people partying

Give Them Wings and Super Bowls!

How you spend your time and energy determines your future success

Last Sunday, millions of people tuned in to watch a game that has turned into a national holiday in the US—the Super Bowl.

I heard one story of a family that hosts a party each year for over 150 of their closest friends. The guy spends 24 hours smoking meat to feed to the crowd, getting up every couple hours to check the temperature , as well as countless other hours making all the sides to go with the meat. It’s costs thousands of dollars to pull off.

I believe that the same kinds of feasts were created by older civilizations to celebrate the gods.

During the football season, grown men and women spend hours upon hours a week pouring over stats, memorizing hundreds of football players, and making adjustments to their fantasy football lineups…all to have bragging rights and maybe a few hundred dollars of pool money.

Now, ask any of these people to focus on building their financial education and investments, and what do you think the top excuses will be?

“I don’t have enough time and money.”

And that’s exactly what those are—excuses. The reality is that we all have time and money for the things that we are passionate about. Unfortunately, in the US, most people are passionate about things that bring little long-term return, and only offer momentary enjoyment.

It was the great Roman poet, Juvenal, who said, “Give them bread and circuses and they will never revolt.” He was capturing the ingenious tactic of the Roman emperors to distract the Roman populous from things of consequence by directing their attention to festivals and food. Today, it could be translated, “Give them hot wings and Super Bowls.”

Chances are, if people spend as much time learning about how money works, and how the ultra rich use it to their advantage, they’d stop caring about sports and fattening foods and start a revolt.

Now, I’m not against having passions and fun. Far from it. But I do find it tragic when men and women trade in their financial future in service of such things. When they take every ounce of passion and energy they have left and “check out” until the next workday.

We were made for something more.

This week, as the post-Super Bowl hysteria winds down, take a sober look at your life. Where are you really investing your time and energy? Are you building for long term returns, or are you focused on enjoying the now at the cost of your future? The answer might scare you.

The question now is, what will you do about it?

If you’re ready to get your personal finances in order, stay tuned for my new course, How to Manage Your Money.

Original publish date: February 09, 2016

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