Visualizing Your Future Self
Today we’re looking at financial planning as it is connected to emotion, relationship, and this concept of visualizing.
There’s so much more to financial planning than math. As advisors, we ask the goals and dreams question all the time. It was good for me to understand that that’s hard to think about, and it’s even harder to visualize. People who have an extremely clear vision of where they are in the future, their future selves are more successful, they make more money, they accomplish their dreams. They are overall happier people because they know where they’re going; it’s real to them.
As an industry, we don’t know how to help people cast a compelling vision. We ultimately lead them to a vision that has nothing to do with what they actually want because we’re just trying to answer questions and build something for them. That thing we painted for them is pretty weak.
We are taught how to talk about financial plans, yet we don’t even know how to walk somebody through the concept of visualizing. There’s this thing called the Self of the Therapist. It says that if you don’t know yourself, if you haven’t actually walked yourself through therapy and these questions, how can you expect to do that with somebody else? We don’t know what we’re doing, where we’re going, and we don’t have a clear vision for ourselves. How can we ask that of our clients and walk them through that? At Wealthquest, we want to continue pushing the industry to do more of this-to ask these harder questions.
You can’t lead somebody to a place you have never been before. It’s hard to ask someone to follow you into a conversation you’ve never had with yourself and never processed on your own. So how do we create continuity? First, we need to figure out how to cast that clear vision. Then, how do we build the bridge between where you are going and where you are?
Insert That Vision Into Your Financial Planning
The key is awareness; understanding where you are and where you came from. What is your past self, what are the inherent values-things that are just in you? It’s like your money motivators. Where are you naturally gonna go with your decision-making? If you understand where your values sit and where all these inherent feelings come from, it helps bridge that gap to where you wanna go because now you know what makes you happy and fulfilled. If you know that generosity is something that’s always in you, already, you know your future self is probably going to want to do something in the nonprofit world.
People assume that sometime in the future, things will be different and better. It’s as if they think that eventually, work will settle down, and they’ll be able to spend time with their kids; or someday, things will just be better, and they’ll be happier. People won’t face the fact that the only way you actually bridge today with the future is by knowing what it’s gonna take; the sacrifices, career changes, decisions you’ll have to make. It does not change unless you do something differently.
In our industry, and at Wealthquest, we walk people through these situations all the time. We know what that change looks and feels like. This brings us to the G.I. Joe fallacy. As kids, it was like this public service announcement: now you know, and knowing is half the battle. But that’s not all there is to it. Even if you do know, you’re still gonna make the decision you’re inclined to make. Knowing is not even close to half the battle because we have all these other things going on in our minds.
It is so pertinent to this future self conversation because even if we paint this clear vision and go through the different versions of telling ourselves what it is like to be us, it’s still a fraction of the work. Getting there means sacrifice, saving more or working less, giving up the job promotion you want that will make you feel successful because if the future self is spending more time with your family, you have to let that go. Everyone assumes they won’t have to go through discomfort. Discomfort is the currency of growth. We did a podcast about the knowing and doing gap. Between the Knowing and the Doing is change. EPISODE 110
That willingness to keep showing up and doing those little things is what incrementally gets you where you want to be. Incrementally saving x amount of your salary into your 401k to get the match doesn’t feel like it’s amounting to anything, but when you stack everything on top of itself over the years it makes a difference. It’s the only path that makes it work. Adam has done some visualizing, and it led him to a path where he’s making a pretty big change for his family…
Wealthquest Is Heading to Florida!
Their family always had a dream to get to Florida. Similarly, the vision of Wealthquest has always been to continue growing and serve more families. As a firm, we really feel like you need to have some boots on the ground to do that. With both visions aligned, we are launching the Naples, Florida Wealthquest office.
One of the things we value is being pioneers. We strive to push the edge, lead the industry. Not for our sake, but the more we keep pushing, the more families we can impact. The more families we can empower, the better. We don’t just want our client families to lead meaningful lives, but our employee families as well. It may force other advisors to follow, and that’s great. If the industry does this more, families will thrive more. We need these hard conversations to be had by everyone in the financial planning industry. It doesn’t matter who is doing it; it just needs to be done this way.
If you have questions, we’re an open book. Please reach out to me firstname.lastname@example.org