Bill is a great guy.
He always goes out of his way to say hi in the grocery store.
He volunteers down at the children’s hospital.
He did murder those people a few years back. But 99% of the time he is so nice.
You would never judge someone’s morals by what they do 99% of the time. The outlier events matter. A lot.
You could even argue the outlier events define your morals. There is no action you could do 99% of the time to overcome a horrific occasional action.
We are nothing without consistency.
You can’t be a saver who occasionally buys a Ferrari.
You can’t be an long-term investor who occasionally raids the brokerage account to make a house payment.
One action can wipe out years of accumulated progress.
What you do consistently defines you.
My Day Job
I started a for-profit company in a space that has a lot of non-profits – kids coding education.
Why would I ever do that? Why wouldn’t I just volunteer a couple hours a week?
By starting a for-profit company, I have been able to focus on the problem for 40-50 hours a week for 6+ years. If I volunteered I would have spent a few hours a week doing it, might keep up with it for a year, then move on to something else.
Why It Matters
Enormous goals can’t be accomplished in one day. It takes consistent effort.
You need to figure out the motivation and limitations that will enable you to keep making progress at your goal.
Let’s use a common example. Everyone’s New Year’s Resolution: start working out.
Motivation – Why is that your goal? To be healthy. Why be healthy? To live longer. Why live longer? To be there for my family.
If you ask enough whys, you will eventually get to something that is closely tied to your identity. Frequently remind yourself of this and it will give you the motivation to make steady progress.
The gym is packed the first week of January because everyone wants to get started on their goal. Unfortunately starting too fast might actually be detrimental to the overall goal.
Instead, start with whatever is sustainable, then expand from there.
What is sustainable for you depends upon your limitations. How much time a week sounds easy to accomplish? Think about your busiest weeks – when was the down time? If you had to consistently get up 30 minutes earlier or stay up 30 minutes later, which would you prefer? If you have to do grocery shopping after work, do you do it on the way home or later?
If you know your personal limitations and preferences, you won’t be trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
Consistency is Worth Fighting For
Life is a long journey full of impatient travelers.
We naturally compare ourselves to those around us to see who is ahead and moving fastest. It is much harder to compare consistency, so it is often overlooked.
You know your goals won’t be accomplished in one day, one week, or even one year. So don’t worry about where everyone else is and instead focus on making consistent progress.
If you want financial freedom through investing in rental properties, what is your motivation? Go deep on the whys. What are your limitations?