The recently-released film, 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag', which touches the hearts of viewers, motivates and inspires to follow our goals in life, also has a lot to offer from the perspective of financial planning.
Here are five financial planning-related lessons from the film:
1. Set goals in various stages of life and run after them
In the Farhan Akhtar-starrer, Milkha Singh is seen running in different stages of his life for a variety of goals. Let's take a look at these:
- A young Milkha runs in hot sands from school to reach home early. Later, he's seen running from people who attack his family, and from other kids after beating his brother-in-law.
- Runs atop a train after stealing coal
- During his training in the Indian Army, Milkha runs in the cross-country race to earn a mug full of milk, 2 eggs and relief from exercise each day
- Milkha runs in order to to earn a blazer saying 'India' on it - a symbol of self-respect for himself
- Last but not the least, Milkha keeps running to win races across the globe, making his country proud
Similarly, we need to set financial goals in different stages of life, adapt to situations that come our way (cash flow) and follow a financial plan with dedication to achieve them.
These goals could be saving to buy a flat/car, investing for children's education/marriage, or simply for life after retirement.
2. To become successful, one needs inspiration, well-wishers, training and guidance
Biro, Milkha Singh's first love, inspires him to earn self-esteem and become a successful person. Milkha's sister, Isri Kaur, his biggest well-wisher, stands as a pillar of strength for him. His two coaches - Gurudev Singh and Ranveer Singh - trained him to achieve his goals. They were Milkha's mentors who helped him rectify his skill by regular training.
Similarly, you should be surrounded by people who inspire you, in order to prepare and follow your financial plan. Most people avoid making financial plans and seek advice on investment/insurance/tax savings from just anyone. Your family, on the other hand, will always be available for help whenever required. Take guidance from financial planners/advisors to prepare a comprehensive plan and follow the steps suggested by them without a fail.
(Also read: One habit you should change to get richer)
You can enroll for training in financial planning to understand or enhance your knowledge in the field of personal finance by reading periodical magazines, newspapers/online articles and so on.
3. Earn things you really need and don't eye others' things with greed
Milkha Singh, as seen in the film, is astonished to see a blazer worn by champion runner Sher Singh Rana. One day, when Milkha picks up and wears the blazer, just to get a feel of it, he's attacked and insulted. Coach Gurudev Singh slaps Milkha, explaining that it is not easy to get things you like and that you need to work hard to earn them.
In life, we shouldn't eye things of our friends or relatives. In fact, we should analyse our needs and ask ourselves whether they are worth buying or investing our time and money into. Don't eye others' things and get carried away. Don't let your greed to be fuelled by the look of something. Instead, seek guidance from your financial planner/advisor on how to fulfill your need.
4. Life is not a bed of roses, but a path filled with thorns and stones
In his early days as a runner, Milkha Singh ran bare-footed. In one such race, he lost as his foot got injured by a stone. However, he got selected for the main race by superiors due to his efforts and talent.
Always remember: life is not a bed of roses; there will be thorns and stones on your path once you take off. Your investments will face volatility in returns. They can't give healthy returns year after year. You need to adapt to economic conditions and analyse the risks while investing in any asset class. There will always be some investment decisions which may go wrong and cause losses. So, don't have an attachment with any particular stock or mutual fund scheme. However, it's a good idea to invest in mutual fund schemes/equities giving consistent returns over the years.
5. Adapt to requirements and befriend your challenges
Initially, Milkha Singh is seen uncomfortable running wearing shoes. Coach Gurudev Singh encourages Milkha to get accustomed to running with shoes on. The coach tells Milkha that his shoes will be his good friends in the future.
The advice is very much valid for everyone. It is important to get adapted to different asset classes of investment and understand them before investing.
For example, assume you struggle to understand investment in equities but are reluctant to give it a try and you simply don't make any effort to learn about equity products. But, historically, this asset class in long term has given healthy returns to investors. This type of investment has provided regular dividend income to many and has proven to be a good friend. Investing in equity is like an art which needs some understanding and insight. Your portfolio should be diversified with exposure to different asset types.
After winning the race in Pakistan, Milkha Singh receives the title of 'The Flying Sikh' for his outstanding performance. Similarly, by following your dreams - setting goals, getting inspiration from people around you, adapting to different situations while implementing a financial plan, having faith in your financial planner and staying concrete with suggestions, earning things you desire with hard work and dedication - you will soon end up turning all your dreams into reality.
InvestmentYogi.com is a leading personal finance portal.
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