Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about how lucky I am to spend time around the people I spend time around. A lot of driven, intelligent, and caring people.
Most of them are in the often-attacked, “millennial” generation. And we get a bad rap for a lot of things — being “lazy” or “entitled” or disloyal to our jobs…
I have a lot of opinions on that, and think it’s largely unfair. The debt we get saddled with, the broken systems we inherit from our parents’ generation — there’s a lot for us to complain about.
But there is one thing that I notice within myself and a lot of my peers — and that’s a sense of inevitability.
It’s not an entitlement to things, it’s just a belief that we’ll inevitably have (earn?) them.
Inevitability that we will climb out of our debt. Inevitability that we will find a soulmate. Inevitability that we will find a great job or some financial windfall that will allow us to live comfortably, travel, and afford the consumer lifestyle that is sold to us.
I’ve felt this sense of inevitability for years. The first company I helped build was acquired in the matter of a couple of years. People seem to really believe in me. Of course I’ll be rich one day, right?
But the more I explore finance through our show, talking to my cohost Eric, or my friends who have really gotten their financials down, the more I realize that this sense of inevitability is super dangerous.
At the end of the day, most things can be broken down into a numbers game. Planning for retirement, a family, mortgages, and so on are all things you can really put into a spreadsheet.
If you can’t see how you’re going to get to the destination — whether it’s getting out of debt, buying a mansion, or getting to the coffee shop across town for your next meeting — how can you expect to arrive on the timeframe you want?
If you care about it, make a plan. If you can’t make a plan, find someone who can help. This pertains to your finances, but also the work you do and the life you live.
Sure, opportunities may come your way. But if you believe (like I do) that luck is where opportunity meets preparation, start with the preparation!
If you feel this sense of inevitability, check with yourself to see if you’ve created a system that will actually produce those results. Auto deposits, a plan for progressing in your career, a process for creating generative assets…
If not, your “inevitable” feeling is based on blind luck. And usually, the house wins.