❝If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there.❞ -Lewis Carol
I grab a cup of coffee and find a seat. It's 2007 and I'm meeting with a friend, colleague, and mentor. He asks me what I want to do with my career, and I tell him about my career aspirations. This leads to talking about what I want to do outside of work and what kind of life I want.
I'm in the middle of telling him how I want to have an important job title so that I can make a lot of money and have a comfortable lifestyle. In the middle of telling him all this, he interrupts me and simply asks, "Why do you want that?"
I have to admit; I'm kind of offended. What kind of question is this? This is a dumb question. Why wouldn't I want this? This is what everybody wants!
It wasn't until days later, when I reflected on the question, that I realized I was making many assumptions. I was doing what I thought I was supposed to be doing and choosing a path based on my perception of how other people would view me for picking that path.
MONEY IS HARD
Money is the number one source of stress for people in the United States. It's also a taboo topic, so people don't talk about their financial stress. This causes a lot of frustration and envy because we know exactly what it feels like to feel our financial stress, but it doesn't look like anybody else is experiencing any financial stress because they don't talk about it. Add to this the fact that many people use money (that they often don't have) as a way to status signal and represent that they are, in fact, better off than they are.
Instead of judging ourselves, we can give ourselves a break. Money does not exist in nature. Money is an entirely human-invented concept. If you follow your family tree back far enough, you'll come across people who didn't need to have financial skills because there was no money. In fact, all the things that we call healthy financial habits would have harmed your distant ancestors. So we did not inherit financial skills.
On top of that, money touches every area of our lives. There are very few financial decisions that don't impact y