While at a conference in downtown Boston last October I came across this graffiti on the side of a building. It made me stop to think - how well do we adapt to changes outside our control?
Some of the happiest clients I've spoken to during the Great Recession were those who were able to adapt to the current economic realities. They didn't spend a lot of energy fretting losing the dreams they had when things were booming. In fact, they didn't actually lose their dreams - they adapted them.
Many of them are business owners, executives and people who've managed successful careers in the corporate world, the public sector and as entrepreneurs. These are people who are used to planning and aiming high. These people are used to achieving success.
After helping them to do some planning, they made decisions such as the following:
Stopped spending money on things that weren't important to them.
Reduced spending on things that were important to them - even things like food.
Many of them downsized their homes.
They bought a less-expensive car than they used to.
Had these clients not made these changes, they would be stuck and frustrated. Instead they felt liberated and well-prepared for the future. How did they do this? They simply looked at where they were spending their money...and every one of them was surprised at how much they spend. Once they made the changes they felt in control again.
"Adaptability" could very well be one of the most important traits to successfully building wealth. When circumstances beyond your control change do you feel stuck and frustrated, or do you adapt?