Past & Future. That’s the focus when creating a financial model. Tracking the past to validate assumptions:
Am I really saving what I said I would?
Am I really getting the gains on my investments that I expect?
And of course, estimating the future – that’s the meat and potatoes:
What will I be able to save a year from now, or 5, or 10?
How will the market perform over the long haul, are my predictions too conservative or too optimistic?
When making a financial model, we’re almost always trapped in the past or future – but that’s not where life happens. Life happens in the now. And when you stay too long ruminating on the past, upon things you cannot change, upon decisions that cannot be altered – you are missing something you might want to change right now, or a decision that might benefit from your attention.
And when we wistfully consider the future, if we focus too much on what we do not have, have not achieved, or the unfulfilled desires of our soul – we create a burden that weighs on us, a heft that distorts our living now. We find ourselves on auto-pilot, not tasting our food, not appreciating a goodnight hug from our kid.
The past is gone, and the further gone it is, the more it distorts our memory. The more we get it wrong.
And the future is not yet – and no matter how much time we spend in prediction, it never quite works out the way we think.
But NOW life is happening. Now is real in a way the past and future can never be – don’t miss now.
A man was chased off a cliff by a tiger, he clung to vine that lay over the side. Two other hungry tigers waited below for the man to fall. A group of mice began to chew at the vine – it became thinner and thinner. The man knew he would fall to his death at any moment. Just then he noticed a strawberry also clinging to side of the cliff. He stretched far out to reach it – just barely catching it between his finger and thumb.
The strawberry was delicious.