My brother and I were playing chess they other day. He had a winning move that we both missed. After the game we found it, and why we both missed is the inspiration for this article.
The move we missed involved moving his Rook next to my King. My King would have been in check, and the only option I had was to take the Rook (it wasn’t defended by another piece). And that’s why we missed the move.
When we saw that my King could capture his Rook, we dismissed the move out of hand. In other words, we failed to ask one of the most important life question one can ask–what if?
If either of us had asked that question, the beauty of the Rook sacrifice would have revealed itself. What if the King takes the Rook? The answer was a beautiful two move combination that either resulted in checkmate or the loss of my Queen.
What if. . . .
The application of this to our finances and life are limited only by our imaginations–
What if you started saving 3% of our income in a 401k or IRA?
What if you got rid of one of your cars? All of your cars?
What if you paid cash for your cars, limiting how much you spent to the money you had saved for the purchase?
What if you downsized not at retirement, but in your 30’s, 40’s, or 50’s?
What if you canceled cable?
What if you moved to a less expensive area of the city (or country)?
What if only one spouse worked so the other could stay home with the kids?
What if you took a year off from work and took the family on a trip across the country or around the world?
What if you voted for politicians not because their proposed policies would make your life easier, but because they would make our country better?
What if we put down our picket signs asking for a $15 minimum wage, and instead through training and education found a job that pays two or three times the minimum wage? It’s a lot harder than holding a picket sign, but far more rewarding.
What if you spoke up during the next company meeting?
What if you come to the end of your life with feelings of profound regret because you had never asked the simple question–what if?