In Daniel Defoe’s classic, a young Robinson Crusoe is confronted by desires in himself for “superior fortunes,” as his father called them. So he sat down to hear from his father before he would set off on his first voyage.
In hindsight he called the meeting “serious and excellent counsel against what he foresaw was [my] design.” Robinson wanted to leave his family and native country and seek fortune on merchant ships.
His father had this to say:
“…That these things were all either too far above me or too far below me; that mine was the middle state, or what might be called the upper station of low life, which he had found, by long experience, was the best state in the world, the most suited to human happiness, not exposed to the miseries and hardships, the labor and sufferings of the mechanic part of mankind, and not embarrassed with the pride, luxury, ambition, and envy of the upper part of mankind.”
His father’s fears would be confirmed.
Crusoe recounts, “…For I brought home five pounds nine ounces of gold-dust for my adventure, which yielded me in London, at my return, almost 300 pounds; and this filled me with those aspiring thoughts which have since so completed my ruin.”
Hear me on this point – working hard and wanting to do well is not wrong. That is not the lesson to take from this father of an earlier age. Robinson was about to fall into the trap of “more” for “more’s sake” and there is no benefit to more unless it has a purpose.
I recently met a couple who have decided to seriously evaluate their lifestyle. They have experienced the passing of parents in the last year and at relatively young ages. They have a slightly more-than-average number of children at home and have college to save for, sports to fund, cars to fix, and a mortgage to pay off some time this side of the grave.
You know the drill.
AND they want to retire. Now.
That is to say, they want to act a little more retired right now, rather than doing what we can all very easily do, which is to put life off until later when we can afford it.
These guys decided to do it now. At least more of it. This kind of reworking of the financial situation does not happen overnight. This takes time. It takes sacrifice. It takes PURPOSE.
‘Some’ is not a day of the week. When you know what your money is for, you don’t need to wait another minute to put it to work. You’ll find too that when you are working with a purpose for your money and your time, you will work harder than ever before.
For my part, it’s quite inspiring to work with clients who in many ways put me to shame – they teach me a lot. I am blessed to be in this line of work and I only hope I can keep adding half as much to these relationships as I get from them.
Thanks for reading. I hope to see you at the “Mind Over Money” event in October.
Advisor / Coach
Cornerstone Wealth Partners