How We Know What Isn’t So

Posted by on August 24, 2009 in Financial Planning, Readings | 0 comments

Several years ago, a colleague recommended to me How We Know What Isn’t So: The Fallibility of Human Reason in Everyday Life by Thomas Gilovich. He said it explores present-day myths that persist despite scientific evidence to the contrary. I haven’t yet read the book, but I was so intrigued by the concept, that it’s stuck with me and become a tool I use to check my own thoughts and assumptions.

How do we know what isn’t so?

I used to think I wanted to live the “corporate lifestyle.” My first clue to the contrary was in grad school. I was applying for positions with the Big 5 accounting firms, and a professor told me that one day I’d be paying someone to pick up my dry cleaning, do my grocery shopping, cooking, etc. She said it as if this was a desirable inevitability, but to me it wasn’t. I didn’t want to be working so much that I didn’t have time to pick out my own fruits and vegetables or enjoy some of the simple pleasures of life. And yet, I accepted the offer of my dream job with a Big 5 firm in Charlotte.

Sometimes we have to live the dream to realize it’s not our true desire. What had I been hoping the corporate lifestyle would bring me? What was it I had been searching for in a way that missed the mark? What different choice might I have made if my true desires had been more clear to me?

It is “imperative that you and your clients understand … their underlying motives for the significant financial decisions of their lives. Without this understanding, your work could be based on faulty logic.” ~ Courtney Pullen

So I ask you …

How do you assist your clients in determining their financial goals?

How do you help them evaluate whether or not their stated goals are their true authentic goals?

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