Many wealthy people are in the best financial shape of their life. Buoyed by the second longest bull market in history, the lowest debt ratio on their balance sheets and growing compensation, why then do so many feel the pressure to keep going?
One reason may be that despite reaching the so-called 1 percent, most wealthy individuals came from more humble, middle-class beginnings. They achieved their financial success through hard work and long hours. Because of this, many do not yet feel secure enough to believe that what they’ve built will sustain them. If they felt more confident, they might step off the proverbial treadmill to pursue personal passions.
Another concern facing wealthier individuals is that they fear their wealth might spoil their children’s drive to succeed on their own accord. While they want to provide for their children, they still worry they may take their wealth for granted. How then do they instill the same values of hard work and appreciation in the next generation that they hold?
And, there’s a more general concern that future generations may not have the same opportunities for upward mobility. So how might wealthy individuals provide the same life opportunities they experienced to their children and grandchildren?
One thing remains certain: as wealth increases, so do aspirations to achieve more out of life. There’s a competitiveness shared by those who succeed, and it often stands in the way of letting go to do other things. So, when is enough, enough for your life?
Ask yourself the following three reflective questions. The answers may provide a bit of clarity in your life, and could help lead you to creating fulfillment you’re not yet able to enjoy.
- Imagine you’re financially secure and you have enough money to satisfy all your needs — now and in the future. How would you truly live your life? Would you change anything? Let yourself go. Don’t hold back on your dreams. Would you change your life and how would you do it?
- You visit your doctor and are told you that you have only five to 10 years to live. The good news is you won’t ever feel sick. What would you do in this time you have remaining to live? Your finances remain as they currently stand. Would you change your life and how would you do it?
- This time, your doctor shocks you with the news that you have only one day to live. What feelings arise as you confront your very real mortality? Reflecting on your life — your accomplishments to date and all the things you will leave undone — ask yourself: What did I miss? Who did I not get to be? What did I not get to do?
If you are honest and authentic with yourself, use your answers to guide you to get off the financial treadmill and help you understand how to move on and create the fulfillment you deserve.
Frank Fantozzi is founder, president and managing principal at Planned Financial Services