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Your Money and Your Life - Six Basic Principles - Part 2 of 7 - Know Where You are Going

Last week I introduced "Your Money and Your Life - Six Basic Principles." Today I am talking about Principle #1, Have a Vision for Your life - "Know where you are going."

I have been fortunate in my life to have done a lot of traveling and to have seen a lot of things – the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building, the Golden Gate Bridge, and wonderful works of art in the Louvre.

All of these have something in common – they each were created twice – first in someone's imagination and then in physical form.

A building is created in the mind of the architect before it is built. A car is modeled in the mind of a designer before it ever leaves the factory. Your vacation is created in your mind before you actually get to enjoy it.

Your life and financial successes must be created in your mind before they are brought to life.

Having a clear vision of where you are going is key to a successful financial plan.

Of course, there are a few people who stumble into something good, but their numbers are small. As a general rule, if you know where you are headed, you are much more likely to end up there. As the wise philosopher and baseball great, Yogi Berra, told us, “If you don’t know where you are going, you might end up someplace else.”

In a favorite book, Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll discussed the importance of having a clear vision with his story of Alice and the Cheshire Cat : “One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. 'Which road do I take?' she asked. 'Where do you want to go?' was his response. 'I don’t know,' Alice answered. 'Then,' said the cat, 'it doesn’t matter.'”

Where are you headed? What do you want out of life and when? What will it take to get there? What will your life look like in 5 years? In 10 years? In 30 years?

Define your goals – and think beyond possessions. Set goals for time to grow, time to relax, health, excellent relationships, etc.

The more crystal clear your goals are, the more useful your financial plan will be and the more likely you are to achieve your goals.

Having a clear vision of what you want starts a chain of invisible forces that act to help you move in where you need to go to achieve what you want and to have your financial plan be meaningful and successful.

Although many people agree that a clear vision is important, few people actually take the time to build out their vision. In fact, most people spend more time planning their vacation then they do planning the rest of their lives.

I invite you to be one of those unusual and successful people. Develop a clear set of written goals that will guide your life.

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