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GS Article 3

Make It Your Goal To Grow

by Rajen Devadason

Intellect annuls fate. So far as a man thinks he is free.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Financial guru Robert T. Kiyosaki points out that often in the real world of business, it is the ‘A’ student who goes to work for the ‘C’ student!

I believe the wrong lesson to derive from this accurate observation is that doing well in school is useless. The right lesson is that it takes more than ‘book smarts’ to flourish in the real world. For a long time, I understood that truth intuitively. But I wasn’t able to figure out why exactly things seemed – not always, of course, but perhaps 95% of the time – to work out that way.

Then, quite recently, as part of my ongoing programme of self-education, I sauntered into a local bookstore and bought Goals!, by Brian Tracy. This extraordinary book has helped me add depth of knowledge and a range of exercises to the goal-setting module I offer my fee-based life planning clients. (Tracy’s material is extraordinary; I recommend it highly.)

In the book, Tracy refers to groundbreaking research carried out by Harvard University’s Dr Howard Gardner, the founder of a concept known as ‘multiple intelligences’. Apparently, each human being possesses at least eleven distinct intelligences:

1.     Verbal intelligence (as indicated by facility in writing and speaking);

2.     Mathematical intelligence (number-manipulation);

3.     Visio-spatial intelligence (art, design);

4.     Entrepreneurial intelligence (business start-ups);

5.     Kinesthetic intelligence (physical activity, sports);

6.     Musical intelligence (playing or writing music);

7.     Interpersonal intelligence (getting along well with others):

8.     Intrapersonal intelligence (understanding yourself at a profound level):

9.     Intuitive intelligence (ability to sense the right thing to do or say);

10. Artistic intelligence (creating works of art); and

11. Abstract intelligence (physics, science).

If your eyes just skimmed over that list, please read it again – slowly. But this time use a pen to jot down your own self-assessment of where you stand in each of those 11 areas.

An easy way to do so is to give yourself a mark between 1 and 10 for how you rate yourself in each of those 11 intelligences.

Almost everyone I know possesses at least two of these distinct intelligences to a high – even genius – level.

Of course, each of us also has areas where we’re dunces. For instance, I must have missed my turn when God was giving out visio-spatially attuned brain cells. Anytime I need to go some place new, I ask less visio-spatially-challenged friends to draw me ‘idiot-proof’ maps that (even) I can follow.

Too often, I still spend chunks of time sitting in my car at the side of the road rotating these maps to try and figure out where the landmarks are, and which way I’m supposed to turn next.

Thankfully, there are a few other intelligences that, according to my wife Rachel, I excel in.

You’re the same.

If you desire a life of financial abundance, the most important thing you can do today is take a hard, frank look at yourself and decide where you’re weak and where you’re strong.

You should work at strengthening your weak areas, if you feel they are specifically holding you back from firing on all pistons. And you certainly need to figure out some way to hone your natural strengths to hopefully raise their potency to world-beating proportions.

Indeed, I believe you should set at least three specific goals to do just that... to work on one core weak area and to sharpen two valuable strong areas.

As Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Intellect annuls fate. So far as a man thinks he is free.”

The key to financial freedom is to build a personal economy that taps into your latent abilities and harvests a crop of financial abundance.

Kiyosaki’s observation concerning ‘A’ students working for ‘C’ students is, I now believe, based on the stereotypical ‘A’ student excelling in verbal intelligence and mathematical intelligence in school, but never taking the trouble to hone other forms of intelligence that yield grand returns in his post-graduation world.

Plenty of ‘C’ students fail in life as well. But there is a fraction of them that discovers a highly marketable talent in adulthood. Such talent may be based on high visio-spatial intelligence for artists and fashion designers; entrepreneurial intelligence for budding tycoons, successful professionals and practical inventors; kinesthetic intelligence for NBA stars; musical intelligence for composers and commercial jingle writers; interpersonal intelligence for public relations superstars; intrapersonal intelligence for pop philosophers; intuitive intelligence for entertainers and politicians; artistic intelligence for, surprise, surprise, artists; and abstract intelligence for scientists.

Somewhere in that list lurks a hint of how you might be able to excel.

It has often been said that each of us utilises less than 10% of our brainpower throughout our entire lives. I don’t know what the scientific basis is for such claims, but based on my experience of very occasionally hitting high gear when thinking, writing, speaking, consulting, and interacting, I know that I spend most of my time operating at a level much lower than I am truly capable of attaining.

Again, you’re the same.

The rare times we hit high gear for a discernibly long period is known in athletic circles as ‘staying in the zone’. Remember that phrase.

In this material world we inhabit, financial security is most often achieved by optimising the cash stream that gushes into our lives during periods of high productivity. Then managing a portion of that gusher to take care of our future needs.

Bottomline: Identify how to increase the net inflow of cash into your life.  Then make it a goal to do so within the next 12 months. After that, meticulously plan your finances.

Figure out what you need to do in the short- and medium-term to finance long-term plans for a golden retirement, for instance.

The financial planning definition I use in training sessions is the official one coined by the US-based Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards:

"Financial planning is the process of meeting your life goals through the proper management of your finances."

It seems to me, the most sensible thing each of us can do in terms of ‘properly managing our finances’ is to question our present earning capacity and figure out ways to upwardly migrate our performance levels to a higher plane of economic existence.

Awakening a personal intelligence that has been dormant might be the best way to ensure that in the years to come, smart people end up working for you – regardless of how well, or badly, you did in school. So make it your goal to do just that!

© Rajen Devadason


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Rajen Devadason, CEO RD WealthCreation Sdn Bhd & RD Book Projects
349, Desa Rasah, Jalan Bayan 7, 70300 Seremban, NS, Malaysia
Tel/Fax: +606 632 8955