I, have been part of the Qweshunga outfit that encourages adults to play for over four years now, and along this journey, I have encountered various creatives designing games and creating tools for adults to play better. One such tool is a cards game created to facilitate themed conversations geared towards gaining a deeper knowledge of one another called “Can We Talk”

In one of the packs lies a question about what subject you would introduce in any school curriculum and why. If you ask me, it would be financial management. Why? We spend a really long time and a whole lot of money in school being taught about ancient, current, and coming knowledge of formulae and equations, theories and strategies, histories and civilizations, religious dogmas and axioms et cetera to launch us into a world where, for most of us, our primary ambition is making as much money as we can. We believe, albeit wrongly, that acquisition of money equals success. And there does not exist a single person for whom success is not alluring.

“Where is the problem with that?” you ask.

I’m glad you did. We have pursued money and many people have gotten it. Some have even amassed it. Whether it is through tactful and informed maneuvers, playing their cards right, a stroke of luck or inheritance, money has been made. And then there is money that hasn’t been made too. Those that have not made as much perhaps should sit at the feet of those who have and learn the tricks of the game. That’s one of the foolproof ways of getting anything we lack that life has gifted us with – the idea that because one person has tested and approved a strategy, if they will unreservedly teach another and the other opens themselves up to learning, they can achieve the same result. That said, there are things that accompany financial gain that we need to shine a bright light on. Chief among those, I posit, is management.

Management is the effective, efficient, correct and timely use of resources for their specific purpose. This carries within itself the element of stewardship. Stewardship is the conducting, supervising or managing of something: the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care. Good management leads to added value. If you do not add value to what has been committed to your care, you are not a good steward and therefore a bad manager. Our world is awash with stories of poor managers. They have been the causes of booms and bursts, financial crises, Ponzi schemes et cetera.

A bad manager wants more when they cannot account for the little they had. Wealth is built, unless inherited, by incremental and deliberate management of resources. If you cannot manage one hundred dollars, one thousand dollars should not be committed to your management. If you are not diligent in your employment designation, you should not be promoted or be given bigger assignments. Much more, you are not ready to be a business owner. I could give a myriad of examples. The root of bad management is that you do not see the value in what you have now that could get you to what you want. Waste does not attract more.

Let me pivot to what can and should be done. There are many books, courses and platforms from which one can gain financial literacy, learn about saving and overcome economic challenges. With the world as it is, everything can be availed to you in seconds. Them that seek, find. Are you them?

Give up your delusion(s). Dreaming is fine. What’s best is to start from your reality and work towards the dream. What’s worst is forcing your dream to become your now-reality. Start with what you have, manage it well and grow it. Remember, what you mismanage, you lose. Different ‘money-talkers’ have different percentages derived from different calculations, inclinations and beliefs. I won’t pile on them. Work out what works for you and live within your means. Whatever you do, do not stop dreaming. You must always desire and reach for more.

Pay it forward. That dream that you have, start bringing it closer each day by depositing on it in the now. The knowledge you gain now is the wisdom you have for later. The activities you do repeatedly now are the routines and habits you practice later. The relationships you invest in now are the plugs for later. The debts you pay now, though painfully, make for the liberty and peace you enjoy later. The savings you make today birth the independence for retirement. Whatever you desire, find a way to buy the future in your now.

Embrace your journey. You are in a race alone. Your only competition is you. Strive to be better than who you were yesterday or last week or the year before. Zone in on your path and let the progress and success of others fade into oblivion. Refer to them only for inspiration, motivation and encouragement of what’s possible. Of what lies ahead. Of where you are headed.

While on this journey, change your mindset. Where you are now is the product of maintained beliefs about yourself over a given period of time. Are you willing to make the necessary adjustments to change your life from what it is to what you want it to be? Nothing comes without a price.

The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight but they were toiling upward in the night.- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Find written, audio or video material in the discipline you want to improve and bury yourself in it. In all this, I speak to myself too. Try them, why don’t you?