It is important for you to begin taking responsibility for your current situation. You need to start making wise decisions with your money rather than foolish one’s. For an example of what wise decisions will produce in your life I like to point out the story of the talents in the Bible.cxliii We all know it, but few of us have actually thought about the decisions made by the three servants and how they apply in our lives. Basically, the two servants who made wise decisions with the money entrusted to them were given more, while the servant who made a foolish decision was stripped of all he had. As Dave Ramsey so bluntly puts it, “If you sow stupid, you reap desperate and broke.”cxliv There are certain things you can begin doing, right now, to help you start making wise decisions with your money immediately and therefore begin reaping the good that comes with these decisions.
Part of your new responsibility is to learn about your finances. You don’t need to learn everything there is to know about economics and money, just what applies to you now. As your situation changes you may need to learn new and different things but don’t worry about that now.
Learn about saving and investing, taxes, etc. Learn about your situation so that you can make informed choices. You must make your own decisions without the “help” of experts. “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with fare and beautiful treasures.”cxlv
Next, learn that you will make mistakes. That is okay. Mistakes are part of the learning process and the success process. The point is not to get so worried about making mistakes that you become too paralyzed to make a decision or to take action. This is a sure way to fail.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, but also make sure that you learn from those mistakes. Don’t be afraid to take risks, but when a risk doesn’t turn out as planned, make sure that you readjust. “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.”cxlvi
Everybody has heard of baseball’s Babe Ruth, because he hit the most home runs, but what most people don’t realize is that he also had the most strikeouts. I have made my share of financial mistakes but the one thing I realize is that I will recover even if it seemed painful at the time.
The next suggestion is to find people who are getting the results you want and listen to what they say. It is accepted wisdom that in order to become wealthy, you need to “build a better mouse trap.” If you research history’s billionaires, you will see how few of them actually invented anything. On the other hand, many of the people who did invent something seldom struck it rich. What the billionaires did was improve on somebody else’s invention or idea. I don’t suggest that you spend your life trying to achieve billionaire status. There are far too many more important things in life. The point is that we can all learn from these people.
It is important to note that for this section you should seek someone that you know, who you can actually speak with face to face about their experiences and ideas. This will have a much more concrete impression on you than somebody you don’t know.
Next is to adopt new beliefs about money. For many of us, having abundance in our life is the unknown. You must condition your mind to receive money into your life and you must do it often and continually. This can be done by visualizing the good that can come from you having money. Visualize the positive experiences you can generate with family and friends when you have more. Visualize how life would be better and more fulfilling if money were not an issue. Also, visualize the pain that you experience by not having money. The inability to take vacation, or not being able to buy your child a new toy are some examples.
Also, realize that you have so many good things in your life. When you learn to feel this abundance in other areas of your life it has a way of translating into your finances. You are much wealthier than you think. You simply need to accept that simple truth into your life. The thoughts that you focus on are the reality that you will experience.
Finally, be slow to make financial decisions. Think things over, weigh your options. You might miss an occasional opportunity, but over the long haul, you will make better, more effective decisions in this area of your life.
Michael at R2W
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