“Super Heroes are ordinary people who make themselves extraordinary” Gerard way
I’m not a fan of superhero movies as a genre in general but I do love a superhero who is born “ordinary” not knowing or not yet having their super powers and following the story of how their powers are uncovered or developed as the superhero faces their life challenges.
Watching one of these “hero’s journey” type series, “The Flash” on Netflix recently got me thinking that this is us with our money.
We aren’t born knowing how to manage our money or what traits we need to develop to be good at doing so, however we are given life lessons as we mature to reveal our skills and bring out the money super hero in us.
Here are the top 4 skill to develop to speed you on to becoming a financial superhero!
The Flash had to learn to use his extraordinary powers
The Flash, or Barry Allen as his nerdy cute real life persona is known as, was struck by lighting caused by an explosion of a particle accelerator. He emerged from the resultant coma with his new powers but absolutely no knowledge or training to know how to use them. In fact in trying them out he realises he doesn’t know how to “brake” once he’s entered his “Flash” running speed and ends up crashing a number of times and breaking a few bones.
Lucky for him though, another side effect of his “power” is that he can heal rapidly.
We are exactly the same when it comes to developing our financial skills and we will have to forgive ourselves a few tries and fails as we navigate learning how to delay gratification by not spending all our money every time we get some and putting some aside to create our financial stability, not being overcome with FOMO when our friends are exercising their big spending muscle and doing all the expensive things we also want to do “right now”, and learning to be patient with our money as it grows.
As for poor Barry, we are going to learn some lessons through the school of hard knocks and these are the most powerful lessons we get to learn.
On a positive note, the more open we are to learning and the more proactive we are in going about building our financial knowledge the less painful those lessons are likely to be.
The Flash and what motivates him to get better
The young Barry had tragically watched as his mother was murdered by a “super” villain and his father be imprisoned, wrongly accused of her murder. This motivates Barry beyond all else to fight for those who are less able.
His strong motivation keeps him fighting on and honing his superhero skills even when faced with stronger more powerful villains.
Being a financial superhero is just as hard.
We will still face those seemingly unbeatable “super villains” and unsurmountable challenges and if we haven’t strapped on a strong motivator as our armour we may find ourselves feeling defeated.
An unbeatable financial superhero is one with a strong vision of what she wants her money to do for her, she knows what she wants from life, and she knows how she wants to live her life now and in the future. She has big, audacious goals and pity anything that gets in the way of her achieving that!
The Flash feels the fear but still takes action
The Flash has to constantly face “mutant” villains who were also changed by the lightning strike. As the normal Barry, he knows intellectually that he cannot always overcome many of them and he often fears for his loved ones as well as himself.
Barry has the choice to run away forever, after all speed is his superpower, hide his head in the sand and ignore everything or go and take a long hard look at his villainous foe and figure out how to take him on and defeat him.
Because it’s a TV series he obviously takes the third option.
We can too. Our finances can be a very emotive and scary place if we haven’t been paying the right kind of attention to them and it can feel overwhelming to pull back the curtain and face the financial super gremlin.
But facing our fears is the way to put them in context, they are probably a lot more manageable than we think once we have clarity and know what actions we need to take.
And by facing them we empower ourselves to take those actions and start to live a much more financially stress free life, free from money super villains like shame, fear and overwhelm.
The Flash does not give up
In every series of the Flash we see the same thing. Barry gets beaten down, he gets trampled on, he has bones broken, he is questioned and doubted, his ego gets in his way, but through it all he is driven by his strong moral compass and his goal, to make the world a better place, and he will not give up.
Our personal finances are unfortunately not as exciting, we aren’t going to have the happy ending in the 45 minutes that each series has, we are in it for the long haul.
In some ways our financial superpower has to be that much stronger than Barry’s in that we have to have the endurance to keep on with our financial plan, saving way more than we spend, building our nice juicy nest egg and continuously facing our villainous enemies of FOMO, market crashes, impatience, the need for instant gratification, comparisonitis and whatever others come up for you. I know there are thousands more to insert here that will come up to challenge us!
We may not have been born with our financial superpowers but we are developing them every day that we manage our money, and by knowing which skills we need to work on we can jump the queue to becoming a financial superhero!