Divergence → Convergence
Hi there! Today's topic is an incredible source of personal and financial growth that can be incorporated into almost any discipline, so this should be fun.
How good are you at focusing? Are you consistent with it or is it situational? Are there certain topics that get you in the flow and others that cause you to nod off? If you're anything like me, you probably have times when it's difficult to focus. We only have the capacity for so much information in our brain, so naturally we reject the majority of what is presented to us. We are much better at retaining that which excites us, but that doesn't mean we do it in a focused manner. We often ignore critical information simply because it doesn't spark our interest. Not good.
Let's take a look at the below diagram from Jack Butcher (whose work is incredible BTW):
This is a great diagram showing the proper application of Divergence and Convergence when taking action and developing ideas. How this works is that you're always better off starting with a divergent process in which you gather a number of different ideas, experiences, possibilities, etc. and then converging towards a solution/content/project that incorporates the best knowledge gained from your exploring.
This process becomes an incredibly powerful tool when correctly applied to your career and finances. Correctly is bolded because there are two ways that this process often goes off the rails.
We get stuck in divergence
We fall into "shallow" convergence
Let's review these two pitfalls as it relates to our careers and finances.
You know you're stuck in divergence when you are constantly jumping from job to job, gaining a lot of different experiences; but never finding a niche that makes you uniquely valuable to an organization/client base. You may see temporary gains in your salary, but you've potentially lowered your ceiling.
You are falling into "shallow" convergence when you have followed one career path as high up the ladder as you care to/can attain. This is fine if you enjoy the work you do, but becomes a dead end if that ever changes. And the problem is, you never know if and when that will happen. Once the levee breaks, you're going to have to diverge if you want any shot at fulfillment. A doable task, but much more difficult if you haven't aligned your money for such a change.
You know you're stuck in divergence when you consume an incredible amount of financial content and you're constantly pursuing the "hot new thing". If you never converge, you have no system of control. Your results are random and can cost you big time.
You are falling into "shallow" converge if either of these apply to you:
You outsource your finances as much as possible, because it just doesn't interest you. This exposes you to the cost structure of the financial industry and relinquishes full input into your future.
You buy into a specific school of thought without performing much research, because you're ready to move on to something more interesting. This can be quite costly if the school of thought isn't sound (and most aren't).
So how can I help you sort through these problems through coaching?
If you love to study finance, but find yourself getting random results, I can help you think through the dots that you've collected and search for inconsistencies that are impacting your results.
If you hate the idea of taking time to study personal finance, I can help point you towards the dots that matter most. Money is one of those core areas of life that will dictate what is possible in other areas, whether you like it or not. You want to create a process of financial divergence & convergence that is efficient and doesn't take over your life, while still maintaining control.
The most effective way I've found to work through this process with clients is to develop a simple Personal Knowledge Management system. This is an excellent way to implement these concepts into practice and create permanent dots in your thinking process that can become more and more valuable over time. These skills can quickly be applied to your career as well, causing a compounding effect that we will discuss in further detail in an upcoming e-mail.
Once your finances have been processed through your system and are in tune with your values, you open the door to new exciting career possibilities that you can start filtering through your PKM system. Diverge then Converge.