An Imagined Coffee Break

By David Geller   |   July 9, 2010

First Sip of Coffee – What a lucky break! For a moment imagine that you just won the Power Lotto.  The one hundred million dollar jackpot has just been deposited into your bank account.  Just imagine what you could do with all that money.

Oh the possibilities! Would you like to buy a big mansion, a super yacht, throw great parties? How about taking a spacewalk?  What about helping that good-natured grown child of yours get his struggling business off the ground?  Maybe you prefer to make a huge donation to your church or perhaps the Red Cross?  Do you want to sock some away for a rainy day?  Go ahead, take a couple of  minutes of this coffee break and create just this list.  Let your imagination run free!

Once you have put down everything you can think of, begin to categorize your list.  There are only four categories of things you can do with money:

    1. Invest so that money makes more money;
    2. Spend it on yourself;
    3. Spend it on people you love; or
    4. Spend it on the world.

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Do you see a pattern in how you imagine using your wealth?

Next Sip – Goals.   In front of each item on your list, write down what you hope to get, or in other words what goals you hope to achieve with your new-found wealth.  You will find that most of the goals revolve around security, comfort, greater power, love or happiness.  You likely will discover that money alone is not sufficient and that you can achieve most of these goals only in conjunction with other people in your life or the world.

Next few sips – Making it Happen. As you look at your list, do you think that the goals you have written down are goals you truly want to achieve?  Do these goals define what is most important to you in your life, regardless of whether or not you currently have the means to get them?  If so, can you think of ways to achieve all or part of these goals using other aspects of your wealth, such as your talents, time, body/mind, your wisdom, your relationships and networks instead of money?  Can you think of ways to make one or more of these goals a reality by spending far less money than you previously thought possible? Can you think of alternative ways to bring about these changes through others in your world without any money or very little money?  If so, write down these ideas next to each goal.

Bottom of the cup – Heart of the Matter. Now place a check mark next to the goals you now believe you can achieve but you have not attempted because you thought you needed more money. Do you find yourself pleasantly surprised?  Successful billionaires who amass great amounts of money do so not just by making more money, but also by imagining the world as it could be and effectively leveraging all their resources, not just their money, to achieve their goals.

Time to Stretch! To make this exercise more effective, you can share this exercise and your goals with your friends and people who are close to you.  They may just have new and innovative solutions to achieving some of your goals that you did not think about!  Of course, if you would you like to work with a professional wealth coach who can help you think through your options systematically and help you harness all your resources, you can contact one of our GV Financial Advisors.

Back to reality. And in the meantime, you still will need about four dollars for a latte to make this imaginary break into a real coffee break.

About the Author

CEO David Geller co-founded the firm in 1991 and led the creation of Behavioral Wealth Management. Recognized on numerous prestigious "top financial advisor" lists, David is an in-demand speaker for professional groups and JOYN workshops. His writings have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Huffington Post.

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