Jordan Peterson is having “a moment”. A widely circulated interview brought his considerable platform into the spotlight with a variety of articles including this David Brooks piece which summarizes things nicely.
In the aforementioned interview, he uses a word I hadn’t fully considered: Competent.
“Competency is power”
I bounced that idea off my kids around the dinner table last night. I do want them to marry someone who is competent. Competent at cleaning the kitchen, competent at raising children, competent at balancing a checkbook, competent at managing conflict in a healthy way, competent at managing the many problems life brings.
When my wife and I started dating, my roommate and I were not competent at lots of things, not the least of which was cleaning. We once went an entire year without cleaning the kitchen. Don’t ask. The bathroom was worse, so it took most of the attention away from the kitchen. People would just leave rather then use the bathroom.
We aren’t born competent. We have to learn, and most learning comes from Someone who already knows how to do it.
It’s ok if we aren’t competent in our personal finances yet. It’s not ok for us to stay that way. We, our (future) spouse, our business partners, our children, and our parents deserve better. Have you ever had a friend (usually when you were younger) that always was asking to borrow money? It’s hard to be friends with that guy.
It’s important to develop competencies at:
- Earning an appropriate income
- Working diligently
- Saving for future needs
- Buying a house
- Getting out of debt
- Living on a spending plan
- Delaying gratification
No judgement. I doesn’t matter when we find ourselves today. I’m much better at cleaning my kitchen these days. Let’s pick one area, talk to someone who knows that area, and start making small actions.
You and I have the capacity to be financially competent.