In yoga, the key to getting maximum benefits is playing the edge. This is where you push your body to the limit where you are challenged physically but not to the point of hurting yourself. It’s at that point where you have stretched yourself to the limits and it is the stage of the yoga practice just before it becomes painful. When you get to that point, your muscles are fully engaged and you are just outside of your comfort zone.
Have you ever been to that point in your financial life? Do you know how to get there?
Achieving any worthwhile goal whether financially, physically or spiritually is going to require a pushing of the limits. It is going to require sacrifice, drive and determination. It is going to take you out of your comfort zone to a place where it may not be comfortable. But this is a good place to be at, trust me!
The saying goes that nothing worth achieving ever comes easily. Whilst I'm not certainly not an advocate for pushing yourself past your limits, I do believe that a certain amount of growth (whether it be personal or financial) can only be achieve when we are playing to our edge.
When it comes to managing your personal finances. You have to be willing to feel some amount of discomfort, to make the sacrifice to give up bad spending habits and the sacrifice to reign in your tendencies to shop for things you don’t need when you are stressed. Playing the edge financially means that you have to be willing to save that 10% of your income even though you would rather go ahead eat out, or buy those lovely shoes. It's about knowing your limits, and playing right to them.
Yes, it is going to be painful seeing things that you like and that you want and summoning the strength to say no to them. It is going to be difficult to tell your children that they can’t get a particular toy because it was not budgeted for, and it is going to be hard to resist the urge not to take out a new credit card or loan to go on holiday. Hard and difficult, yes. But not impossible.
No one can determine for you where your edge is. It is up to you to know how much your body can take, how much your budget can manage. Don't be tempted to do what you see your neighbour doing. What's important is that you play to your own edge, wherever that may be.
At the end of the day, playing the edge financially is going to help you to accomplish the financial goals you have been dreaming of. But it requires exercising sound judgement to determine how far is far enough and how far is too far. Pushing yourself too far will defeat the whole purpose and not going far enough will not produce the desired results.
Do you know where your edge is in life, with your finances or on your yoga mat? It might be further than you think!