Don’t lose what you’ve gained

Last night I was reading the little letter that St. John wrote to a friend of his. He said something really important in this letter:

Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked so hard to achieve. (2 John verse 8)

You work hard to gain: spiritual vitality, physical strength, intellectual capacity, vibrant relationships, etc.

The crazy thing is that if you stop working… you start losing.

Most things of value are not “once secured always secured.” They must be nurtured and protected.

A huge mistake lots of people make is to work really hard to achieve a goal… and then once they achieve it they stop doing what got them there in the first place!

Some examples:

  • People compete in a bodybuilding show… after the show they gain a ton of weight… and often stop eating and lifting.
  • People go to church because their life is falling apart… it starts to get better… they quit going to church.
  • People pay attention to their marriage because divorce is imminent… it gets better… they decrease their intensity.

If you want to get it… you’ve got to work hard for it.

If you want to keep it… you’ve got to continue to nurture and protect it!

I urge you to look around you. Who/what do you love? Who/what have you worked hard to achieve? Then ask yourself, “If I keep doing what I’m doing will I keep/grow this thing I love so much?”

#dothework

Your daily habits may impact your income

I just finished reading Thomas Corley’s book, “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals.” It’s a quick, easy, and insightful read! (Check out Corley’s website richhabitsinstitute.com).

I first heard about this book from Dave Ramsey.

My interest in this book was threefold:

  • I want to be in a place where I can give big and play big! To get there, Sherri and I are following Dave Ramsey’s “Baby Steps“.
  • I want my children to have a mature understanding of finances and to be smart/hard workers, wise investors, generous givers, and thoughtful spenders.
  • I am currently doing a lot of reading/thinking about the power of daily habits.

Anyhow, over on Dave Ramsey’s website, I saw this list of actions that “rich people” do that differentiates them. I typically don’t do this, but I want you to see it so bad I’m cutting and pasting it! (I’ll do that in a minute).

Apparently the conversation about “rich people” has gotten Ramsey into trouble with some folks, so after sharing this list he goes on to defend the idea of having money. You can/should read it here.

And now the list…

1. 70% of wealthy eat less than 300 junk food calories per day. 97% of poor people eat more than 300 junk food calories per day. 23% of wealthy gamble. 52% of poor people gamble.

2. 80% of wealthy are focused on accomplishing some single goal. Only 12% of the poor do this.

3. 76% of wealthy exercise aerobically four days a week. 23% of poor do this.

4. 63% of wealthy listen to audio books during commute to work vs. 5% of poor people.

5. 81% of wealthy maintain a to-do list vs. 19% of poor.

6. 63% of wealthy parents make their children read two or more non-fiction books a month vs. 3% of poor.

7. 70% of wealthy parents make their children volunteer 10 hours or more a month vs. 3% of poor.

8. 80% of wealthy make Happy Birthday calls vs. 11% of poor.

9. 67% of wealthy write down their goals vs. 17% of poor.

10. 88% of wealthy read 30 minutes or more each day for education or career reasons vs. 2% of poor.

11. 6% of wealthy say what’s on their mind vs. 69% of poor.

12. 79% of wealthy network five hours or more each month vs. 16% of poor.

13. 67% of wealthy watch one hour or less of TV every day vs. 23% of poor.

14. 6% of wealthy watch reality TV vs. 78% of poor.

15. 44% of wealthy wake up three hours before work starts vs. 3% of poor.

16. 74% of wealthy teach good daily success habits to their children vs. 1% of poor.

17. 84% of wealthy believe good habits create opportunity luck vs. 4% of poor.

18. 76% of wealthy believe bad habits create detrimental luck vs. 9% of poor.

19. 86% of wealthy believe in lifelong educational self-improvement vs. 5% of poor.

20. 86% of wealthy love to read vs. 26% of poor.

What do you think about this list?

Do you agree? Disagree?

Based on what you’ve read, how does your future look?

The key to success – and anyone can do it

Yesterday I swung by Books-A-Million and picked up a couple of books!

Lately I’ve been reading/thinking about this idea, “The important stuff requires daily attention.” That’s my simple way of saying what lots of really smart people have been saying for a long time.

Anyhow, the book I picked up was Coach Wooden’s Greatest Secret (The Power of Little Things Done Well) by Pat Williams.

Pat Williams had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with Coach Wooden (one of the all time best… if not THE best). He wrote several books about Wooden and his philosophy of life and leadership.

During one of his visits, Williams leaned across the table and asked, “Coach, if you could pinpoint just one secret of success in life, what would it be?”

After a few moments of thoughtful silence, Wooden responded… and his response is gold!

“The closest thing I can come to one secret of success is this: a lot of little things done well.”

That’s so right! Think about this…

  • Relational success = showing up every day and caring, communicating, forgiving, helping, etc. All small things… the cumulation of which lead to relational success!
  • Financial success = every day deciding to manage well your finances… spend less, save more… work a little more overtime… study your investments a little more thoroughly. All small things… the cumulation of which lead to financial success!
  • Physical success = showing up to the gym and working hard, saying “yes” to the right foods and “No” to all of the chocolate milk and Little Debbie’s. All small things… the cumulation of which lead to physical success!

Success in any of these areas is NEVER the result of deciding on Monday night and waking up on Tuesday morning… happily married, rich and ripped.

Nope.

It’s deciding on Monday night and then doing all of the little things required for success on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday… and even on the weekend!

What’s exciting here is that ANYONE can do the small things! Anyone!

Here’s some small things you might want to consider:

  • Every day – create a plan for the day
  • Every day – take time to read
  • Every day – take time to exercise
  • Every day – give a hug
  • Every day – pray
  • Every day – make financial decisions that align with your budget (You’ve got one of those, right?)sucess

Do these things well and consistently and watch how your life begins to move up and to the right!

So, what do you think?

Are there other “little things” that you pay attention to that help you as you move towards and experience success?

 

 

Think about your life

thinking-aloneWhen was the last time you sat down and thought about your life?

I mean, when was the last time you thought deeply about where you are spiritually.Financially. Physically. Emotionally. When did you last time you gave thought to the relationships you are involved in, for instance, your marriage, kids, friends, etc.

When was the last time you thought about where you are, how you got here, where you are going next, and how you are going to get there?

I am realizing that many adults end up where they are and then wonder how they got there! 

They got busy with life. One thing led to another. Multiple voices and roles making demands on their attention, money, energy, and passion… and before you know it they end up disheveled, confused, frustrated and feeling like they’ve been dropped off in a jungle… far away from the life they imagined in their early years.

Know anyone like that?

I find it helpful from time to time to sit down and think about my life; to intentionally walk away from the dings, rings, beeps, and tweets and just think.

When I think, much of what I see I am happy with, but there are some areas that have been left unattended… and I’m not happy with them. These are areas that I may have overlooked had I not sat down and thought about my life.

Here are a few areas to think about in your life:

  • Spiritually – how is everything on the inside? Is the private me different than the public me? What role does God play in my life?
  • Physically – am I taking care of my body? Do my sleep, exercise, and eating habits give me the energy I need to live a full life?
  • Financially – How’s the money thing going? Do I tell my money where to go at the beginning of the month, or do I wonder where it went at the end of the month?
  • Relationally – Do I love people? When was the last time I encouraged someone… showed them I cared about them?
  • Professionally – Am I getting better at my job? Do I love it? Do I need to make a change?

I’m sure there are more questions you can come up with… and that’s the point. It’s your life… ask your questions!

Four questions that will help guide this process are these:

  1. Where am I?
  2. How did I get here?
  3. Where do I want to be?
  4. How will I get there?

I pray that as you think about your life that you find joy, and if not, I pray that you will find hope!

Stop “playing small”

“Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.” Steven Pressfield

Oh my! How liberating those two sentences are! It’s okay to be good! It’s okay to be REAL good! It’s okay to be the best! No need for shame. No need to be embarrassed. It’s okay to do well.

Of course the best are even better served when they are the best AND humble… but still… it’s okay to be good!

Don’t let the lowest common denominator in your circle of peers set your standard. Don’t let broke people determine how you feel about your savings plan; obese people determine how you feel about your diet; unhappy couples determine how you feel about your marriage; etc.

Don’t be arrogant… but for crying out loud, don’t be shy! Don’t slink away. Don’t be small on purpose!

Stop regretting and apologizing for what you have developed through hard work. Do what you do with pride, determination, and purpose and you might even find that your colleagues soon come along!

Intensity

What if we brought the same level of intensity to meaningful things (e.g. spiritual, physical) as we do to meaningless things (TV shows, games)?

What would happen if you were as determined to go to the gym as you are to see your favorite TV show?

What would happen if you were as determined to be debt free as you are determined to get to the next level of that video game?

What would happen if you committed as much time to your spouse as you do to your facebook page?

Seriously… how different would your life be if you took the intensity you have for meaningless things and moved it over to meaningful things?