Most people want what they’re told to want. It’s hard to achieve anything if you don’t even own your desires.
I’m developing a rule of thumb for success. It’s still a work in progress, but let me try it out on you and you can tell me what you think.
Rule of Thumb #26: Success comes through owning what you want.
This might sound trivial, but I’d argue that most people just want what they’re told to want. They’re following other people’s templates.
It’s hard to get anything done when you’re working for somebody else’s dream.
And so I would recommend getting back to your fundamental desires. Each step you take towards your ‘essential’ wants, opens up the playing field and gives you more options and power for achieving success.
Let me give you an example. For a while there everyone who came through my door thought that negative gearing was the only way to get rich in property. But they were frustrated because they were cashflow poor, and there were limits to their portfolio size.
But they couldn’t see a way out. They were following their accountant’s advice. They were following the template. But it just wasn’t working.
The template was keeping them locked down. But if we step back from the template for a bit – even just one step back, we can expand our options.
That is, when they said they wanted “to build property wealth through a negatively geared portfolio,” it was too tight. It was too prescriptive. It didn’t give them any room to move.
But if we step back to: “To build property wealth” – that opens up the playing field. Now we can bring in a positively geared strategy. We can explore options or vendor financing. We can look at no-money-down deals.
That move towards a more “essential” goal expands our options.
Take another step back to: “to build wealth” and the playing field opens up even further. We can work in some cash-flow strategies like an online business or some stock market plays.
But we can take this line of thought even further. Because wealth is just a means to an end. So what are those ends? More leisure time, a bigger future for your kids, a comfortable retirement? What do you really want?
Say what you really want is to be your own boss and work a 4-hr workweek. A pumping portfolio can be part of that agenda, but there are other options too. At the same time as you’re building your portfolio, you could be re-skilling into a line of work that gives you more freedom.
By focusing in on what you really want, you give yourself more options for achieving your goals.
Are we there yet?
Not quite. I’d say we should take it as far as possible. Why do you want to be your own boss and work a 4-hr work week? Is it to spend more time with the kids, devote yourself fully to paddle-boarding, or just feel more autonomy over your time?
And even then, what does time with the kids give you? A feeling of connection, a sense of purpose, simple joy?
Each time you dig down another layer, you open up the field even further.
So what I would recommend is getting in there and levelling the house of your desires right back to the foundations. Get the sledge hammer out, and then build up from there.
If we get back to our ‘essential’ desires, then we’re giving ourselves maximum room to move. We have maximum flexibility.
In many things in life, options are power.
And as we build up, we have a clear sense of how the things we turn our attention to connect with what we really want.
We don’t have those, “I don’t even know why I’m doing this” moments. We understand the connections.
I am reading Jon’s blogs because I want to build real wealth, so I can spend less time in the office, so I can spend more time with the kids and the paddle board, so I can call a greater sense of purpose and more joy into my life.
The closer we get to our ‘core’, the more drive we can draw on. If we clearly see how what we are doing in this moment connects with our deepest desires, then we’ll have all the motivation we’ll need to get it done.
Connect everything you do in a day to your deepest motivations, and you’ll be stunned at what you can achieve.
And clarity. Have I mentioned clarity? If you have a picture of how it all fits together, you’ll be able to quickly discern between the parts that fit, and the parts that don’t.
You’ll be able to quickly discern between the activities in your life that serve your greater mission, and the ones that don’t.
This is about being more efficient in the world. It’s about not wasting energy on things outside your life plan, and giving more energy to the things within it.
Efficiency is about achieving more, and achieving your goals more quickly. Less faff, more getting sh!t done.
So I’m talking options, power, clarity, focus and efficiency. What else do you need? Would you like fries with that?
So what’s the catch?
The catch is that it isn’t easy to strip everything back to our most fundamental desires. To do that, we have to know ourselves at a fundamental level. We have to know ourselves intimately.
Most people are barely passing acquaintances with themselves.
We need to know ourselves so we can distinguish between what we really want, and the template desires that have been hoisted on us.
Think you want six-pack abs and a hot-tub body. Really? Is that you who wants that? Think you want a flashy car and the biggest house in Toorak? Really? Is that you who wants that?
But don’t think I’m just being anti-materialist here. I want a heated-pool and a vintage Spit-fire fighter plane. I just know that I’m the one doing the wanting.
It’s the knowing that makes the difference.
So do some digging. Get out a sledgehammer and smash your desires until you hit bed-rock. Find that fundamental level of desire – the things you truly want.
If you can connect with that, you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve.
How did you learn to want what you really want?