Written on December 22, 2022 (Published January 3, 2023)
HAPPY NEW YEAR!! I hope you had a wonderful New Year’s Eve with those closest to you. As you can see, I did write this on December 22, 2022. Therefore, I cannot really tell you whether or not I had a great New Year’s Eve! I have a good guess it will be great because our son and his family will be with us!!
We are working through John C. Maxwell’s, MAKE TODAY COUNT! https://www.amazon.com/Make-Today-Count-Success-Determined/dp/1599950812I hope you will consider buying this book, especially at this start of 2023. In partial hopes of you buying the book, but more importantly, TO HELP YOU IMPROVE AND MAKE EVERYDAY COUNT, I outline chapters of the book. We our outlining the chapter titled, FINANCES. Yikes. Finances. Not that greatest topic to kick-off the new year. However, with the economy struggling, this may be a very good time for such a subject as, finances.
Diana and I are struggling with our finances. You may not know that I decided to retire early from being a “government” high school teacher. The “government” high school’s purpose and passion were not lining up with mine. By retiring early, I made the decision to go all in on trusting Jesus Christ (part of the decision to retire was based on a principal saying, “hate to tell ya this, but ya gotta leave Jesus Christ in the parking lot.” UNBELIEVABLE! As all the BLM activists and Rainbow flag carriers are welcomed on campus, but Jesus Christ? Ummmm.. He’s gotta stay off the campus. WOW! But leaving early, Diana and I have chosen to leave $30,000 annually “on the table.” Our choice! I get it. I love responsibility. By making this choice, we represent our faith and at the same time, FINANCES now become a bigger issue.
One of the things that Diana and I did before I knew John C. Maxwell, many years before this book was published was this statement from the book: We will sacrifice today so that we can have options tomorrow. We didn’t make this decision to leave $30,000 annually on the table with nothing in savings. HEAVENS NO! Because we chose not to buy expensive cars, go on wonderful vacations, or have too many meals outside the home, we had the ability to make the decision to retire early fully aware that we will need to continue with not bying expensive cars, go on wonderful vacations, or have too many meals outside the home. Thus, our marriage isn’t going to change all that much. Do want nice cars, nice vacations, a meal out? Of course. What is more important is our relationship with Jesus Christ and our marriage.
MAKING THE DECISION TO EARN AND PROPERLY MANAGE FINANCES DAILY
Even at 56 years old, there is still a need to make good decisions in regard to managing finances. Dr. Maxwell gives us a plan that includes Put the Value of Things in Perspective, Recognize Your Season of Life, Reduce Your Debt, and Put Your Financial Formula into Place. Let’s focus on Put the Value of Things in Perspective.
Good gut check. How are you about things? You know. Status symbols. Nice cars. Jewelry. Big home. Clothes. THINGS. From MAKE TODAY COUNT, “Billy Graham rightly points out, “If a person gets his attitude toward money straight, it will help straighten out almost every other area of his life.” Materialism is a mind-set. There’s nothing wrong with possessing money or nice things. Likewise, there’s nothing wrong with living modestly. Materialism is not about possession – it’s an obsession. I’ve known materialistic people with no money and nonmaterialistic people who possess lots of money. Haven’t you?” Do all you can to put people / relationships ahead of material.
Once you have learned to put money and material things in their proper places, you need to know how to maintain that discipline. We need to recognize when our desire for more money or material items is more important than our relationships, we are in trouble. We need to be more pragmatic about our finances. We need our basics: food, shelter, clothes. Our finances need to be an answer to acquire our needs, not seen as coming up short in buying our favorite car. The discipline we need to strive for is, every day I will focus on my financial game plan so that each day I will have more, not fewer options.
In regard to approaching your finances every day with the right attitude, do the following: Become a Good Earner, Be Grateful Every Day, Don’t Compare Yourself to Others, and Give as Much as You Can. I will focus on Don’t Compare Yourself to Others.
Comparing myself to others is the bain of my existence! Seriously. I do this way too often. How does it benefit my life comparing myself to others? IT DOESN’T. How many things do you and I do that do not benefit us? We have no idea what others who are driving better cars than us are going through. We have no idea what others are going through who have every picture on FACEBOOK with a smile or they are on their four cruises in a year. Facebook is often “Fakebook.” People rarely put the negatives going on in their lives. They want that “look” of “I got everything under control.” While in reality, they have as money problems as you do, if not MORE! Comparing yourself to others is unhealthy and can be dangerous. You want to drive nice cars, have nice furniture like your neighbors. Yet, the financial hole by buying that expensive car / furniture, you could face problems in the future. Can’t afford a meal. Can’t afford the medicine you needed to fight the flu. Now, having the flu, you miss work and the opportunity to earn money! Create the discipline to compare yourself to YOURSELF! Are you better today than yesterday? That’s it! One day at a time.
We are at the beginning of 2023. Another new year that will be full of successes and failures. By making each day count, you will have a great 2023. I believe in the PARETO PRINCIPLE (80-20). Please know … you are going to have at least 72 days that will be bad to crappy! By not having the discipline to MAKE TODAY COUNT, you will have more than 72 days that will be bad! I am not perfect. YOU are not perfect. What we are, are people who know how to be better. Who can do better. The biggest valley is the valley between the Know-Hill and the Doing-Hill. I hope you will do what you know is the right thing to do!
Start the new year by inviting me to give a presentation to you and/or a group that is close to you. We will work on “Better People Make Better People.” Please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you. HAPPY NEW YEAR!