Hope For A Brighter Future

 

It always raining on my parade.

 

With our economy still sputtering along at about half speed and unemployment at record levels, hoping for a better future can seem like some exercise in the absurd.  Sure we all have wants—more money, more savings, and a decent chance to retire in comfort—but how is that possible under conditions like these?

 

It’s Ugly Out There

 

The truth is our economic situation is bleak.  We have massive government and personal debts, sky-rocketing costs for healthcare, record foreclosures and bankruptcies, not to mention political parties in Washington that don’t seem to give a rip about the average American.  We all want them to talk and get along, but it’s clear there are powerful interests and lobbies at work whose only goal is to keep things as they are—one giant mess.

 

As I look to the future, I find I’m concerned not only for my kids, but for the next couple of generations that will be paying for the mistakes of the past.  Who’s to blame?  One could easily point fingers, but frankly there’s far too much of that going on already.

 

The Eye Of The Beholder

 

History is amazing when you stop to look into it.  My Dad grew up during the Great Depression.  He lived in a small Eastern Washington town on the “wrong side of the tracks”.  He learned about hardship just by living day-to-day.  My grandparents did all they could to keep him fed and clothed, but times were tough, jobs were scarce and money and many resources were scarcer.  Life may have felt crappy back in those early years, but Dad lived to see much better days.

 

A Little History

Access forbidden.

If this feels familar try to learn to live in the moment.

It’s easy to look at our current situation and think of it as one of the most terrible periods in history—one somehow unique for the economic strife going on.  Yet the larger truth is something wholly different:  There is and has always been hardship going on somewhere in the world.  And it’s often been far worse than that we face today.  Does this make our suffering less significant or important?  Hardly, but it is worth remembering the pain of others, or of other times in our history, to put things in their proper perspective.  This is especially relevant as you think to create a future that’s either brighter for yourself or for your kids.  As obvious as it might sound, it’s worth remembering that for most people a fortune (or even a small nest egg) isn’t built in a day or even a year, it’s built over the course of a lifetime.

 

 

Instant Gratification

 

One of the hardest things to understand when it comes to money and investing is the power of time.  For investors time is your friend.  With time, companies grow and expand, interest and dividends accumulate, and old losses can be restored by even larger gains.  The trouble is our world isn’t geared toward waiting.  More and more, we expect information to be delivered by stroke of a key, the flick of a finger or by voice command.  We want our world to respond instantaneously and it does—at least to a point.

 

Tried And True

 

On the other hand, the only sure path to accumulating wealth still requires we do it the old fashioned way—working long hours, paying bills on time, trying not to overspend, putting money in savings, and carefully picking the right investments that over the years we hope will grow and allow us to retire.  Of course, there are exceptions: There are the lottery winners and the super-star athletes or entertainers.  There are also the innovators who create new products and technologies.  However, these people are few and far between.  We all think we want to be one of them, but it’s extremely rare when that happens.

 

Holding Hope In The Moment

 

Whether we call it getting rich, accumulating wealth, or just building a brighter tomorrow, the issue comes down to holding and keeping hope.  If we lack hope, it will feel utterly pointless to invest in the future.  Yet, if we can remember that times have been tougher in our past or are currently tougher for others in the present, perhaps we can gain the perspective required to take small steps.  You see, small steps add up to bigger ones.  That’s just the way it works.  If you don’t believe it, think of Neil Armstrong’s famous words as he first stepped foot on the moon:

 

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

 

It took a lot of small, incremental steps for Armstrong to achieve his amazing payoff.  Investments are like that.  Over the the long haul, all the little things we choose to do add up and matter big time.

 

Still struggling to find hope?  If you do nothing else, remember this mantra:  In this moment I am okay.  It’s a powerful mantra for it reminds us to stay focused on the present.  The more we can do that and the less we get caught up projecting our fear into the future the better we feel.

 

Control What You Can

 

Build on your success.

Work on the things in your control–the ones that will make a difference right now.

In the end, it’s important to realize we always have choices.  We can choose to get swept up by the news and drama of the day, or we can choose to take positive steps on those things in our power to control.  We may not be able to have any sway on foreign wars, government budgets or the latest political campaign, but we can set up an automatic deduction from checking to savings and begin to grow a fortune.

 

Conscious Choices

 

Savings and investment, and thus, accumulating wealth, require conscious living.  If life feels out of control, take charge by doing what you can right now.  Want some more ideas for getting started?  Then check out our Great Savings Tip series by clicking here.  Or check out our Investing Ideas page by clicking here which provides links to all our posts and articles on investing.
 

If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to read:
Zero Based Living
The Magic Of Full Consciousness
Time To Shift Your Paradigm?

 

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