Broadly speaking, there are two different types of people in this world.
You can easily tell which kind of person they are by listening to them for a few minutes.
You can easily tell which kind of person they are by watching what they do.
The two types of people are those that take responsibility for their actions, focus on what they can do, and devote their energy to what they can change. Sometimes we call these people proactive people.
Then there are the folks who are victims. Nothing is ever their fault. They focus on what others have done to them. They devote their energy holding on to things they cannot change. These people are reactive people.
If you want to change something in your life, you’ll need to learn to identify the things you can do to revolutionize your future. Today, you’ll get 7 foundational items that, if implemented today, could help you wake up in five years with a completely different future – granted.
1. Admit your failures.
I’m slowly starting to learn to embrace failures in my life. Why? Because failures help lead us to success.
If you’ve made a bad financial decision. If you’ve spent money on things you shouldn’t have. If you lived it up when you should have been saving it up.
You need to recognize your failures. You can’t change your financial future until you recognize that you are part of the problem.
2. Seek inspiration.
One of the things I find here in Papua New Guinea is that there are very few homegrown heroes to inspire people. Too many people think their lives are pre-determined to be as difficult as their ancestors’ lives.
But the world is full of amazing people who found strength in the most overwhelming circumstances.
Helen Keller. Nelson Mandela. The Apostle Paul. King David. Desmond Tutu. Ghandi.
I think one reason people love Dave Ramsey is they see a bankrupt guy who built an empire. It inspires them.
Steven Covey says that all things are created twice. The first is in the mind, and the second is in action.
If you’re a person who thinks your financial situation is a life prescription, then allow yourself to dream for one hour.
Give yourself permission to say, “What if?”
Do not allow any self correcting negative thoughts.
- What if I could pay off this debt …
- What if I could have an emergency fund in place …
- What if I could save money for retirement …
- What if I had money to give to the poor when they asked …
- What if I could make decisions based on passion, not dollars …
4. Write the map.
If you can close your eyes and see a healthy financial future, you’re on the right track.
But dreaming is the easy part. Remember, we’re focusing on action here!
How will you get there?
One of the things that people love about the Total Money Makeover is that it has a built in map.
- Get $1,000 in the bank
- Implement a debt snowball
- Finish off a fully funded emergency fund
- Invest 15% of your income in retirement
- Fund the kids college
- Pay off home mortgage
- Build wealth like crazy
My personal recommendations vary a little bit from this, but this is a good map.
Crown Financial Ministries also has something called the money map.
5. Count the Cost
I think this is a step that a lot of people overlook.
Just because your map is going to get you to an amazing destination doesn’t mean there won’t be pressure, sweat, disappointment, hard work, and negative peer pressure along the way.
When we fly to Papua New Guinea, we know it’s going to be a long and tiring flight with three young kids. But it’s always worth it.
What will you need to give up?
You may need to give up sleep so you can earn extra income. Determine how much is appropriate.
You may need to give up on some family time. It is for a limited time? What is the long term impact on your marriage and family?
Are you going to need to say no to someone you love? No more dining out. No more expensive vacations?
Be sure you know what you’re going to give up.
Now all you need to do is compare that to what you’ll gain. If what you gain is better than what you’ll lose, you’ve counted the cost and you’re ready to go.
6. Immunize yourself.
If you were to fail (I’m not saying you will ), what is it that caused the failure?
When we visit the doctor to get our immunizations, she actually injects us with a little bit of the disease we’re trying to avoid. This way our body can learn how to react to it and learn how to repress it and get stronger than it.
When we immunize ourselves, we anticipate what part of our plan will be the hardest. What will be the biggest cost.
For example, you may know that your friend is going to hassle you every day if you tell him you’re not eating out for lunch anymore. You may know that your children are going to throw a fit when you say there will be no more cable.
What is it that is going to be the hardest to deal with?
Now, create a game plan of how you’ll appropriately respond or overcome that issue.
No, I didn’t just tag this on at the end because I think that’s what a good Christian writer should do.
Prayer is our anchor in every major transition of life.
In prayer, we are giving an opportunity to admit our weakness, feeling of helplessness, and need.
Through prayer, God is brought into the mundane part of our lives. When God enters our mundane lives, he always bring his creative and re-creative power.
As Paul once said (actually quoted): For in him we live and move and have our being.
When it comes time to address your financial situations, you want to live in Him, move with Him, and find your being within God’s will for you.