PERSONAL FINANCE: Do you know what you want? - Daily Nation

Do you know what you want?

Friday May 11 2018

Many of us don’t know what we want. PHOTO | FOTOSEARCH

Many of us don’t know what we want. PHOTO | FOTOSEARCH 

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Many of us don’t know what we want. We have heard that we should have goals, a plan, a vision, a strategy, etc. However, all these are impossible without actually defining what we want.

I ran a class on personal financial planning a few weeks ago. The class went well and the students understood the simple methodology presented to create personal plans. However, in the course of the class, it became clear that many had never thought about what they really want especially beyond day-to-day survival.

To work hard at anything and especially to get out of your comfort zone, you have to be motivated. It is very hard to be inspired to achieve what you don’t know you want. No wonder when we’re asked how we are doing, we tend to say that we are surviving.

There will always be bills to pay so if there is nothing bigger than that to work towards, survival will become the objective. The bills can also look very fancy so it easy to think that we are making progress when in fact, we have stalled.

The Bible says that without vision, people perish. I believe everybody was built for progress of some sort. No one dreams about just surviving. The world can also easily cheat us that we should want the same thing: A house, holidays, certain careers, status, certain businesses, lifestyle, titles, latest gadgets, etc.

When we have no ideas for ourselves there are plenty to pick from. A celebrity just has to endorse a phone, handbag, car or trip to Dubai and then we decide that’s what we want.


There is nothing wrong with all these things but I believe one should have the clarity of mind to decide for oneself that that’s what they truly want rather than following other people’s opinions blindly.

There are far too many people in terrible debt because of trying to achieve other people’s versions of how fancy their own lives should be. This is not success. It is bondage and it is time to unshackle ourselves.

To really get to know what you want, understand this: Nobody can tell you. Not even our parents. They can guide you, but they are not you. Knowing what you want (beyond survival) arises by shutting off the noise from everyone else.

Listen to what your instinct is telling you. Connect the dots backwards in your own life and remember what brought joy to you. Sometimes it comes to us by also knowing what you don’t want.

If you know you don’t want to be in debt, then you also know you want to find extra income to pay off debt. You don’t like your job; that means you know you want to do something different or start a business. These may not look like life altering revelations but it is a start. If you are listening to everybody else and busy wondering what they think, you may get into more debt by trying to please them.

When you allow yourself to want it will look scary and many times impossible. That’s serves to block many of us from taking steps. Everybody that you admire at this very point is scared and has things they want to do that still seem impossible.

The more people I talk to, the more I realise that achievement comes in baby steps. Do the next best thing. You discover when you are in the process of doing something and not in the sidelines.

You are not a photocopy of anybody else in this world. You were uniquely designed, so there is an impact you were meant to have and unique abilities that came with that. Always have one foot in the dream.


Waceke runs programmes on personal finance and entrepreneurship. Get in touch with her on [email protected]|Facebook/WacekeNduati| [email protected]