Back in Kindergarten my father once asked me: “Son, what would you like to do once you’re a grown up?” – of course I was dreaming all sort of things, most prominently wanting to become a bus driver, a pilot or an astronaut. These more ordinary dreams for boys of that age came to an abrupt halt only shortly afterwards as I unveiled the ultimate profession: Inventor.
Imagineering = a combination between “Imagination” and “Engineering”
Imagination: The creative ability to form images, ideas and sensations in the mind without any immediate input of the senses. Imagination helps make knowledge applicable in solving problems and is fundamental to integrating experience and the learning process.
Engineering: The application of mathematics, science, economics as well as social and practical knowledge to invent, innovate, design, build, maintain, research and improve structures, machines, tools, systems, components, materials, processes, solutions and organizations. The term engineering is derived from the Latin word ingenium, meaning “cleverness” and ingeniare meaning “to contrive, devise”.
Back in the days – and still today – my fascination for Disney comics was tremendous. Immersing myself in these fantastic stories and associating myself with the lives of all these marvellous characters was such an enriching experience. Eventually I picked a favorite. You might now think, since I’m writing about personal finance my hero and role-model would be Scrooge McDuck. Well: wrong! The ever-lucky fellow Gustav Goose? Wrong again!
My absolute role-model was Gyro Gearloose! The inventor!!!
Scrooge McDuck: “What did you do??”
Gyro Gearloose: “Well, you did say to make it as real as it can be, so I did!”
He literally blew my mind. Whatever he imagined, he found a way to make it happen: his outrageous creativity and productivity was pure genius. Once, he ran out of ideas and solved the problem by inventing a thinking-cap which empowered him to have more and better ideas! If he didn’t have his cap with him, he stroke himself on the head with a big hammer! His job was to make fantasy a reality despite all odds.
Gyro Gearloose’s main ambition was not so much to get rich and famous but rather helping the people of Duckburg to improve their lives. He is also known as being good-natured towards others. In one of his stories he actually persuaded Duckburg citizens to rebuild their whole city into a futuristic utopia which somehow worked out too well: Donald Duck only worked 1 hour a day and spent 23 hours sleeping which left him more bad-tempered than normal. At the other end, Uncle Scrooge McDuck suddenly controlled an army of robots which collected way too much money for him – filling up his money bin to the point where good old McDuck couldn’t even jump and dive into his coins anymore as it was too full. Only when Gyro’s robot invented another robot to replace Gyro himself as an inventor he decided Duckburg must be turned back to its old self. Wow! Elements of early retirement and artificial intelligence in a 1980’s comic book!
That was it: Duckburg’s [most famous] inventor became my role-model. I wanted to become nothing less than an inventor myself! Helping the world become a better place with new ideas. A few years later, my aspiration to pursue a career as inventor became even stronger after having been exposed to the crazy scientist Dr. Emmett “Doc” Brown who managed to convert a fancy De-Lorean into a time machine. Marty McFly travelled back and forth in time and changed lives of others as well as his own to the better and worse!
That movie opened my eyes to how much you can affect your own future [with or without time machine]. Your future self will be the compound result of many small steps and decisions in life. If you take controlled, well directed steps towards an ambitious goal, you can get anywhere and change your faith. Little did I know about the miraculous power of compound interest back then, but this was about to change soon.
As much as becoming an inventor was my big dream, there are no job openings as inventors or imagineers on the street. So, as I grew into adulthood, I got “normalized” a fair bit by society. Nevertheless, whenever I could, I kept looking for ways to improve life and kept a vivid imagination and explorative curiosity all the way further down the path; keeping the imagineer within alive.
This ultimately enabled me to keep optimizing and improving the lifestyle design for myself and later my family. My journey took me through hustling three jobs simultaneously during college, pilot training, winning a chunk of money at the TV game show “Who wants to be a Millionaire”, studying Economics and thereafter spending several years of my life working in Asia – learning Mandarin Chinese – and until most recently working for the largest Wealth Manager on this planet assisting the High Net Worth individuals of this world managing their wealth – also with my ideas – doing and learning – in the end becoming one of them myself.
Eventually my journey lead towards financial independence and freedom. In retrospective I strongly believe being an imagineer was THE key to achieving this big hairy audacious goal.
So, back to the question: Why on earth should YOU “Financial Imagineer” your life?
You may have heard of the “American Dream”? Half way around the globe my friends work on making their “Chinese Dream” happen while my colleagues in India are chasing the “Indian Dream”. Every place seems to have their specific dream. Dreaming is an important and crucial element of the human experience and the fuel for reaching new heights – together as well as for an individual.
Dream big! And then become the very best version of yourself and keep adapting, pushing and improving yourself further into the unknown. Imagineering is letting your imagination soar, and then engineering it down to earth. Aren’t we somehow all Imagineers, just trying to figure out this thing called “Life”, optimizing for the best result possible?
My answer: Because you can!
Ignite the light, get your mind on FIRE and let it shine.
Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.
And yes, you are not alone. Let’s make your dreams work together.
Truly yours, Financial Imagineer
You never suffer from a money problem, you always suffer from an idea problem.
– Robert H. Schuller