When was the last time you had a DEEP FINANCIAL THOUGHT? Do you remember anything specific about that deep thought? Did it make you anxious or excited? Or just weirdly confused?
Starting in high school and continuing into college, I was a regular viewer of “Saturday Night Live.” I believe the show’s success for almost fifty years is because it caters to a very specific viewer who is looking for a show that “speaks their language” or at least they can identify as “their show.”
I’m not writing this to get into a discussion about the merits or dangers of SNL. I’m writing this because during my identifying years with SNL, one of my favorite segments was “Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey.”
Some soft lyrical music would play and a quote would run on the screen that always started out promising or inspiring but kind of ended up weird or wrong. Imagine some soft background view of a babbling brook and light music while you hear these quotes said in a soft voice…
AND NOW…DEEP THOUGHTS….BY JACK HANDEY
"If you ever drop your keys into a river of molten lava, let' em go, because, man, they're gone."
"How come the dove gets to be the peace symbol? How about the pillow? It has more feathers than the dove, and it doesn't have that dangerous beak."
"It's easy to sit there and say you'd like to have more money. And I guess that's what I like about it. It's easy. Just sitting there, rocking back and forth, wanting that money.”
So why the homage to a satirical “serious” piece from SNL? As we approach the halfway mark of 2021, this is a good time to stop and refocus on financial goals, financial plans and financial next steps. I could give you a motivational story about changing your financial future. Or I could quote you facts and statistics. All these approaches have their place and I’ll use them in the future.
But, instead of these traditional approaches, I’m offering a different method and am asking you to try a DEEP THINKING exercise. Instead of the facts and figures, I’ve crafted some deep questions to see where your mind takes you. Why? Thinking deeply about a subject might take you beyond the surface and get to your motivations. You might end up inspired to take long needed action if you think more deeply about where you are and where you want to go on your financial journey. And my guess is that you won’t finish these deep thoughts with a horrible punch line, but a better grasp on your financial plan.
Therefore, with all due respect to Jack Handey…may I present…
DEEP FINANCIAL QUESTIONS…with Steven Julian.
Questions about your future lifestyle…
Visualize yourself in a successful financial future. This future can be anywhere from 10 to 30 years from now. It’s 11:00 on a Tuesday morning and you are financially where you want to be in life.
- What are you doing at that moment?
- What’s on your agenda or what’s taking up your time later that afternoon?
Questions about your future ability to financially help others…
Think about someone or a group of people you care about very deeply. Imagine you are in a better financial position than you are today. You are now able to help this group of people with your time, talents and treasures.
- What are you doing to help those people specifically that you aren’t able to do today due to your financial situation?
- What are you doing (or could be doing) today that you would continue to do even if your financial situation improved?”
Questions about your future income…
You’ve probably been asked a version of the financial planning question – “What’s your number?” This is usually the amount of money you need coming in each month in today’s dollars to cover your financial needs.
But I’d like to ask you a slightly different question – “What’s your NEXT LEVEL number?”
- Do you have a maximum fixed amount you can earn?
- Do you have a number where you would say “anything above that and I’d just look to give it away?”
- Do you have an audacious dream or desire with a number attached to it? What’s the number?”
Questions about obstacles in your path…
To be sure I circle this back to Mr. Handey, let me ask you to think deeply about the obstacles in your path like the “molten lava flow” or “dangerous dove beaks.”
- What can trip you up in the near future?
- What keeps you up at night?
- What are the questions you’re not sure how to ask or who to ask?
Well, there you have it – four sets of questions to get you thinking deeply about your financial journey. Please take some time and write out your answers. Then take the big step of talking to someone else about any or all your answers. I’d be happy to have a conversation to listen to your answers. We can discuss financial issues you’re facing or your future plans that need to be financially addressed. I never charge for a good conversation around good questions.
Steven M. Julian, AIF® | (470) 655-1117 | Steven@infinitywmg.com
Check out Jack Handey’s official website with his books and other works – www.deepthoughtsbyjackhandey.com.
Feel free to check out some YouTube examples, too.