Most of us have used a GPS – so we know about the importance of the destination input. If you want to get where you want – you need to know where you want to go and follow the path! I’ve met many people who work at a job that offers security, opportunity for advancement, or lots of money. Many of them drag themselves to work each day and it ends up being something they dread. They had a burning passion to do something they loved, but for whatever reason, did not follow that dream. My good friend, Mike, works in ‘high tech’. He often asked if he could work with me. From an early age, all he wanted to do was build houses. For a variety of reasons, he has not ended up where he expected, nor intended. He lost direction in life.
Why is it that good intentioned, smart people, with admirable life goals, often are not where they intended, they’re not reaching their goals? Why is it that many people with a clear idea direction in life end up far from their intended destination? Has this happened to you in one area of your life?
First in the series, Destinations then in his book The Principle of the Path, author Andy Stanley talks about how to get from where you are, to where you want to be. We have all lost direction in life in one area for a period of time.
Flash back to 1985 when I received the best piece of personal finance advice! Picture me, working my summer job as a laborer for a bricklaying company trying to pay for university. What was the best advice and who gave it to me? It came from an Italian bricklayer in his tattered and torn work clothes. You’ll need to read this aloud in an Italian accent while waving your arms enthusiastically to get the full effect.
“Stevie it’s not-a how much-a you make, it’s-a how much-a you save.” The significance of his statement stuck with me! Many of my university professors talked about personal finance but had not been in the marketplace.
These educated professionals were not practicing personal finance as well as this man who earned probably half of what they did. Arriving in Canada from Italy, penniless, this man owned 3 houses in downtown Toronto worth a substantial amount of money. He had learned one of the dirtiest words in personal finance: discipline. As my parents often had, we will have arguments, fights, worries, pain and disappointments until we practice what this wise bricklayer taught me. I believe it is based on the following Biblical personal finance truth.
In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.
Your balance sheet tells some of your story. Are you trying to provide for a family? Earn as much as you can? Save as much as you can? Give as much as you can? Be financially “free?”
Here’s what I consider the most important: Are your finances ‘balanced?’
Regardless of your goals, where do you get direction for how you make all of your financial decisions? What is the one objective that guides your overall personal finances? Do you have a focus that can steer all your financial decisions?
I meet people all the time who say that money is the source of most of their stress. They lack balance for themselves and their balance sheet shows it.
If you feel that there are never enough hours in a day, you are right! The clock keeps ticking whether we like it or not. But what are we spending our precious few hours on?
Here are some astounding facts:
- The average person watches TV over 4 hours a day. That’s 28.5 hours each week.
- The average internet usage is 43.5 hours per month. That equates to an hour and a half each and every day.
- The average Canadian spends an unbelievable 32 days each year commuting to and from work. That’s over 768 hours trapped in your car every year!
It’s no wonder we feel we don’t have enough time.
It’s because of that last statistic that Zig Ziglar suggests we turn our vehicles into “rolling universities.” Tossing in a CD or tuning into a podcast can help turn your commute into learning time.
But what should we focus on?