You’d think someone who is willing to get rid of all her worldly belongings to travel the world would not be so focused on safety nets, but I am. Lately I’ve been thinking about the small ways the idea of a “backup plan” keeps us from reaching farther toward our goals and actually reaching them.
In other words, the potential pain of not having a safety net (or having a very small one) could make us work harder to reach our goal. After all, there is no soft landing if we fall.
We’ve all seen this past year how a financial safety net can come unraveled with an economic crisis. And getting a degree is no guarantee of a job. With layoffs you can’t even guarantee that the job you dislike so much will be around to pay your bills.
So, what’s an optimist with big dreams to do?
I am an advocate of laying the basic groundwork for a healthy life. This means a regular savings plan, appropriate insurance, and marketable job skills. But beyond that, everything is adjustable. Everything.
- If your bills are too high for the job you love, adjust your lifestyle.
- If your degree is in accounting but you long to write a book, become an accountant for a publisher.
- Are you saving for a rainy day or obsessively saving for an upcoming disaster? Remember that your safety net is a backup plan for your life, not the goal of your life.
Lately I’ve been considering getting a tattoo on my forearm. It sounds like a small thing, but the voice in the back of my head is saying “but what if it prevents you from getting a corporate job later on?”
Newsflash: I don’t want a corporate job.
And knowing that should make me work harder at successfully making a living working for myself.
What are the safety nets you have in place that might be preventing you from reaching farther toward your goals?