There are two ways to operate a canoe: drift or paddle.
Most people drift.
Most people say “Thank God it’s Friday” and ”Oh God it’s Monday” (and really mean it).
Most people spend more time planning their vacation than they do their life.
It is really easy to drift because we’re not encouraged to paddle. Some of us don’t even have our oars in the water.
This means that paddling at all, even with the crude, splashy stroke of a beginner, sets you apart. Just being intentional is a big deal.
So you’re ready to start paddling, but you have no map. Is this a problem?
Any Plan Will Do At First
We don’t just want a map, we want the best map.
We seek the perfect plan, and we don’t want to get started until we’ve found it.
“I don’t know what books to read.”
“I don’t know how to paint.”
“I don’t know how to start exercising.”
Or the one I’m struggling with right now:
“I don’t know how to start investing.”
It doesn’t really matter what book you start with. It’s the reading habit that’s important, and if you read a lot, you’ll get better at picking what to read. You’ll eventually read some incredible books that alter the course of your life.
No one knows how to paint, or write, or make music at the beginning. You have to start with incompetence. There’s no other way.
There are a zillion exercise routines for beginners available online. Here’s one:
- Go for a one-mile walk every day for the next week. Or a two-mile jog every other day. Put it on your calendar and set a daily alarm on your smartphone so you don’t forget.
- A week from now, plan out the next week based on how it went.
- Rinse and repeat.
What about my investing cluelessness? I could make an appointment with a financial planner, couldn’t I? I mean, I’ve already got a name from someone I trust. Why don’t I just call and set up an appointment? I think I’ll do that.
Let’s both make a plan to take care of something we’ve been neglecting. Let’s not try to make a perfect plan, though. Instead, how about we start with an average plan and improve it as we go?
How about we paddle?