It’s ok. Personal finance is an exercise in mistake management more than a pursuit of perfection.
— Tim Maurer (@TimMaurer) January 12, 2022
We all mistakes. Nobody is perfect. Especially when it comes to our finances. As Ramit Sethi notes:
“The path to a Rich Life isn’t perfect. You’ll make money mistakes, relationship mistakes — you may even change what a Rich Life looks like for you. And that’s totally fine. Make your mistakes early when the stakes are lower and you can learn from them.”
Don’t think you can rationalize your way through. It actually helps to feel the loss. Tracy Bower at Fast Company writes:
It is a myth that you should avoid feeling the pain of a loss or a failure. In fact, research from Ohio State University found that when people focused on their emotions after a loss, they were more likely to do better the next time. Too often, people tend to rationalize defeats and process them cognitively—telling themselves the loss didn’t matter or it was beyond their control.
But there is a difference between feeling a loss and wallowing in it. As Barry Ritholtz at the Big Picture writes:
“The sooner you begin to accept mistakes are inevitable, stop beating yourself up over them, and just fix what is not working, the faster the compounding can start.”
Mistakes are only valuable if we turn them into lessons learned. The sooner we do so, the better, because good things take time. As Tim Maurer writes:
The one theme that is likely common among the host of intentions activated in your financial planning is that they will take time to materialize. Thankfully, we’ve learned that a great deal of the enjoyment we derive from the benchmark moments in our lives is owed to their anticipation.
Here’s hoping you are able to learn from your mistakes and compound your successes.