Our thought for this week comes from Garrett Gunderson
Garrett Gunderson is the New York Times bestselling author of Killing Sacred Cows: Overcoming the Financial Myths That Are Destroying Your Prosperity and is ‘Chief Wealth Architect’ of the Wealth Factory, an organisation that promises a ‘comprehensive personal financial education and implementation program for entrepreneurs, health care professionals and small business owners.’
Resourcefulness is defined as having the adaptability and creativity to cope with difficulties. Resourcefulness often thrives when faced with a lack of something. When faced with a lack of money, a lack of time or a lack of resources, the Resourceful find ways to stretch what little they do have. This is presumably where the adage ‘if you want something done quickly, give it to a busy person’ comes from. Having plenty of time reduces urgency and, somewhat paradoxically, encourages time wastage. Little time can force focus and efficiency. Young people today do face a lack, when compared with previous generations. There seems to be a lack of available jobs, a lack of career stability and a lack financial independence. When even the most qualified can struggle to get the most basic of jobs, and when the one sought after commodity – experience – is the one that young people lack, a resourceful attitude is required to prosper.
Where traditional routes fail, and all the doors and windows to progress seem shut and bolted, it is the resourceful that seek out drainpipes to scale the wall. Obviously the journey to success can be significantly harder and more dangerous this way. Failure and setback are highly likely, and the ratio between effort and reward can seem lopsided and unfair. However, one of the benefits of going the hard way round is that the experience and knowledge attained whilst getting there is far greater. Anyone can walk through a door, but not everyone can scale a wall. Once on the other side, the wall scalers may have more bumps and scrapes, and have exerted a significant amount more energy, but when faced with an even bigger wall (and there is always a bigger wall) they will be the ones with the advantage.
At Hammersmith Academy we believe that simply showing our students the way to success is ineffective and may even let them down in the long term. The world and the job market are very different places now than they were a decade ago, let alone when I went to school. What we may think we know as adults is only part of the picture, and can end up equipping students with outdated tools, or unrealistic expectations. To a young person the world can be a place full of dos and don’ts. Do this and you will be rewarded, do that and you will be reprimanded. Of course this structure is important as we need to create a defined learning environment in which to operate. But within that structure there is plenty of room to breathe.
Garrett Gunderson’s has this approach to personal finance:
“It’s not about handing your money over to the stock market, or putting it in a retirement plan, and hoping it works out. It’s not about diversification, it’s about focus. And it’s not about complexity, it’s about simplification, minimizing risk, and optimizing cash flow.”
Personal finance and education are two vastly different worlds, but we can use this approach as food for thought. His approach is about simplification, creating a lack where there was none before. Instead of thinking about all the different ways of doing something, that can involve as many ‘could haves’ and ‘should haves’ as ‘haves’ or ‘cans’, sometimes it is better to be resourceful and use your lack to your advantage. Instead of thinking about what you don’t have, think about what you do have and how it can be utilised. I don’t have the skills but I do have the energy. I don’t have the time but I do have the inclination. I don’t have the right books but I do have friends that I can borrow from. A solution may not always be possible, but with a resourceful attitude the first thought is not ‘I can’t do this’ but instead ‘how can I do this?’
Gary Kynaston – Headteacher