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What Decisions Are You Struggling With?

Wouldn’t it be heaven if we all had kids who don’t play video games, who know exactly what they want to do when they graduate college, who find the perfect job filled with purpose, and have friends and plenty of money so they never have to worry about finances?

Hell would be getting everything for free.

My third-grader plays Minecraft almost every day, and one of my daughters struggles with having the confidence to pursue a career in music because it’s scary. Most people I know are not engaged with their work, or their jobs aren’t fulfilling.

So what is the biggest thing holding us back?

In movies, there is often a physical, tangible problem that the hero must overcome in order to save the day.

In the movie Moneyball, Billy Beane (played by Brad Pitt) failed in his playing career and was filled with self-doubt about whether he could redeem himself as a general manager.

Everyone struggles with the existential question: Do I have what it takes?

Most folks feel intimidated by investing (both personal and in the stock market) because life and the market are both so complicated. The only way to navigate either is with a plan and a vision for what you want your life to look like in five years.

I played a lot of Donkey Kong as a kid, and I turned out OK. I own my own business and have a job that gives me a sense of purpose and is very rewarding, but there are also many challenges — volatility, risk and uncertainty. But there’s also opportunity, growth and the satisfaction of helping clients achieve their goals.

Then I look at my oldest daughter drawing an ice cream on a stick last night on my iPad while we watched a MasterClass, Steve Martin Teaches Comedy.

Last night helped me realize that I get to enjoy life now because of the really hard emotional tough choice I made with my life five years ago. Before I made the decision to go a certain direction that felt right for me, I was full of anxiety and stress. What if I fail? What if I spend six months studying for the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER exam and don’t pass?

But the more important thing about making this decision was what if I didn’t take this chance? I might regret it, and making no decision would mean the feeling of anxiety and stress would persist. Once I made the decision to pay $4,500 for the at-home online study schedule, I felt more in control. I felt better. Not great, but better.

What big decisions are you struggling with? What decisions are you avoiding? What risk are you facing if you don’t do that thing because you are overwhelmed with fear? Are you asking yourself the right questions? Find ways to make it safe if you fail, and view failure and risk as part of life — those are the things that help us grow and learn.

Nothing in life is free and just like there is no such thing as a free lunch or the risk-free rate of return. Right now you are here…just like on a map…but where are you going?

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