If you believe that a task is impossible, then you’re probably going to fail at it. Assuming you even get started in the first place. After all, what’s the point in wasting your time and resources on something that you think isn’t achievable?
Even though FIRE is for everyone, early retirement might seem like a pipe dream to many. Especially those that aren’t making a lot of money or are otherwise down on their luck, and that makes total sense. If someone feels like they’ll be working forever just to get by, then the prospect of retiring early will be so inconceivable that little-to-no effort will be made to make chase that dream.
Don’t Make Excuses
When you’re in that type of a situation, it’s easy to get down and make excuses:
- I don’t make enough money
- I can’t get out of debt
- I can’t pay off this student loan
- I can’t save $1,000 for an emergency fund
- I can’t save $1.5 million for retirement
- I can’t save 50% of my income
I’m not for one second belittling anybody that feels so hopeless or desperate that retirement is not even on their radar. I’ve been there and know what it’s like to be in a financial situation so messed up that you don’t want to open your bank statements, look at your bills, or even answer your phone because it’s probably another bill collector.
It’s a terrible feeling when every obstacle in front of you seems daunting. If something seems impossible then it’s not worth the energy to take on, because you feel like the the obstacle can’t be conquered. So why even bother?
This attitude leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy, which only makes things worse. That’s a terrible downward spiral and is a difficult cycle to pull out of.
But it is possible.
There is a single word that when added to your vocabulary has the power to change everything.
The Amazing Power of Yet
This three letter, one syllable word gives you breathing room. Yet gives you permission to take the needed time to reach your goals. Yet makes everything possible eventually, and that makes all the difference. Take another look at our previous excuses:
- I don’t make enough money, yet
- I can’t get out of debt, yet
- I can’t pay off this student loan, yet
- I can’t save $1,000 for an emergency fund, yet
- I can’t save $1.5 million for retirement, yet
- I can’t save 50% of my income, yet
This can work in every other area of your life as well.
- I can’t lose this weight, yet
- I can’t learn to play the piano, yet
- I can’t speak another language, yet
Never Give Up
This tiny word offers a glimmer of hope in what was previously a seemingly impossible situation. And when there’s hope, there is belief, which leads to effort, which leads to progress, which leads to more hope and renewed efforts.
Whether you think you can, or you can’t, you’re right. – Henry Ford.
For me personally, some of the goals that require a bit of “yet” are:
- I can’t max out my 401(k) and IRA, yet!
- I can’t save 50% of my income, yet!
- I can’t make $1,000 per month from this blog, yet!
Having the ability to do all of these things right now would help me reach FI on schedule. While it’s frustrating to me that I can’t to these things right now, keeping a bit of perspective helps keep me focused. While I might not be able to achieve these goals today, I know that someday I’ll be able to if i just keep at it.
Do you have any goals in your life that could use a little yet? I challenge you to start thinking in terms of yet today and see if it doesn’t make a huge difference in your approach to everything! I know it has for me. Leave a comment and let me know.