De-fault (noun): a pre-selected option; revert automatically to pre-selected options
Default is what happens when we do nothing to change. We have default settings on our phones when we take them out of the package, before we’ve changed or added anything. Computer programs default to certain fonts and sizes and processes before we’ve customized them to make them our own.
In life, we often default to many “pre-selected” options. We default to living in the same city we grew up in because it’s familiar. We default to eating take-out food because it’s easier than cooking. We default to exercising whenever we feel like it. We default to letting relationships stay in the same unhealthy cycles because that’s just the way it is and it feels like more work to address conflict than to deal with it.
Living by default is easy because it doesn’t require us to work to make any changes. It doesn’t force us to encounter our own insecurities, our ignorance, our ego or our laziness. But is that really a full and satisfying life? Is that the way we want to live? Going through the motions of life without intentionality for the decisions that determine our future?
In our finances, there are many areas that are easy to run on default. We default to spending whatever we spend and hopefully saving what’s left over. We default to taking the pre-selected health, life and disability insurance our employer gives us without thought for whether it really fits our needs. We default to owning the stocks in certain companies that are popular because it seems like that is what everyone does. We default to taking our income at the level it has been given to us without consideration for what we can do to increase it.
Are these things really “pre-selected options” for our lives though? Or do we have some power to change them?
At Fortis, we are of the belief that we want to live life by design rather than by default. While you can’t control every little thing life throws your way, there is a ton you can do to prepare and change your situation for the better. When we sit down and work through financial planning with somebody, our goal is for them to come away with actionable steps they can take today to improve their future.
Living by default leaves you feeling like a victim. Living by design leaves you feeling empowered.
What is one thing you can do today to live by DESIGN rather than by DEFAULT?
All the best,
Your Fortis Capital Management Team