In 2010 I took up a four year journey to get my MBA in finance. With an undergrad in philosophy and a desire to work in the field of finance I thought this was the right path. I knew the MBA would be a useful tool to establish a career in a large financial institution, which it did, but unfortunately I spent more time on the means than the end. I invested an enormous amount of time, energy and personal money into the MBA, not to mention all the human capital that it required from my supportive wife (for which I will be forever grateful!). And while it was not a complete waste, I wish I had spent more time discovering what I really wanted as an end before making such a large investment.
This blog is meant to serve as practical guide to personal finance for new parents and I intend to put lots of tips and tools that I have learned from reading and experience. But this post is a call to pause before diving into the details.
If you want to have a solid financial foundation and position yourself to build wealth you have to learn the single most important thing: yourself.
Self-Knowledge is difficult for two reasons. First because it requires experience. We learn a lot about ourselves when we are in new situations. Think about the first time you found yourself confronting big decisions like what college to attend, when to get married or have kids. Through those transitions we learn what’s really important to us and how we react in new situations.
To a certain extent we can’t control these as they come with time but we can look to put ourselves in new situations and be adventurous. This is a great way to grow in our self-knowledge.
The second reason self-knowledge is difficult is because it requires reflection. Our normal day is not suited for reflection. From the moment we wake up until we plug our phones in at night we are constantly being bombarded with text, updates and tweets. This constant barrage of noise prevents us from having quite reflection where we can think about the impact that the day’s experiences had on us.
Despite the difficulty of obtaining self-knowledge it is crucial to building a strong personal finance foundation. If we don’t know ourselves we won’t know the true desire of our heart.
“For Where Your Treasure Is, There Will Your Heart Be Also” Matthew 6:2