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Balance the Scales

29 Sep

In the Gospel of Luke Jesus is says, “Don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it?”

Whether you want it or not, life changes.  When you passively wait for life to calm down all you are doing is letting it slip away from your control.  Like a rough tide on the ocean, it will eventually drag you down.  When we decide on a course for our own life all we are really doing is determining what style of ship is necessary to navigate the rough seas ahead.  In order to be successful we must count the cost.

Think of your life like a business, in fact the most important venture you could ever run.  You have assets and expenditures.  Assets increase in value over time and promote a healthy state of affairs.  Expenses cost something, and if improperly managed will bankrupt your business.  The first step in building the right vessel is building the balance sheets of your business.

Create a list with three columns: assets, expenses, and motivation.  Remember, these can be either physical or intangible (car, house, or wife’s support).  In the motivation column write out the importance to your life on a scale of one through ten.  Remember, we are not trying to “cook the books” but create a balanced approach to your life.

What does the list look like?  Take some time to perfect it and once your done use your list as the starting point for what you want to do with the rest of your life.

Bad Advice sounds Pretty Good

9 Sep

The worst advice I have ever heard given was at an “inspirational” gathering in rural Oklahoma.  The Speaker (with every bit of spirit he had) said that, “If you surround yourself with those who agree with you, you will never be wrong.”  On the other hand, you’ll never know when you’re right.

                It is important to surround yourself with people who will cheer you on, inspire you, and generally support your efforts and carry you through the failures.  That does not mean they will not offer you some cold hard truth when they see the ship sailing toward the iceberg.  After all, would you rather suffer a little prideful hurt or risk losing everything while the crowd cheers?

sinkng ship

                Not everyone you know will be as committed to your success as you are.  Seeing you go out and develop a winning strategy for your life will make them nervous or even jealous.  In an attempt to make their self feel better, they will do the only thing they can think to do.  They will drag you down to their level, and many of them will do it with a smile.  These “friends” will make every excuse under the sun for why their life is not living up to their expectations, and they will want you to do the same.

                As you develop, your own plan for success, refuse to surround yourself with “yes men”.  Choose people who support your effort more than your own ego and pride.  The right people will support you when the effort costs more than you expect.  They will work beside you patiently and never suggest you take short cuts or jump on the “get rich quick” bandwagon.  They will love you through the failures and the triumphs.  Most importantly, they will offer the sort of sound advice that prepares you for any of life’s challenges.

This week make a list of the most important people in your life.  Ask yourself if they are truly encouraging you.  Why wait to replace them if the answer is no?