The Zorro Circle and Your Money

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(Today’s post comes from a concept in Shawn Achor’s excellent book The Happiness Advantage – I highly recommend it as the principles are applicable across so many areas of our lives)

The legend of Zorro begins with Zorro as an idealistic young man who wants to fight for others. However, he’s failing at his training because he’s trying to make progress on too many things at once. The legend states he ultimately becomes quite despondent and feels he will never reach his goal.

Eventually he meets Don Diego, the master swordsman, who helps Zorro become the sword fighter that he wants to be by using one primary principle – the Zorro Circle.  Don Diego places Zorro in the small circle in the ground. It wasn’t until Zorro could master his ability to fight and defend himself in that small circle that he could move to a larger space and ultimately a very larger space.

I think this principle is applicable to us with our financial lives as we often have the inclination to change things financially.  We start to work on our planning and we make a lot of progress in small ways on different fronts without really developing mastery in any specific area.

What’s your Zorro Circle?  In your financial life, what are the places that developing more expertise would provide you with the most benefit? Is it with your managing your regular cash flow on a weekly basis?  Is it developing some further expertise or strategies around your investments?  Is it creating an income strategy for approaching retirement?  Any of these pieces can have a major impact, and spending some focused time in one of those areas could bring you closer to the financial goals that you already have, much like Zorro’s circle helped him focus on his basics and ultimately allow him to be the help for the helpless that he wanted to be.