It’s not always easy to follow a plan. Have you ever looked at your GPS and thought “I know a faster way”? As you see cars turning off at an exit before the one you’re routed to take you begin to wonder, “Should I get off there instead?” Quickly designing an alternate route by looking at the map, wondering if the result of “recalculating route” will put you ahead of schedule or cause you to lose precious time. You have seconds to make a decision. Do you panic and take the unknown exit? Or follow the outlined path?
It’s easy to abandon what you know when you want to get where you’re going, faster. We live in a “get it now” society where instant gratification is presented as a possibility in nearly every facet of our world. Just because the option is available, doesn’t mean you should always take it. The ‘next best thing’ will always be there if it really is the next best thing. This is an example of why being committed to a disciplined process is detrimental to your success. If you truly believe in why you’re doing what you do, the patience is built in to the process and it’s easier to say ‘no’ to the distractions.
I was asked recently, “who made all the money in the gold rush?” Foolishly I answered, “the ones who go there first.” (If you also thought this, you’re not a fool, I follow the logic!). But it wasn’t the miners who made the most money. It was jean and shovel manufacturers. This was how Levi’s made their big boom in the clothing industry. While so many were focused on obtaining gold, they capitalized by seeing an alternate view of the situation. Levi Strauss experienced their own exponential growth by providing quality resources to the masses and developed a product that has been a staple for over a century, since. They stayed committed to what they do and knew why they had to do it.
This is also true when it comes to your financial planning. Maintaining dedication to your investment philosophy and strategy will give clarity on whether you should say yes or no to that alternate route or next best thing. There will always be new options, and the question is do they fit in your strategy? Are they going to take you where you’re going? And do they align with the philosophy you’ve adopted?
Resist taking the turn just because you see others headed that direction. Remember, only you know why you are going where you’re headed. After all, maybe those other drivers were unknowingly following a lost person ahead.