Updated: July 29, 2021
It’s important to have goals, especially financial goals.
And more valuable than simply having these goals is to have the right mindset and purpose.
Below are the most common financial goals that people have, and why they’re poor and insufficient in the grand scheme of things.
Is your goal to have more money, to earn more than what you’re making right now?
This should NOT be your goal.
When I was still an employee, my goal was to work hard so I’ll get promoted and have a higher salary. In my mind, I believed that if I earned more money, then I’ll be happier.
I was wrong because having more money only made me richer, but not happier. I discovered that happiness does not come from having a fat savings account, but from being able to experience the life that I wanted for myself.
Eventually, I became a freelancer and left the corporate world. During the first couple of years of being self-employed, I was actually earning less, but surprisingly, I was happier.
I thought I wanted more money, I later realized that what I really wanted was to have more time for myself and to pursue the things that matter to me.
To simply have more money should not be your goal. Instead, your goal should be to have enough money to lead the life that you envisioned for yourself and your family.
To have more money is not the end, but just one of the many steps you have to take to live the life that you truly want.
Is your goal to quit your job, start a business, and be your own boss?
This should NOT be your goal.
Most employees think that they’re getting the smaller end of the deal with their bosses. I know because I used to think that way too.
I worked hard every day in the office, while my boss does nothing but attend meetings, check on our progress, and give us the occasional pep talk. Then at the end of a project, he gets most of the credit and praise for a job well done.
One of the reasons why I quit my job was because I wanted to stop working for my boss, and start being my own boss – to work for myself.
Later on, I discovered that being your own boss is a complete myth because when you are in business, your customers become your bosses – and most of the time, the only thing they care about is getting what they want.
Your business customers will be more heartless and less forgiving than any corporate boss you’ll ever have. If you hate your boss now, you’ll hate your difficult customers more.
To start a business because you don’t like working for someone else is a poor reason to quit your job because entrepreneurs don’t really work for themselves, but for their customers.
To be your own boss and start working for yourself should not be your goal. Instead, your goal should be to help others – first by creating employment and second, by providing value to your customers.
Is your goal to have the money to buy all the things that you want?
This should NOT be your goal.
A couple of years into running my own business, I began to reap the fruits of my labor and started earning beyond what I needed to live.
Finally, I had the money to buy the latest gadgets. I can afford to eat at fine dining restaurants, and I can travel wherever I want.
That’s exactly what I did, and that’s how I discovered that those things are not exactly what I wanted.
I really didn’t want the latest gadgets, what I really wanted was to be more productive and those gadgets had the technology that can help me achieve that.
I really didn’t want to eat gourmet cuisine, what I really wanted was to share a delicious meal and have a unique dining experience with my family.
I really didn’t want to be a tourist, what I really wanted was to expand my horizon, get to know other cultures, and discover how other people live in places beyond my everyday reach.
To be able to afford the things that you want should not be your goal. Instead, your goal should be to achieve the deeper reason why you want those things because that’s what gives life its beauty and purpose.
Is your goal to stop working and retire rich?
This should NOT be your goal.
I always say that I am semi-retired – that I can afford not to work and still be able to live comfortably because of my passive income.
But why do I still work? Why can’t I just pack everything up, move to a house by the beach, and live a quiet life building sandcastles every day?
Because I believe that retirement should be a last-resort option – something that I will do if I cannot physically and mentally work anymore.
Am I crazy? I hope not.
I believe that there are two reasons why people work.
The first one is because they have to. They work because they need the money. They work for work’s sake because they need to survive.
Meanwhile, the second reason is that they want to. They work because it gives them self-fulfillment. For them, work is a blessing, not a curse.
To quit working and retire rich should not be your goal. Instead, your goal should be to transition from working for the money to doing meaningful work because it gives you purpose.
It’s not about the money…
Too often, people are focused on making more money – so they seek the highest paying jobs, go into the most profitable businesses they know, and put money in investments with the best returns.
If your goal is to see millions in your bank account, then go ahead and do those.
But I’m sure your goal in life is not simply to become a millionaire, but rather and more deeply – to be able to provide for the needs of your family, to have the time to pursue your interests and passion and to have the means to experience life to the fullest.
Money is important because it’s a tool that can help you achieve these goals, but never ever think that money is the end goal.
Know the real reason why you’re working, saving, and investing – and you’ll have the most powerful inspiration and the best motivation to persist through life’s financial challenges and difficulties.
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Photo credit: giorgio raffaelli
Nice article Fitz! It’s food for thought especially for one who is considering quitting the corporate world and go into “business.”
sakto Fitz, parang nagkatugma yung latest posts natin. Some people are confused with the means to what supposed to be the ends. good job, good business, financial freedom are just means to more meaningful dreams that we should all strive for. 🙂 thanks for this post.
Great article. I am striving to reach these higher goals all the time. It’s a challenge buy it’s rewarding.
You’re absolutely right Fitz. For so many years I work, save, work, save because I want to have millions but doing so did not make me happy at all. The goal made me lost friends, neglected a lot of relatives even my parents, siblings, in-laws and my own family (children and hubby). I became a miser. This however, rooted from my experiences of being treated selfishly my by relatives so I did all I can to have a money of my own. Now I’ve mellowed down a bit with that goal and try sharing all blessings I have. The joy of seeing my children enjoy life is priceless. And the joy of being able to share to people is divine. This spirit of sharing your treasure, time and talent I owe to the catholic church but most so with HJM Prayer Community. Thanks again Fitz for reminding your readers that money is not all that matters. More power!
Very enlightening article. I was touched. Hehe. To find deeper meaning, to find our purpose, to do our passions. These are the things we must strive for – not just money. Thanks for sharing your life experiences. I really love this post. 🙂
Salamat po sa article na ‘to, Sir Fitz! You are such a blessing.
They say that an average American that earn 60K USD/annually to cover the basic needs are be happy; more than that it makes no difference in the level of happiness. How much do you think an average Filipino should have then?
Amen! God-willing, this is exactly what I want to have in my life. To have the money to provide for the needs of my family, help others and experience things I always wanted to do.
Nice article Sir! I’m a silent follower of your blog, and it’s my first time to comment.
Very inspiring article again, It change my belief in life. . .Thanks a lot and God bless.
This is a great article sir Fitz. Enjoyed reading it, worth sharing and a guidance for those who are seeking meaningful lifestyle in life….
Happiness is not something readymade.Â It comes from your own actions. –Dalai Lama
Great article! Blessings!
I like all articles that you wrote, but this is the best and my favorite…We should live in our purpose that God has given to us. 🙂
Definitely one of the best posts i’ve read here. Very enlightening! Thanks Sir Fitz. :)))
You could only say that because you already reached that goal: to have more money! You already tasted the best things in life money could buy! Now, preach your belief to someone who has no money at all? Someone who is financially in debt! that your goal is not to have more money! hello!
Everyone wants to taste the best things in life! So please! Stop saying that one should not dream and aim to have more money! how can you support your family if you do not have more money? how can you live to the fullest if you have less money?
C’mon! let us be practical and realistic!
Everyone who says one should not dream of having more money is selfish because they already achieved that goal!
Be honest…it is just simple: everyone wants the world and everything in it!
I agree . but until you said you reach that stage where you are able to afford almost any tangible that you want and yet you DISCOVER that’s not it. I’m kind of sad and happy. happy in the sense that because my husband is a good provider and need not worry about ‘living expenses’, i found out that truly having the latest ‘whatever’ is shallow now. happy that it’s not yet to late for me to learn the important of financial independent than merely depending on someone. sad because I am still learning what you already accomplish, which is financial independent. My hubby thinking is to keep working until the end , you know Chinese traditional way. still trying to influence him to invest and not just keep working.
I think you misunderstood my article. I said that to have more money should not be your goal, because from my experience, having more money doesn’t necessarily lead to more happiness.
I have taught this belief to someone with no money at all. He was deep in debt, too.
I asked him, “Why do you want to have money?”
And he said, “Because I want to give my family a happy life.”
Then I asked him, “You are working lots of overtime in your job because you need the money to pay your debts, and provide for your family. Is that what you always say to yourself?”
“Yes, most of the time,” he answered.
I then said, “Stop working for the money, and start working on your dream – your end goal. What will make your family happy?”
“Me, spending more time with them. Us, traveling a lot,” he answered.
“Then that’s what you should work for,” I advised. “When you’re doing overtime, stop telling yourself that it’s because you need the money. Instead, say to yourself that you’re working long hours because you believe that it’s a necessary step towards spending more time and being happy with your family in the future.”
This change in mindset made a lot of difference in his perspective. And he only needs to imagine him and his family, boarding a plane for a vacation, and all the work that lay before him becomes less overwhelming.
A year after, he is finally debt-free. A year after that, he has been promoted at work, and his wife now has a small business. Money is flowing at a steady growth, and it will not be long before his vision becomes a reality.
Last time I talked to him, he said, “When I shifted my focus away from the money, and on to the reason why I want more money, I found myself more inspired to work. And when I’m more inspired to work, money comes in. It was really a change in perspective that helped my finances.”
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Actually its true that i wanted to quit my job and start my own business because when im employed, its my boss who always gets the credit and earns more. But when you start your own business, its true that you will still have a boss which is your cutomers but this time, the credit and of course the profit will be mine. Im not just payed by a fixed a income.
Meaningful post. Thank you.
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Fitz. Oh my goodness, you outdid yourself again with this post man!!!! You certainly touched my heart with this: “Because I believe that retirement should be a last-resort option – something that I will do if I cannot physically and mentally work anymore.” Yes, like you, I could stop and live completely from my SS checks and small withdrawals from the IRA retirement accounts when/if needed. The truth is, I am having way too much fun to stop all the activities we engage in.
When I wake up at night to look for option selling opportunities, I have many reasons to be joyful. We support several charities. Especially now in early to mid 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic, they have bigger needs than ever. The “lift” I get when I find a great trade and sell a few extra contracts designated to help others, man, you can not put a value on that! After being widowed many years ago, God gave me a second beautiful and well educated bride. It has been a thrill to watch her business ideas get tested, funded and grow into something wonderful. Again, those business ventures have also helped others way beyond our family circle. Retirement,,,NAH, I have no time for that.