Many people who start the journey of wealth creation will learn some strategies or gain some knowledge in a particular asset category and go out and look to implement what they’ve learned.
They get very enthusiastic, and understand that wealth can be theirs, and sometimes they experience difficulties in implementing the strategies or alternatively, other things crop up in their life that cause some difficulties which means they slow down or they stop.
This was most definitely me. I thought I knew it all and that wealth would come to me almost as a given, because I knew the strategies and they would just work, right?
I would encourage you to understand the way that life moves and where life goes so that you can understand what is likely to occur in your life as you embark on the journey of wealth creation.
When you go into the marketplace, things will go right and things will go wrong…
Take responsibility for the good stuff that comes. Take responsibility for the bad stuff that comes. If you make yourself accountable, if you hold yourself to a higher level of standard than anybody else will hold you to, then you will excel.
The Seasons of Life
I first learned of the following story from Jim Rohn, an early guru in the psychology of success.
It is called the Four Seasons of Life.
This analogy was one of the greatest freedoms in my life. It freed me up to allow me not to beat myself up when things went wrong, and it freed me up to allow me to enjoy things when they went right.
Life is like the four seasons — spring, summer, autumn, and winter — and our life goes through these seasons as we get older. Just like the world naturally goes through spring, summer, autumn, and winter, our life naturally goes through these seasons as we progress.
Sometimes the summers are shorter and cooler. Sometimes they’re longer and hotter.
You may have found that your life can sometimes feel like its negative 100 degrees then go straight to 50 degrees positive. Others, someone you know maybe, have more smooth lives, yet the analogy is that our life is just like the four seasons.
It will roll through regardless of what we do. Summer comes regardless of how much we love skiing.
In other words, we are going to have spring times in our life no matter what we do. We are going to have summer times in our life no matter what we do. We are going to have autumns no matter what we do, and indeed, we are going to have winters regardless of what we do because this is the natural way.
Let’s start in winter. Winter is a time to consolidate. You can imagine that winter of our life is when things are not going very well for us. Things are starting to get tough. The economy is slow.
We may go through a personal tragedy or a breakup in our relationship, or something like that has impacted our lives, so things are just not wonderful.
It is time to stop and to consolidate, and to discover in our life what is going on, and use that time as a time of learning.
It’s a time to plan our goals and our destiny for the rest of the seasons. It’s a time to look back and say, “What did we do right? What did we do wrong? What could we improve? What skills, knowledge and abilities do I need for the future?”
This is the time when we prepare ourselves for spring. Prepare for the future, to think, to contemplate, to consolidate, to look back and to look forward.
We can ask the question at this point, “How can I solve the problems that I have?”
“What did I do to bring on this winter? How did I make it happen?” and just as importantly, “What am I doing to keep myself in this situation? Am I keeping myself depressed about something I should let go? Am I beating myself up about a share trading loss when I should just get on with it? Am I accepting far too much responsibility for what’s going on?”
If we prepare for winter, it can be a wonderful time. It can be a time when we can lock ourselves up and plan, relax, consolidate, read, and keep on moving in our future.
Our lives will go on around us but we will have the resources necessary in order for us to be able to be calm, to be at peace with ourselves in the world.
But if we have not prepared for winter, if we don’t have anything set aside, then winter can be a time of peril, it can be a time of difficulty, it can be a time of personal tragedy, and it can be a time that we will always hate.
But just like everything else, spring automatically follows winter… if we allow it to occur.
It’s easy to lock yourself into winter by thinking those negative thoughts.
In spring, it is a time to be active. This is when opportunity is presented to you and when opportunity is presented, take massive action. This is not the time to sit back. This is not the time to consolidate.
This is not even the time to learn. This is the time to shoot first, aim later. This is the time to get into it. Clear out the weeds — worry, fear, doubt, negativity, and negative people.
Negativity can squash and kill your dreams, the dreams that you created during winter. Spring is a time to plant the seeds that will bring your dreams to fruition. Now is the time to be busy… but the most important thing that we need to understand is that spring is short.
The opportunities are presented very fleetingly and they must be grabbed with both hands, and entered into as soon as you can. The more that you see, do, and achieve during spring, the more will come to you later. What you sow, so shall you reap.
You will know when you’re in springtime because everything seems to be handed to you on a platter.
A lot of people over the last few years have asked me why I’m so busy. Why have I been doing so much? My answer has always just been, “Because it’s spring.” There will be ample time later for me to stop and take stock as winter will naturally come.
For those of you who are gardeners, you’ll understand how simple this analogy is because in springtime, what do you do?
You do the planting in spring, and you do the weeding and all that type of stuff in summer. What must you do to your baby plants? Water them and protect them, make sure the bugs don’t get on them. In summer, that is the time for protection. That is the time for making your dreams into reality, for managing them.
It’s the time to protect, nurture, and defend these plans, goals, dreams, ambitions, and opportunities that you put into place in springtime. Hard work can be spoiled in summer. Many people get plans just to a point where they’re just about to take off and leave them.
You’ve wasted your spring if you do that. Now is the time to watch them.
I remember that I used to always do this. I used to be a great starter. I would never be a great finisher. I had to learn that I had to nurture and protect my projects.
I had to weed out the negativity and make sure that my dreams and business plans were protected. This was a time to ensure and protect and to support, prepare for the challenges because in summer, you will be presented with challenges. It is universal law that as soon as you start to achieve something, you will be challenged.
Expect them. Plan for them. The sun will be too hot sometimes. If you plan for those eventualities though, you will be more capable of managing them.
When we put a plan into place in spring, we should be ready for the problems that we’re going to encounter.
I try to teach in my course material the risks, the problems that you’re going to encounter when you get out there in the marketplace. Not to scare you from not doing it, because I want you to do it, but more so that when they actually arise, you’ll be ready for them.
It is a time in summer to break bad habits and attitudes. This is a time for us to forget about old habits, to expand our identity, to expand our paradigm of what is possible for ourselves, and most importantly of all, this is the time to believe in yourself.
Just as summer follows spring, autumn automatically follows summer. Autumn is the harvest. This is when we get to reap what we sowed in spring.
This is when we get to find out how good we were in spring, how good our planning was, how good our protection was in summer, and if it was good, we will be rewarded bountifully.
If it wasn’t, our harvest will be thin.
In autumn, that’s the time when we put aside the surplus. It’s the time when we prepare for what’s coming up.
If we broke our bad habits in summer, then new habits will have been established by autumn, and autumn is either a time for joy or it is a time for excuses because we know what’s coming next, because the bountiful harvest will always come to an end.
But if we have been intelligent and we have put aside sufficient to shore us up for the next season, then winter can be a time of consolidation, a time to relax, a time to enjoy and a time to repair for our next spring.
The amazing thing is that the four seasons in our life will occur regardless. For me, this was a great explanation. I’ve embraced this analogy with an enormous amount of relief because it means that I no longer have to struggle. It means that if winter is here, I just have to relax and accept it and plan for my next spring.
It means when I notice spring appearing, it’s time to get busy. Then when the days start getting long and hot, I know that it’s a time to protect and nurture, and manage my ideas, my goals, my ambitions and plans into fruition.
When the days start getting cooler and short again, it is a time to celebrate my harvest, and so my cycles go on and on. If you look back at your life, you will probably very clearly be able to identify your winters, the times when personal tragedy has struck, when things have got difficult.
Maybe something went wrong but if you also look back in the light of this analogy, you will also be able to see when spring started again for you.
If you take a look at your life, I bet that you struggled against this, that you were working when you were supposed to be protecting, that you were protecting when you were supposed to be planning and that you were not relaxing when you were supposed to be relaxing.
I often think of this analogy when I look up and things seem to be going very difficultly for me because I realized that I use struggle as my guide. Life is meant to be simple.
It flows through summer into autumn into winter into spring. When we have struggle, things are difficult around us, then we are obviously off path. We just need to look for our path again and relax into life, and it will be there for us.
For me, this has been very important to understand the ebb and flow of my wealth creation as well because not all the time will everything be rosy. Not all the time will we walk into a bullish market place… Not all the time will property be booming…
All of this is a natural process. If we allow these processes to happen in our lives, and we take a look and say, “Well, a share market crash is just another opportunity.” A crash is time for us to repair, to hone our skills, to get ready for the next bull run.
More money is made in winter than is ever made in summer. Wealthy people know that winter is a time of opportunity if we’re prepared for it… so I wish for you to be prepared.