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“Failure is the Fog Through Which We Glimpse Success”

"You can't always get what you want... but if you try sometime, you just might find, you get what you need." Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones (little known band of the 60's!) gave us a bit of advance notice as to what our future may look like, neither positive or negative. In our minds, most of us tend to formulate a picture of how the outcome of an unfolding event will end up. The catch here however, is that the success at that time is in our minds, and the ultimate outcome is the reality- sometimes very much unlike the fantasy. Having worked with an innumerable amount of people embroiled in either a personal or business project, there is no known guaranteed outcome as far as I have been able to ascertain. Even and especially with our lifespan; unfortunately, when we are born we are not stamped on our bum with an expiration date- life is like smelling the milk before you drink it- you never know when it's going to be bad. While the date on the label may help or give you a clue, there are so many factors that can turn the milk bad, long before the actual projected date.

I'm wondering: in both our personal and business lives, how many things can we do to thwart the natural progression of failure, and actually change the direction of our outcome? How often do you take stock of the tools readily available to you to change the outcome of an event, which may be changed with the available assistance of those tools? Most often, our inclination is to stay on the path most traveled- i.e. taking the easy, comfortable way out. I find though, the adage "if you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten" hangs true for the most part. Living inside the box is comfortable, but I find that unless you peer out the window or step out the door, safety unto itself can be dangerous. While wandering around the outside may sound very James Bondish, it certainly has its potential hazards- the potential of failure... and this is the fog through which we get a glimpse of potential success.

So what does the fog represent? It could be that you're ignoring your retirement assets and not paying attention to the changes that may be necessary to maximize your return. The media gives you a ton of information as to what's happening in both the domestic and international markets, not to mention the impending changes in rules and laws that may or may not affect you. If you're working with a professional (and I hope you are) is the fog keeping you from taking 15 minutes to call your CPA, attorney or Certified Financial Planner® to inquire as to how the news may affect your assets or liabilities... don't forget those liabilities. An adjustable loan or mortgage, credit card debt, personal loans... all may be affected by changes in tax laws and regulations. The new impending tax laws as of the date of this writing are going to change each of us materially and in our pockets- can you say that you've put in an effort to determine how, or have consulted with your professionals to ask? Have you serviced your car lately? Done an insurance review? Tested the security system in your home? Changed the batteries in your smoke and CO2 detectors? "Not having the time" is another way of saying you're in the fog... and navigating in fog is a dangerous thing- it certainly multiplies the chances of a negative outcome.

Everything we do in life has a method to the madness, as they say. The method, as far as I can see, is the ability to avoid the mystery of wandering in the blindness and moving out into a visually far smarter, more clear and more informed place unless you consciously choose to stay in the fog. Blindness goes from a choice to a necessity if you decide to stay in the fog- and you never know what goblins may lurk in the blindness...

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