE to talk about themselves. And successful people love to share as well. Fact of life. Most of the time, success is due to hard work and not by sheer luck.
  2. Find someone who is doing not so well in his finances and ask them out for coffee. They can be knee-deep in bad debt, spending more than they earn, invested & lose money in “scams” etc. Your intention is neither to mock them nor to sympathise with them.  Instead, be curious and figure out what got them into such trouble in the first place. Most of the time, it’s due to bad decisions and not by circumstances.

Ask yourself and decide (out of the two) who you want to be like in 3 years’ time.

Next, take out a piece of paper and write down ONE specific thing you will DO from today onward to better manage your finances. Then DO it consistently and persevere.


Every single time you find your willpower faltering, recall these 2 “personality”. Who do you want to be like in 3 years’ time? Which personality you would like to embody?

Article adapted from A Singaporean Stock Investor – Financial Planning – Start with Why

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