The Turning of the Weal

What is best for you will not always be constant. Even if your values and goals remain largely consistent, the changing of your circumstances over time will necessitate you to approach the pursuit of those things with different techniques.

If you’re 18, and you decide, “I want financial success,” then what’s best for you is often to hustle your brains out. Work a lot, use that work to learn new skills and meet new people, produce more than you consume, build good habits, etc. But at a certain point “working yourself senseless” stops being a good way to approach financial success. Once you have a decent savings pool, network, and skill set it becomes about working smarter, investing better, leveraging your opportunities, and the like.

Same goal, but different things were best for you.

That’s why framing even your long-term goals as short-term ones can be very helpful. My biggest goal and most important value is “raise my children to be happy, competent superheroes.” But if I make the time horizon for that goal “my entire life as a parent,” then I’m likely to get stuck in ruts regarding how I approach it. The tools and techniques to empower toddlers are not the same ones that will empower teenagers, so I need to grow with my children.

So instead, I set the goal: “I will do everything in my power to make my 5-year-old reach age six with all the courage and wisdom I can help her gain, and then re-evaluate.” At her sixth birthday, I’ll be able to have some pride in what we’ve done together, but I’ll also have given myself the intellectual freedom to evaluate my methods.

Do the same with all your goals, even the ones you think you’ll pursue your whole life. May you always find the best that you can.

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