I’ve heard from so many people from our television and radio shows that fear is holding you back from developing the retirement plans that will transform your life, and as far as I’m concerned, that just WILL NOT DO. Humans were not always this fearful or procrastinate as much as they do today. Waiting too long to make a good decision historically meant being eaten by another predator or dying of starvation when winter came because we waited too long to plant our crops. Much of the blame can be placed on information overload, 24-hour news cycles and too many choices… but the ultimate problem might be in the mirror!
You shouldn’t be scared to fail.. Ever.
“There is no success without failure…a winner is just a loser who tried one more time.”
So today, in the spirit of taking action, I’ve got three things you can start doing RIGHT NOW that will help you bust through the fear and the noise and the excuses so you can take meaningful steps toward building a retirement than changes your life.
3 Ways to ACT
Are you ready? I know you are. You were born ready. Let’s go!
1. Ask the Opposite Question
If you’ve ever googled “How do I succeed in retirement?” and been overwhelmed into inaction by 10 billion results, try this next time: instead of searching for the thing you want, ask the opposite.
You don’t even need Google for this, guys. Instead of “How do I succeed?” ask yourself, “How can I FAIL in retirement planning?”
Notice how different that sounds, and how differently you react to it. And I bet you’ve got answers already, right off the top of your head, don’t you? I bet you see people every day making bad choices, and maybe you’ve made a few yourself. I can DEFINITELY think of a few ways to fail: how about overplanning without action? Or trying to do it all yourself.
Asking the opposite question is powerful because it immediately illuminates the things we’re all doing against our own best interest. Try it. If you see yourself and your choices reflected in the list of ways to fail, I dare you not to feel instantly motivated to start making different choices immediately.
2. Schedule LESS Time than You Need
So many of our fears are about not having enough time to do the things we want to do. But how much time is ever enough? From my own experience, we will NEVER have all the time we want to perfect our plans, save enough, read enough books, whatever. We’ll always wish we had “more time” to make things better, but if we’re being serious, a deadline might be the only way to ever get it out the door.
That’s why I love the idea of forcing yourself into action by actually giving yourself LESS time than you think you need to get a thing done.
I’ve been here before, and I know you have as well. When our backs are up against the wall and we need to finish such-and-such by a certain time, we always deliver, don’t we? Otherwise we might still be planning right up to the day we die! Talk about wasted time! So let’s capitalize on the adrenaline that accompanies a deadline, and then supercharge it by trimming the deadline even further. I dare you to cut an extra 25-50% off the time you think you have to complete a task.
3. Enforce Consequences
We’ve all heard the story of getting a horse to move by dangling a carrot in front of him with a long stick. So consider this: when dangling carrots (incentives) aren’t enough to get you past the fear of taking action, it’s time to introduce more stick (consequences). Do you have a portfolio with risk you don’t understand and need to seek help to get it under control? Set your deadline (as above), and then make it more painful NOT to meet that deadline than to just do what you’ve set out to do.
I heard a story about a man who wanted to make a plan to retire within 2 years, but hadn’t made any notable progress on it even after the two years, he signed a post-dated check to the political candidate he hated the most and then handed it off to a friend. “Mail this if I don’t meet my deadline,” he said. Of course, he immediately sought out help to develop his plan on time. OF COURSE HE DID.
Less carrot, more stick.
So there you have it!
Ask the opposite question. Schedule less time than you need. Enforce consequences. With these three tools, you’ll be so busy making tracks that you won’t have time to fear failure anymore. You’ll simply never be scared to fail again.
This isn’t rocket science, but I think we both know it’s not easy, either. The hard part starts now, when you turn back to your desk and decide you’re actually going to do them.
I know you will!