Last updated on February 7th, 2013 at 04:34 pm
Making your money dreams come true requires exactly the same thing as making any dream come true: healthy executive functioning.
Executive functioning does not mean entrepreneurial or management skill in a strict business sense. Rather, it refers toÂ a set of innate skills that is housed in the frontal lobe of the human brain.
These are skills that most of you out there no doubt take for granted:
- The ability to pause and think before speaking or reacting emotionally
- The ability toÂ hold more than one thing at a time in memory, such where you left your keys five minutes ago, and where you hid your spare keys so you would always have a backup
- The ability to track time, so you don’t leave a pan of beets roasting in the oven for three damn hours, all the while asking yourself, what’s that odd smell? Someone must be tarring a roof around here (actually a compound skill with the one above, but why quibble?)
- The ability to remember things when you need to remember them, like picking your kid up from school at 3:00 when school lets out, not at 3:45 when he sends you a text asking if you’re in a car wreck
- The ability to just begin something – anything at all, please, I’m begging you, just pick something and start!
- The ability to hang in there, if you ever do start; and to finish a project even when you start to lose interest and decide that after all, you can blow off lower division geology, even though it means you’re going to be 3 mandatory units short for the degree that cost you thousands of dollars and five years of your life to not earn
- The ability to use metacognition – to get out of your own way, use forethought and hindsight, and don’t make the same mistakes over and over.
See? These are the skills any dreamer needs in order to progress from dreaming to actually accomplishing. No matter whether your dream is to get on top of your money, or be a great photographer, or publish a book, or launch a product, or be a life coach, or be a top blogger, or make a living traveling, or live the American DreamÂ – no matter WHAT your dream is, you need executive functioning to make it happen.
There’s no substitute and no work-around.
The good news:Â executive functions are natural toÂ human beings. Our brains are built for them. Learning to walk and talk, for example, require at least a rudimentary grasp of almost all of the executive functioning skills. So if you can walk and/or talk, you’ve got the basic feature set, and most of us can improve from there.
Of course,Â not everyone has all the skills in perfect balance, which is another way of saying every individual has his or her own strengths and weaknesses.
My Virgo Man, for example, can track time like a demon, and is great at starting and finishing projects, but he’s not that great with holding things in memory. My O Psychic One son is persistent (to risk grave understatement), but shows no natural capacity to think before speaking.Â Sir Empath is exactly the opposite – he will never speak before thinking (for days sometimes), but cannot persist at much of anything.
It’s not a problem if you find you’re a little disorganized, or a little emotional, for example.Â You just leverage your other executive functions to make up for it. It’s only a problem if you’re disorganized or emotional or lacking in the other functions to such a degree that it interferes with your living a happy, successful life. When that happens, perhaps you have a deficit.
I’m saying all this because if any of you out there have the same feeling that I do – that you should be accomplishing more of your goals; that you’re always late; that your desk is an unholy mess; that you just cannot get started even when you want to do something you like doing; then you might want to look into executive functions.
More to come in Making Your Money Dreams Come True – Part Two.