Recall we said the number one rule for ways to save money was ~ pay yourself first!
Here is the second rule ~ take personal responsibility!
What does that have to do with money saving tips? What does that have to do with my retirement savings account and my 401k plan? Everything! Let me explain this way. I recall reading an article some time ago about why we continue to make the same mistakes over and over. You know what the findings were? The number one reason for repeating the same mistakes was placing blame on others. I had to think about that one before I realized the power of it.
If I am placing blame on someone else for a condition I find in my life, what am I saying? What am I saying really? And it is this: you were wrong, you did me an injustice, you mislead me, you cheated me or whatever… so… therefore, I do not have to look at my part in it. You were wrong so I do not have to see where I could learn from the outcome I am now experiencing.
photo © 2005 Karan J | more info (via: Wylio)
The fact that many or even most of my friends would agree with me and tell me I am justified in blaming someone else does nothing for me to avoid the same or similar situation in the future. What is the old saying…? “Fool me once. Shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”
Blaming someone else for the condition of my life or any aspect of it keeps me stuck in the role of a martyr and victim. If I am not willing to look at my choices and take personal responsibility for them I will be forever stuck. The simple truth is that I and I alone am responsible for the condition of every aspect of my life by virtue of the sum total of the choices and decisions I have made in my life.
This does not mean I have to live a life of isolation. It does not mean I have to do any of this alone. The truth is it is to my benefit to ask for help, to listen to the counsel of those wiser than me. I am also allowed to take anyone’s advice ~ provided I retain personal responsibility for any outcome. And, after giving any situation a reasonable amount of time to produce outcomes that are desired or expected, I am allowed to adjust whatever I need to, without anyone’s permission, if those outcomes are not being produced.
How does it benefit me to blindly, automatically, place the future of my retirement savings account in the hands of a 401k Plan Provider and their philosophy? What good is it going to do me to reach my desired or mandatory retirement age only to find out that buy and hold; asset allocation; modern portfolio theory and or target date funds did not produce enough money at the end of the day to free me from the need for full or part-time work to maintain my style of living?
Fool me once: Remember the 2001-2001 market crash resulting from the technology bubble?
Fool me twice: Remember the 2008 market crash from the liquidity crisis?
Care to try for a third market crash?