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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

4 Things you may be missing to plan in your lives, at your own peril

We recently had a wonderful and interactive workshop on Financial Freedom last Sunday (12th Jan 2014). This was organised by Sartrac Global in Faridabad (NCR). During my interaction with the audience, i realised that most of us tend to miss out on these 4 vital things in our lives..and of course, we do so at our own peril.... Just if someone could point us towards these things, life can take a completely different dimension...Read on...

1. Life is a project. If we fail to plan, we are planning for failure. 
Being in IT industry, we deal with IT projects day in and day out. This is how the worldwide body PMI (Project Management Institute) defines a project : "A project can be defined as a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product or service. Projects have a definite beginning and an end - they have a limited duration. Projects are a means by which the strategy (and therefore mission) of the company is implemented."
Just compare this definition of project with your own lives. Are we not on a temporary endeavor on this planet? I mean, we are going to die one day, isn't it? Don't we have a definite start and a definite end? Are we all not uniquely living our lives? I mean, everyone has a unique way to live, isn't it? Don't we use our life time to fulfill our mission of life - to stay happy and share the same happiness with everyone around us?
Yes, our life is nothing but a project.
And i have never seen any project succeeding without a definite, precise, detailed, and a documented project plan. So, when the audience was asked to show the project plan of their lives, they were all shocked. As if they were telling me, Who creates a project plan for a life? Well, yes, most of us do not and that is why we tend to be dissatisfied and frustrated. Because we don't have a plan, we don't know what we were supposed to do with our lives and what we are actually doing? We don't know whether we are on track or not? We don't know whether this plan would help us serve the mission of our lives or not?
In nutshell, if we do not plan our lives, we are planning for failure.

2. Know Your mission of life
Someone in the workshop asked me "Well, i want to enjoy the journey. I don't care to save for my future goals. I mean, the goals are useless if i cannot enjoy my today."
He was bang right, and as i could get from what he was speaking, he was representing a young, dynamic and a new generation of our country who don't care too much about planning for the future. They want to live in the present. and I know that happiness is only in the present.
But the only suggestion i had for him was based on my personal experience. I reminded him of the time when we were going for Disney World in Florida in US, and we were driving our own vehicle through the 1100 Km journey spread over 2 days from Bentonville to Florida. Yes, not only the destination, we enjoyed the journey too !! Beautiful countryside, pizzas for lunch, stopover, relaxation, fun all the way !! Everything seemed so wonderful during the journey.
Now, just imagine what would we feel if we were going through the same journey for a serious office client meeting at Florida instead of going to enjoy the Disney World. The journey is the same, the people are the sane but the mission / end objective has changed. I am sure you would agree that the enjoyment would never be the same. 
Knowing your mission in life helps. It helps you to enjoy this beautiful journey called life.
This youngster smiled and i knew that he was transformed for ever.

3. Time is our most critical asset. 
We keep saying that time is critical in life, and that we should spend quality time with our children. When we were debating on this point, someone in the participants asked me as to why spending that much time is important? He justified his question by clearly telling that our parents did not ever spend that time with us, so does that mean that we did not grow up with the values and wisdom that is good enough? Firstly, i was taken aback with the kind of question. But then, my intuition had the answer. 
Yes, i also remembered that our parents really did not have the time to spend with us. They were busy just in earning money. Not that they were in any kind of rat race, but money was difficult to get in those days. There were not enough opportunities to earn enough to survive happily with your families. 
But also remember that in those days, the cultural environment around us was not that polluted too. There was no internet, society was at relative peace with itself, there were less rapes, thefts, and murders. Today, the triggers for your child to lose the track in the initial stages of his / her life are so much more, that unless the parents spend enough time with their children, it is very difficult to pass on the value system that we have somehow carried along from our fathers and forefathers.
Therefore, time, not money is our most critical asset. Gift your child 3 extra hours to play and enjoy with them rather than the latest gadget and i can tell you that he or she would love that.

4. There is so much more in life beyond money. Know how much is enough for you.
Earning money is definitely important. Very important, i must say. But at the same time, not falling into a trap of rat race is equally critical. For this to happen, one must know how much money is enough? This number will be different for different people depending upon their family, age, current standard of living, city where they live in, and so many other factors. 
When you plan for financial freedom in your life, one of the first things you will come to know is how much money is enough for you and your family. This will not only help you build a plan, but you would also realise that you can think of better things in life after you have achieved that much corpus.
For generations, we have been enslaved in the rut of earning money, and therefore sometimes it is difficult to think life beyond earning money, but let me tell you this, form my own experience, that if the mere thought of a beautiful life chasing your dreams and passions without worrying about money is so wonderful and amazing, imagine how the actual life would be. It takes guts to "think" that way, because we are not used to doing it. But it is worthwhile all the way.

Focus on these 4 aspects and tell me if you have missed planning any of these in your own lives. If you have missed out planning any of these in your life, i strongly urge you to go ahead and take action right now, because if you skip this article without initiating an action, then you have lost it, yet again. And of course, you know that you have all my time to seek help. Let me know if you need any help, and i would be more than ready to provide you the same, because that is what serves the mission of my own life.


Manoj Arora
Freedom can buy you what money cannot !!

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