Direction, not intentionBy Randell Tiongson on June 4th, 2010
Sometime ago, while attending our church service at Victory Green Hills, my Pastor (Dennis Sy) said something that made a lot of people pause and think. He said “direction, not intention, determines destination”. I believe my pastor picked up those words from Andy Stanley’s book The Principle of the Path. Andy Stanley is one of my favorite authors and I do recommend you pick up his books.
Although my pastor was talking about our spiritual plight, the words got me to think about personal finance also.
I have yet to find anyone who will tell me that he does not like to experience financial prosperity. I am pretty sure there are very few people who relish the idea of being deeply in debt or terribly broke. Financial security remains to be a top goal of almost everyone. During my public talks, I would often ask the question “who likes to be rich?” and I’d see about 90 to 95% of the hands being raised (the other 5 to 10% are probably not listening to me).
People are often looking for a grand magic formula to achieve financial success and many of them are also looking for the quickest way to do it. After 20+ years in the financial services industry and observing hundreds of successful people, I know that there is no such thing and quick-rich ideas, though can work, is hardly ever sustainable. Achieving financial freedom is a long and deliberate process, and most of the time a painful process at that. Fortunately, it is not a complicated process but rather a very simple one. My good friend and best-selling author (Pwede Na! Books) Efren Ll. Cruz shared to me 3 ways to get rich:
1) Inherit it (for those born fortunate);
2) Marry it (again, for those born fortunate – physically, haha!); or
3) Spend less than what you make and invest the difference.
The 3rd option is actually the only viable option. Inheriting money doesn’t always guarantee you can keep your wealth. Marrying for money is actually a guarantee of a miserable married life. The 3rd option is the sure-fire way to achieving financial prosperity.
The formula is too simple right? But how come majority of us find ourselves lost in the quest for prosperity? Our intention is to be financially disciplined, learn to save, budget properly, etc. Until we see our favorite store on sale, dine at a hotel buffet at a whim, upgrade your car spontaneously, buy furniture unplanned… get the drift? Often times, we lose focus of our goal and we get sidetracked. The intention is still there, we just got detoured momentarily. But hey, “direction, not intention, determines destination” right? It’s like having a terrible fight with your spouse — it is never really our intention to quarrel with our loved ones, but when we lost our control, we get lost and we eventually suffer. One can always make a course correction and redirect towards the original path that will bring us to our destination but there’s time lost and a lot of opportunities may be lost as well. In money management, like anything in life, time is really important. We can never make up for lost time.
Next time you are faced with a detour, focus on your destination and remember that the fastest and most efficient way to get there is through a straight line.
“Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.” Proverbs 4:25, NIV.
— taken from the May-June issue of Moneysense Magazine.