Column: Any dream will do

My wife and I re-subscribed to the Gateway Theatre this past year and are so glad we did. The shows are first class and a great anchor to our date nights!

The recent production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was absolutely, well... amazing! The artistic team and orchestra complemented Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's vision in their own wonderful, unique way.

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Based on the biblical account of Joseph, this classic story of redemption and forgiveness inspired in me the essence of what it means to truly dream. The lessons learned apply to personal finance, but only when we grasp the understanding that a truly great financial plan can only succeed when anchored to an amazing dream.

The character that I identify with the most in this musical is the distracted, day-dreaming child that the narrator is telling the story to. That child is us, the child that was born to dream but somehow forgets as life gets in the way, the child that is often chided to stop dreaming.

The journey we follow is like Joseph’s. We begin with amazing technicolour dreams that are innocent and harmless compared to the rest of the world, which is often entirely frivolous and highly unlikely to pan out. That is when the world starts its ridicule because, after all, it is easier to pull someone down to see eye to eye rather than stepping up. That is where dreams usually die.

Life gets in the way as we depart our childhood years and countless obstacles act to extinguish our youthful dreams entirely. Like Joseph, we feel imprisoned by the sense that we must accept the cards that we are dealt rather than create an entirely different world.

It is no wonder that so many people want to retire as soon as possible – they cannot wait to escape the jobs that had nothing to do with the dreams of their youth.

Ironically, the financial industry does not really help when it often attaches unattainable numbers to the criteria for a successful life. We must stop focusing on the dollar sign and start focusing on what we were put on this earth to do. We are creators, not victims.

The difference between an uninspiring reality and a fulfilled dream is the fact that we tend to stall when we hit a road bump. Instead, we should realize that obstacles are actually the raw materials that help us realize our dreams and that it does not matter what stage in life we are at to realize this. Without the obstacles, we settle for shortcuts, rather than creating an inspiring life.

An amazing transformation happens when our planning process embraces the obstacles. We experience quantum leaps in wisdom borne of amazing experience and, more importantly, we get to become whom the youthful dreamer always aspired to.

This column is part of a monthly series courtesy of Richard Vetter, founder of WealthSmart Inc.

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