The three words that keep you from financial bliss
We are taught that it’s important to “get the answer” right. With finance free yourself from that restriction!
When it comes to money. There is no place for perfection. Everything is shifting and changing constantly. You never will have 100% of the facts before you take action, history alone has that luxury.
Therefore you must develop a framework to make educated decisions on limited information. This is what I refer to as the magical power of guessing. It’s an essential habit to develop if you want to give your finances wings.
However before you can capitalize on this principle you have to weed your mental garden from the corrosive effects of one tiny thought. The seemingly benign phrase: “I don’t know.”
This thought seems to plague everyday thinking. I have come to the conclusion that “ I don’t know” is really code for: I don’t want to know or I’m afraid to know. Let me illustrate with a short story.
Sara* is invited to a birthday dinner. I invite her to guess how much it’s going to cost. She replies, “ I have no idea! We will split the check. How can I know how much everyone else will order?”
In truth, you can come up with answer that has a very high probability of being accurate in the span of less than one minute. You only have to do two things. First, start asking questions.
Do you know the restaurant? No
Do you know what type of outfit most people will be wearing? Yes. Dressy
Is it a sit down dinner? Yes
Do most of the people drink? Yes
The second step is to start guessing. Not guessing blindly, but making educated guess that you believe to be 80% + accurate.
For a fancy dinner in NYC my guess is the main course will be $25, each person will order three $15 dollar drinks, appetizers will cost $15 per person, and you will need $35 to cover the tip and the birthday girl’s meal. For a total cost about $120 per person.
Now let’s compare Sara’s experience to Tara.
Tara also “ didn’t know” how much the party would cost, but did not try to make a educated guess. “How can you uplan for these kinds of things.” She reflects. “I just go where the night takes me. I really wouldn’t want to live any other way.”
I hear this often from my clients. Translation: What’s planned isn’t fun. However, let’s see who had more fun at the birthday dinner.
Sara and Tara arrive at the party. When the waitress stopped by for the tables drinks , a slew of fancy cocktails were ordered and menus were passed out.
Sara perused the menu and thought about what dishes to select.
Tara looked over the menu, but instead of her taste buds salivating she’s consumed by a sinking feeling. “This is going to be expensive,” Mentally, she tries to shakes it off concluding, “ You only live once!” And orders another glass of champagne to drown the rising anxiety.
The both went to the party, but in the end who do you think had more fun?
If you employ the power of guessing your financial stress levels will magically fade away. To grab hold of this super power become aware of every time you say, “I don’t know. ” Ask questions, and take an educated guess that you believe to be 80% correct. The bliss will follow.
Like what you’re reading? If so, subscribe to have future money tips, tricks, and inspiration delivered to your inbox from your virtual financial advisor. (Just scroll to the bottom of this page. )