If you know me well, you probably know that I am a big Chiefs fan. Watching Chiefs games on Sunday afternoons has been a family bonding activity from as far back as I can remember. If you have been a Chiefs fan for long, or if you have followed the NFL closely over the years, then you know my Chiefs fandom has come with its share of heartache. This makes their recent success all the sweeter.
Ok, maybe despair is too strong of a word, but being a Chiefs fan when I was growing up came with a healthy amount of disappointment. I wasn't old enough to remember the Chiefs advancing to the AFC Championship Game in 1993, so from the time I became self-aware enough to be a fan through my twenties I have no recollection of any postseason success.
The culture seemed to change almost immediately in 2013 when Andy Reid was hired. The Chiefs started 9-0 and while they faltered toward the end of the season, it finally appeared as if they would complete for a playoff victory. They played the Colts in the wildcard round and I suppose you could say Luck was not with them (see what I did there 😊). The Chiefs were winning 38 - 10 early in the 3rd quarter and I said the fateful words… “Surely they can't blow this lead.” As you may remember, or could surely predict, they did end up blowing that lead and losing 45-44. I still feel the emotions of that game writing about it nearly a decade later.
Andy Reid continued to put his thumbprint on the Chiefs, and they were finally able to get the monkey off of their back with a wildcard win in the 2015 season. Shortly after that, Patrick Mahomes was drafted in 2017 and the Chiefs have been on an upward trajectory ever since. I won't re-hash their modern history, but I will simply characterize it as this: The Chiefs have had more success in the last 5 years than the rest of their nearly 60 years of existence.
OK, this isn't a Chiefs blog, can we get on to the financial implications?
The tepid confidence I had around the Chiefs and their playoff woes can closely mirror the mindset of many on their financial journey. Mine certainly has. I remember thinking how happy I would be if the Chiefs could just squeak into the playoffs. Then I wanted that ever-elusive playoff win. Once they seemed to figure out the recipe for consistent playoff success, I just wanted one Superbowl victory before I died. That was delivered in 2019, and now that they have won two of the last four Superbowls, I would love nothing more than the Chiefs to become the next great dynasty in NFL lore.
Now maybe this just shows a trend of always wanting more, and I certainly believe that can be a dangerous path to walk. However, what I do want to highlight is that after each success you have the opportunity to re-assess what is possible.
When starting off financially, you may think of how happy you would be if you could just make enough to pay your bills. Success, re-assess. Your next progression would then be to pay off that debt that has been hanging over your head. Success, re-assess. From there you can go towards saving for your retirement. Success, re-assess. All the way through until you achieve financial independence. Success, re-assess.
Just like that one Superbowl before I die seemed like the ultimate goal, financial independence certainly seems like the financial equivalent. While always wanting more can certainly be a dangerous approach that leads to misery, lacking goals and motivation can do the same. One of the great benefits of financial independence is that it can give you the time freedom and flexibility to pursue more altruistic goals, and this is where goal setting can get really fun!
This post is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Nothing should be construed as investment, tax, or legal advice.