I took a class in college called “Entrepreneurship”. It was probably one of the few classes I got an actual A in because I was totally engaged and actually attended every single session. It was taught by a (then) Merrill Lynch advisor who really had a huge impact on the way I view things. One of the things that always stuck with me was his view on setting goals and getting things done. He always talked about “creating a sense of urgency”.
One of the things we learn from Monetary Realism is that there are few things more important than time. It is truly the ultimate form of wealth. With an infinite amount of time there would be no need for urgency. We could consume and produce all that we wanted at our leisure. Of course, that’s not our reality. And as I get older that reality hits home every day. We’re not getting any younger. As the movie Fight Club says, “this is your life and it’s ending one minute at a time”. That’s both a depressing thought and a very powerful one. It creates a sense of urgency.
Creating a sense of urgency compartmentalizes our time. How is that? For instance, I try to sign-up for races every now and then to keep me on track with staying in shape. Running in races at 7AM is not at the top of my “to do” list. Training for such a thing is even more tedious. But by scheduling a race I create a sense of urgency. I create a sense of urgency through creating a finite training period. I condense the amount of time in which I am able to achieve a certain goal. If I don’t do A in the allotted amount of time then I won’t achieve B which means my results (C) will be terrible.
It’s funny being a human being because the thing that separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom is often times our biggest weakness. We rationalize everything. What we’re really doing is making excuses for why we shouldn’t do the things we should be doing. I laugh every morning I wake up because I have a 11 month old Aussie Collie mix who jumps on the bed at 6:00AM, without fail. She’s ready to go. I don’t mean “ready to go” as in #1 & #2 (well, that also). But she’s ready to live. If she could talk, every morning she’d say “guys, this is the best day ever to be alive”. Her sense of urgency is just an inherent trait in her for some reason. Probably because she doesn’t rationalize everything away. But we need the urgency. Otherwise, we’ll rationalize it away. And most of the time, the difference between optimizing your time and procrastinating is creating that sense of urgency….If you want the ultimate form of wealth creating this sense of urgency is a key to getting there….
(Photo courtesy of big stock photo)
Mr. Roche is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Discipline Funds.Discipline Funds is a low fee financial advisory firm with a focus on helping people be more disciplined with their finances.
He is also the author of Pragmatic Capitalism: What Every Investor Needs to Understand About Money and Finance, Understanding the Modern Monetary System and Understanding Modern Portfolio Construction.