I have realized that the lessons money teaches us are no only financial, they are spiritual; they create new character qualities; and they will improve your relationship with your spouse, family, and loved ones. After more than five thousand hours of answering financial questions on “The Money Game” I have seen again and again that money is just the method that the Great Teacher has chosen to expose and correct our flaws as well as give us “ataboys” for a job well done.
Do you feel like I am going overboard? I’m not if you want excellence in your life, relationships, and finances. You see, if you want uncommon results you have to think and do thinks that are uncommon. If you want things you have never had, you have to do things you have never done. Vince Lombardi said “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavour”.
Albert Schweitzer said: “Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment, and learn again to exercise his will, his personal responsibility”. Enough whining, I am sick of whining… Whining is a sign of lack of character on your part.
When bad stuff happens resist the human urge to blame and instead join the elite group called the doers.
I have had she-bears get violent with me for suggesting that purchasing $178 tennis shoes while the electric bill is not paid is stupid. There is an old Danish proverb that says if you give a child everything he wants he cries and a pig everything he wants when he grunts you will have a fine pig and a sorry child.
James Baldwin says that children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.
Ready for a test?
- What missing or twisted value has been holding me back?
- What could I do this week that would give me more connection to my spouse, my child or my best friend?
- Are there any ways that I could better show my boss my loyalty tom job and my coworkers?
- What activities am I involved in that I could fire myself from that would simplify my life?
Proverbs 9:18 says “Where there is no vision, the people perish” Perish as in die? YES.
The six figure earners all think in five year blocks or more of time. They are very unconcerned about today except for how today is a building block toward their vision, which may not be fully realized for another twenty years. They think long term in all decisions. Six figure earners think about the long term implications of every move they make and don’t make those moves unless they move them one step closer to their vision.
Short term thinking is why the poor get poorer.
Vision will make you an investor instead of a consumer; it will make you think ahead five, ten, or twenty years instead of only thinking about today or tomorrow.
Separating your money when you live in a couple only put you in the spiritual and emotional position of separation: You remember, what do you do right before divorce?
Patrick Overton: “When we walk to the edge of all the light we have and take that step into the darkness of the unknown, we must believe that one of two things will happen, there will be something solid for us to stand on, or God will teach us how to fly”. Hope moves us forward when logic and energy are gone. Hope is a motivator.
Soup is good for you: Go to your local homeless shelter and volunteer to serve soup. Take your mate and your kids with you; it will do the family good to reset the view of reality.
Most folks don’t know what real problems are, and the serving of soup will make you ashamed for having worried about whether there was enough in the budget to gibe Barky the schnauzer a haircut.
*Use a symbol of hope: Be it a light house or something else as a way to raise your chin toward heaven when you lose directions.
Sharon and I have made a pact that nothing major financially will be done without agreement with the other.
So if you are trying to get your wife to share in budgeting and planning you need o treat her with respect. Try approaching her like this:
- Honey, I’d really like to have your advice on our budget.
- We need to think about how we are going to save money, but I cannot do this without you.
- Our future is important, and both of us need to plan it together.
Andrew Carnegie said: “The average person puts only 25 percent of his energy and ability into his work. The word takes off its hat to those who put in more than 50 percent, and will stand on its head for those few and far between souls who devote 100 percent”
“What is the first requirement for success?” Thomas Edison was asked. His answer? It is “the ability to apply your physical and mental energies to one problem incessantly without growing weary”. If you get up at 7 AM and go to bed at 11 PM, you have put in sixteen good hours, and it is certain with most men that they have been doing something all the time. The only trouble is that they do it about a great many things, and I do it about one. If they took the time in question and applied it in one direction, to one object, they would succeed”.
Focus has the power to create permanent change where nothing else will or can. You can focus. You can endure anything for a short period of time. Six months, a year, or even eighteen months, compared with the rest of your life it is a very short period of time.
The mother of more: Momentum.
Voltaire said: “Work keeps us from three evils: boredom, vice, and poverty”.
Work is doing it. Discipline is doing it every day. Diligence is doing it well every day. Diligence is not just showing up, or just showing up every day; diligence is showing up every day with Excellence.
St. Ambrose said: “Work like it all depends on you and pray like all depends on God”. Prayer is vital, but God is not in the business of rewarding lazy.
Jim Rohn says: “You will build more wealth if you trick yourself into discipline. The pain of discipline weighs ounces, but regret weighs tons”
Teach the children: There has never been a child born who gets up every morning, makes his bed, cleans his room and brushes his teeth without instruction. By removing work from a child’s life you cripple them.
It would be a shame for any of us to have discipline in just one area such as building up wealth and not have the health to enjoy it, the relationships with spouse and family to share it.
Patience is golden because it will increase the satisfaction you take from achieving your goals and desires. And patience is golden because it is formed from heat much like pure gold is. To purify gold the goldsmith of old would stoke the fire to bring the gold to a boil, and as the gold boiled the dross, the impurities, would rise to the top. The goldsmith would skim off the junk until he could see himself. Problems that we face, the heat of life, make the junk come to the surface, and God skims the junk out of our lives until He can look at us and see some of Himself.
A lack of patience causes debt.
Patience is growing up. Patience knows that one definitions of maturity is learning to delay pleasure.
Patience will cause you to build wealth because you are willing to save and pay cash instead of borrow. When you don’t have any payments it is easy to save and invest enough to become wealthy in just a few years.
The Goose with the Golden Egg: they were becoming steadily wealthy, then greed kicked in, now they had no goose and no more eggs.
** If you are not listening to your spouse sit down tonight for at least twenty minutes to talk and listen. Remember to listen even if you don’t care about the curtains she wants to buy. Chose one night each week when the two of you will forgo TV and listen to each other. Learn the count-to-five rule.
Try letting the kids plan one Saturday a moth. Yes, you may end up sitting through some activities you’d rather not, but you will not only learn patience, you will also gain years of memories and shared time with your children.
When you have contentment you can easily get out of debt. When you have contentment you can easily save and invest. When you are content it changes your giving habits and your relationships. When you are content it brings an inner strength that will push you into another zone. You are able to move fast or slow, and you are able to have patience or intensity when you are content. Contentment is a magnificent personal gift.
Contentment is not apathy and yet we often confuse the two.
What is that causes one couple to be able to prosper on an annual income of $35.000 while the other is heading toward bankruptcy with over $84.000 in yearly income?
*** Juliet Schor in The Overspend American: Research shows that each added hour of TV viewing per week increases the spending by roughly $200 per year. So an average level of TV watching of fifteen hours per week equals nearly $3.000 extra spent per year!
The Bible says in Proverbs 28:20 “A faithful man will abound with blessings, but he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished”. The reason the get get-rich quick folks are punished, usually by losing their riches, is because character is more important than circumstances in the scope of eternity. Get-rich-quick folks still need to mold their value system into one that can truly find happiness. They are looking for love in all the wrong places, so the punishment is not for the offence off trying to get rich quick, the punishment is a course of correction so that we learn to look for contentment and happiness where it can really be found.
In order to have deep, abiding contentment in your financial and relationship decisions, you have to reach the pint you just don’t care what “people” think. I drive a ten year old car with over 150,000 miles on it and I keep it in near perfect condition.
My pastor told me that his father had to walk 6 miles to work, they would come into the home with dust to his knees from the six mile hike, and he would wash and sit down to eat. Each night they thanked God of honest work. My pastor said he never once heard them whine about the circumstances. Where have those men go? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to walk six miles to work, but where have those men gone? Those were people of deep character who understood that not having everything was not the end of the world.
Hate is not the opposite of love, apathy is.
Why does “giving” work in the formula for more than enough? Giving works because you are designed to be a giving being. Your wiring schematic is built for giving. You are made in God’s image and He is a giver; so that means in order for you to be all you can be you must be a giver too. Your emotions, spirit psyche and even your chemistry are changed to a higher level when you give. When you give creativity is enhanced. When you give, passion, joy and intensity come to you like waves crashing at the seashore.
After one of my seminars a pastor approached me. He said that in 35 years of ministering a large congregation he had never had a couple file for divorce who gave their Christian tenth of their income.
When you give you are getting maximum horsepower out of your personal design. People who don’t give are stopped up.
You are planting seeds when you give and when you don’t give. If you plant nothing, by default you planted weeds. If you plant corn don’t scratch your head and wonder why you got corn. The earth and life will return to you what you plant in great abundance. The sad thing is that most people don’t plant and are real confused as to why they get a great crop of weeds. You must plant on purpose what you want, become a farmer for life.
“Money is a terrible master, but an excellent servant”. If you want to be a powerful giver you should view your wealth as the goose and give the golden eggs. If you give away the goose, the golden eggs are gone, and so is your ability to help others. Those of you who think “those nasty rich people should be made to give up the wealth they have earned” are not only stupid, your shortsightedness kills the goose, and the poor are not really helped.
Many off the wealthy understand it is not a privilege, but instead a great responsibility to have wealth.
Andrew Carnegie said: “surplus wealth is a sacred trust which its possessor is bound to ADMINISTER in his lifetime for the GOOD of the COMMUNITY”
This release of emotional ownership is called generosity. The folks who are able to emotionally release the ownership of stuff and feel more like managers don’t worry as much. This release of ownership virtually guarantees that as you build wealth you won’t become arrogant. It is very hard to be arrogant about something you manage for someone else ( God ). Remember that is the emotional position those who have more than enough put themselves in.
Prosperity may be a bigger test than poverty when it comes to exposing your weaknesses. Fear, worry, selfishness, and arrogance are all some people get with wealth. People who get it know that a firm grip on the money is not the path to happiness and fulfillment. True prosperity is not wealth, it is “more than enough”, which can include wealth, but must include the loose holding of that wealth.