Dreams and Deadlines, Part 2By Randell Tiongson on December 2nd, 2009
… part 2
As financial planners, are we getting our message across? Are Pinoys any closer to financial freedom? I am elated to see more and more financial planners, more books and articles and a gazillion blogs on personal finance. I’ve seen, heard, read a lot about personal finance of late—some are great messages; while others are really rubbish, but at least the message to do something about one’s personal finance is being mentioned. Let me repeat my earlier question, are we getting our message across? From my perspective, it seems that whatever we are doing is a mere drop in the bucket, and my colleagues in this field need to realize that we are not as effective as we believe we are (apologies to bruising the egos of my colleagues).
There’s definitely nothing wrong with what we are advocating, and our message is extremely relevant. I believe that there is something wrong with the manner we convey our message. To the real world out there, we sound like condescending self-righteous bigots telling everyone they are wrong and we are right. Have you heard personal-finance speakers? They will tell you not to drink Starbucks coffee and stick to 3-in-1 or not to buy a flat TV or a new car. They will tell you that gratification is evil and will burn you. Let me use an analogy here: It’s like hearing a preacher tell you that ogling a beautiful woman will cost you eternal damnation. Yes, they are probably right, but they may not look at things from the right perspective. It’s not just about the message, it’s also about the delivery of the message.
I think it’s about time people like us realize that folks have dreams and they must enjoy these while they can. Dreams do have a deadline, as my mentor aptly phrased it. Are you going to have that dream family house when all your children are grown up and have moved out of the house? Will you buy that nice flat TV when your eyesight has become so weak? Our life has a timeline and we must act according to the set time we have. I like how the Bible puts it—“Man’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed” (Job 14:5, NIV). Knowing what we want in life is critical and the way we live should be reflective of our goals. It’s not all about accumulation of wealth that we should be concerned about but also the purpose for accumulating wealth.
It’s about time we really know what our dreams are and that our “dreams have deadlines”; it’s about time we know the purpose of our dreams. Oh, it’s also about time for financial planners to change the way they sing their song.
“The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor” (1 Corinthians 3:8).