A plethora of success materials implores us to set specific goals if we are serious about realizing them. Certainly, if we have clearly defined goals then it becomes easier to develop a plan to achieve them as compared to developing a plan to achieve un-specified goals. Similarly, it is easier to accomplish something with a plan than without one. So there is no doubt that having a distinctly defined set of goals is very important.
However, it is easier said than done. Many of us do want to invest better and build wealth in life but usually fail in articulating our financial goals. The life still goes on with or without our financial goals. So does this mean that we should loose heart? I think not.
Though we should not neglect the critical nature of setting financial goals for our safe and sound financial future, the lack of defined goals should not prevent us from moving forward to take charge of our financial matters. In this respect we should give heeds to the wise words written by an astute and accomplished writer.
Author and Nobel laureate V. S. Naipaul once wrote, “I had no gift. At least, I was aware of none. I had no precocious way with words, no talent for fantasy or storytelling. But I began to build my life around the writing ambition. The gift, I thought, was going to come later, when I grew up.”
Naipaul, who was born in 1932, wrote these words in 1983 describing the beginning of his writing career in mid-1950s. The lack of “gift” did not stop Naipaul from embarking on a writing career – the only career that he ever pursued. And, obviously, the world is richer because of that as he is considered one of the great writers of modern times.
Naipaul went on to add, “I had always thought that the writing gift would come to me of itself as a kind of illumination and blessing, a fair reward for the long ambition. It didn’t come.” So, the gift did not come to him because of his ambition, but it did eventually come, perhaps, due to his perseverance and hard work.
The lesson is that the failure of our efforts to articulate our financial goals should not discourage us to work towards bettering our financial future. We should start with whatever goals or objectives we are able to think of and then strive to improve upon them while working towards their attainment.
Many of us get stuck at the vague objectives such as “to do well” or “to succeed” or to “build wealth”. Due to a variety of reasons, we find it difficult to go beyond that. Should that lack of clarity in setting our objectives discourage us?
If we are serious about our financial future and believe in our capability to continuously learn and evolve then we should proceed with whatever resources or objectives that we have. If we have clearly defined financial goals and plans to achieve them then that it is great for us. If we do not have either the well-defined goals or the plans to achieve them then fear not, it only means that we only have to work harder and persevere longer.
The only mistake that will count in the longer run is a failure to take our financial future seriously and not taking steps to safeguard it. Having clear goals and a reasonable plan to achieve them are very important but more important is starting on the journey to learn, act and evolve. And, it is a journey.
Life is a journey so is the endeavor to secure a sound, healthy and wealthy financial future. Both of these our journeys are going to proceed with or without us settling on final destinations. So we have to scramble now, with whatever resources that we have.
Earlier we settle on a destination the better and easier it will be for us to reach them. But, if we are unable to do so promptly, we should still start moving forward, a la V.S. Naipaul, and begin to build our “financial journey” around our ‘financial ambitions’. The clarity in our objectives and plans will arrive as we increase our knowledge base and apply it in the real-world diligently.
(We will man the Light House. Keep a lookout for it on these web pages)
 Writing ‘A House for Mr. Biswas’, V.S. Naipaul, The New York Review Of Books. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/1983/nov/24/writing-a-house-for-mr-biswas/