Trump vs. Hillary has got so many people riled up right now and for good reason. How did we get here? Maybe its because of our preoccupations. Listen in to hear the powerful tale of the inspiring leadership of Richard the Lionhearted and how it relates to solutions for our era. It’s time to dream about finding real heroes in our day and I am challenging you to make the dream a reality. Go to my podcast page or CLICK HERE TO LISTEN to this inspiring message on true leadership.
Financial well being is emotional not logical! I know, I know the savvy investor has logarithms, newsletters and spreadsheets to logically pour over data to snag the best stock pick of the day. BUT, one emotional slip up busts a budget and robs one of any capital with which to invest. The bottom line is small holes sink great ships as do small leaks in financial plans. So while logically spending less than you make is the key to financial progress, emotional outbursts (or passive aggressive ones) riddle our financial plans with holes.
Personality, upbringing, mood and marketing contribute to our spending habits. Everywhere you turn messages suggest that happiness, fulfillment, prestige and even elegance can all be purchased. Logically we may not buy this, but our subconscious mind (the storage center that houses all images, commercials, scripting, family modeling, etc.) IS the driving force behind our ultimate actions. My point in this short article is not to establish the science behind this, but to provoke you to act differently. For example, simply stating that I am going to spend less than I make this month is like trying to turn a cruise ship (the subconscious mind) with a row boat (your worthy intention or conscious mind). That of course would be an exercise in futility and so is the goal of spending less than you make if the record reveals regularly falling short of that goal.
Here are five tips on getting things lined up for financial victory:
- Invest in your thinking. Benjamin Franklin said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Warren Buffet declared that knowledge compounds like interest. He therefore has a habit of reading not just financial but personal development material for hours every day. A habit of reprogramming just a few minutes a day is the foundation to securing your budget. Read everything from classics like How to Win Friends and Influence People to The Richest Man in Babylon as well as studying programs like Financial Fitness. Add positive affirmations daily (i.e. I am master of my finances and accumulate wealth for security, enjoyment and making a difference) and you are now intentionally programming your “subconscious” mind for success.
- Track everything you spend in a written notebook (it can be digital) for 30 days. If you buy a gumball from a machine write it down. This is important.
- Interrupt your daily patterns. Bring a sack lunch instead of eating out. Listen to a personal development audio or podcast instead of talk radio, music or sports. Avoid commercials for awhile. Unplug from the daily programming that bombards us. I am not talking about becoming a monk; I am emphasizing the importance of taking control of the inputs so the outputs are intentionally what you really want.
- Pay yourself first. When you treat investing in you and your savings account like you treat paying your mortgage, the “needle” will move.
- Utilize tools to help manage your money. The internet has allowed disruptive innovators to create apps, business tools and personal resources in abundance. Barriers to entry into business, investing and financial planning are lower than ever. From free apps like Good Budget, which my wife and I have personally used, to tools like FeeX that will analyze your investments for ways to save on fees, it’s never been easier to become smart about your own money. In fact, I recently read an article on CNN Money that highlighted 10 top apps to help the everyday investor become efficient in their quest for financial success. If you are ready to move beyond financial fitness, check out this article and discover some amazing resources available to you. Before you do though, I recommend you spend at least 30 days with the first three suggestions in this article. Get the foundation right or you could very well end up compounding your financial woes.
Now go forward, fix the subconscious, fill it with information that will send you on a path to financial well being. With this new way of being you are empowered to truly pay yourself first. As you do so and see your accounts grow rather than shrink you’ll be thrilled you intentionally chose financial fitness. In fact you might just celebrate on the beaches of the world.
John Wooden is a paradox in the sports world! In many ways, more dominant and legendary than Michael Jordan and still he maintained a level of sincerity and humility unlike any coach/athlete I know of. He stands alone in the record books atop a mountain of wins which culminated with ten National Championships in twelve years. His list of accomplishments, including being the only man elected to the College Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach, is a mile long. Yet, in the midst of all the accolades and success he has remained true to himself. John is first as a teacher of men, a builder of character and the most powerful lesson he offers is example.
Author Steven Jamison described Coach Wooden as “pure of heart, modest, trusting, humble, understated, serene, without pretense or hidden agenda, sincere, straightforward, intelligent, quick, confident, and filled with such a profound decency and tremendous inner strength that it is humbling.” Jamison wrote books with Wooden and was in absolute awe of the man. In their book, Wooden, A Life Time of Observations and Reflections on and Off the Court, Jamison penned the following poem.
Our Ships are tossed
Across the night,
Our Compass cracked,
For Wrong or right.
True North is there,
Or over here?
Our sea is fear.
Then suddenly a beacon bright
Is shining through
This stormy night.
It’s pure and straight
To his true course.
The coach is seen.
He is True North.
In the sea of turmoil we call life, Jamison was deeply affected by this man he came to know. Wooden always turned away from this kind of direct attention, but Jamison just wrote what he observed and what others felt. Coach Wooden first desired to teach his players how to live right and second how to play basketball. So just how did Wooden represent true north for so many? It came about as a decision to valiantly follow the lifetime creed his father passed on to him on a hand written card at John’s graduation from grade school.
On one side of the card was a verse by Henry Van Dyke:
Four things a man must learn to do
If he would make his life more true:
To think without confusion clearly,
To love his fellow-man sincerely,
To act from honest motives purely,
To trust in God and Heaven securely.
On the other side it read “Seven Things to Do.”
- Be true to yourself.
- Help others.
- Make each day your masterpiece.
- Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible.
- Make friendship a fine art.
- Build a shelter against a rainy day.
- Pray for guidance and count and give thanks for your blessings every day.
His father’s simple sermon that day was, “Son, try to live up to these things.” John Wooden carried that actual card with him throughout his life and he endeavored to do exactly that. His life offers evidence that the sermon is true. Can you imagine a world where politicians, business leaders, coaches and parents followed this model of the man they call, “Coach.” That’s a world I get excited about!
So allow me to keep the final thought as simple as the original, “try to live up to these things.”
Society pays a price when people don’t show up. Coaches complain when their teams don’t “show up” to play. You and I pay a price when we halfheartedly show up and nations can rise and fall depending on who shows up. So what does our lack luster approach to “showing up” in every sense of the word cost us? Now that the fire works and parades of the American Independence Day celebrations have ended what will you do today to secure your own freedom? And whether or not you “show up” has more to do with it than you may imagine.
*some of the events of Abraham Baldwin’s story was gathered from content in Ron G. Carters book, Unlikely Heroes.
Learn how holding fast to your character leads to greater opportunity in this podcast!
Throughout history there are those who boldly plant themselves in the critics path to defend just principles. The strength of their character preserves freedom and justice for all. Listen to this inspiring story of one in our modern era who did just that. He represents the thousands of others who, in pivotal moments, put adulation, power and even popularity aside to protect the principles that set us free. Enjoy this powerful podcast about James Donovan!
Debt overwhelms our society today and our attitude towards it threatens to destroy us, not the debt itself. The Pilgrims offer a powerful illustration on this point. Many do not know the full story of the American Pilgrims who came to Plymouth in 1620. The truth is they labored under massive amounts of debt... Click here to jump straight to the Audio or visit the podcast page by clicking here to listen to the rest of the story!
New Podcast # 17 Posted (click here to visit the podcast page)
Are you looking for better results from the team and projects you lead?
Do you know why your current initiative is falling short of expectations?
The truth is every leader must identify the currently imperceptible road blocks that are halting success before a breakthrough can occur. Four very different leaders in the Panama Canal Project offer an excellent leadership case study in this tragic and insightful tale of an epic battle to forge a shipping lane through Central America. Listen in and see if you don’t discover what all the “buzz” is about here and in your own leadership journey.