Is it a Good Day, or a Bad One?

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Often times people will say “Man, what a great day!” or “Wow, that was a rough day.” What percentage of those days was a result of something bad happening to them, and what percentage of it was a decision they made when they woke up in the morning.

Life is tough. People are cruel. Things don’t go according to plans. Life isn’t fair…..All true statements. However, what if we decided that today was going to be a good day? What if that was our mission? Could anyone stop us?

I would argue it would be pretty difficult. Sometimes things happen that are going to make for a bad day. That’s a fact. I do think though that you can make a higher percentage of your days positive.

People like to bust out the quote “Life is 10% what you make, and 90% how you take it. What if we decided we were going to have a good day despite our circumstances, the negative co-worker, the memo we received, or the new guidelines that need to be implemented. OR….the inlaws are coming over for Thanksgiving dinner. 🙂

Homework for today (or tomorrow if it is already too late): Be the most positive person you see the entire day. Get plenty of sleep, get up before your alarm and have everything ready to go. Look sharp. Set your mind to conquer….let me know how it turns out.

The Nuts and Bolts of Financial Freedom

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So, you have some debt. When you owe people, you can feel the weight on your shoulders. You know that any big financial problem or trial in your life could completely turn you on your head.

The best place to start to get yourself out of that position is to make a budget. If nothing else, get started by listing out your expenses in a month and the income you take home. (Don’t look at your gross income, that will just make you sick 🙂 )

Then look at where your money goes. Do you spend a lot on things you shouldn’t? Do you waste a lot of money? Chances are, if you aren’t working off a concrete, written-down budget you are letting money fall out of your wallet daily.

Take some time to write these things down. Physically. Then take a week, month, or a couple months to actually track where your money goes. You may be shocked at all the holes you have in your finances.

Homework: Track your spending for 2 weeks (or however long your pay-period is) Then evaluate whether you can do some trimming, or whether you need to find some more income!

100 Views (& a poll)

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First off, as I write this I’m one view short of 100 (and this is my 20th post). Thank you for stopping by and reading my content. I hope it is helped you as a person, worker, leader, husband, wife, or student.

I have plenty of ideas about what I’d like to cover moving forward, but I thought I would put a poll up to see what else you guys would like to see. I realize I didn’t get much participation in the poll last time, so this may backfire, but I’m not scared or deterred!

So, what would you like to know more about or get some new ideas about?

Also, if any of you are interested in doing some personal coaching, feel free to contact me and we can work something out. I’m going to be pretty affordable, because this really is the beginning of my business. I may even take on a couple of you for free! Feel free to contact me with any questions as well!!

Planning, Failing, all that Jazz

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Do you have a 5 year plan? A 1 year plan? 6 Month? Still struggling day to day on what to do?

A wise man once said “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it everytime.” Unless we are going to set some goals and get concrete in our productivity and mission, we really are at best treading water.

Maybe your goal needs to be finding a job: Set out to research jobs, locations you would want to work, and things you are qualified for. Maybe you need to set out a quantity of job applications you want to put out there a week?

Maybe it’s skill development or furthering education? Maybe it’s financial.

The key is to really spend some time thinking. I promise you that finding a concrete goal is the first part of getting some forward momentum in your daily life. The second part is finding someone to come alongside and join you to keep you honest. (Accountability)

Homework: Set up a plan for some aspect of your life. Make sure you can measure the goal, that it is specific, and it has deadline. Then find someone (like me) to help focus that goal and get you moving toward it. Direction + Passion= Abundant life.

Why? No. Really.

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Remember that game you would play, or maybe someone plays on you where they just ask “why?” They just kept asking it. Over and over again. It really does beg the questions: Why are you reading this now? Why did you get out of bed this morning? Why do you work where you do? Why did you marry who you did?

Maybe you have a great answer to all of these questions, or maybe it has been awhile since you thought about it. I know I needed to think about it.

Why should I get up in the morning? To serve others, to make a difference, and ultimately to worship God in my daily life. Do i live in that reality? Not enough,

Why do I work where I do? If I couldn’t answer that question I don’t think I could keep doing what I’m doing.

Aristotle said something to the effect of: “the unexamined life isn’t worth living.” If you are going through the motions or taking things for granted, you might ought get off that track. Life is too short and has way too much importance to stay there.

Homework:Use this thought to guide your decision making today. Ask yourself why. Let that bring focus, passion, and intensity to your life.

How an Ugly Car can Make you Rich!

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You probably drive by one everyday. Full of new shiny cars with bright numbers and red tags in the windshield. New car lots. I am somewhat (although not full bore) of a Dave Ramsey subscriber. I do firmly agree that debtors are slaves to the lenders and I have seen the statistics and done the calculations to see what getting rid of a car payment and investing that money instead can do. It is nuts. Lets play this game.

So, you have 3,000 let’s say. You can 1. Put that as a down payment on a new car that costs 21,000. 2. Put that as a down payment on a used car for 10,000 and still feel pretty cool. Or…#3. Use that cash in hand to negotiate a deal on a not so new or pretty but reliable car. The average car payment in America is around 5 years (60months) and let’s be conservative and say $350.

Stick with me. Let’s buy the old car. So, I pocket and invest the money for those payments. Let’s say i make just under the market average and make it easy to calculate with 10% growth. Alright, so 350 a month payment for a year is $4,200. Plus 10% interest: $4,620. That’s your money!

Running that calculation for 5 years…..26,472.60… Of Your own money! Not owed. Can you afford a 10,000 car now? I’d hope so! And…if you kept saving and investing, you’d be able to do the same thing a few years later… Also, how much would that 21,000 car be worth at the end of 5 years? 5,000? Not a good investment.

Moral of the story: let your money work for you, instead of chasing around things on credit you can’t afford. It will keep you poor!

(Here is Dave’s example) http://www.daveramsey.com/article/the-truth-about-car-payments/lifeandmoney_automobiles/

The Power of Mood

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As I have mentioned before, I teach high school students. I teach a couple computer and business classes. I have learned a lot of things on the job that I never would have in a college classroom studying education theory.

One of the priceless ones is this:

Your students’ mood often will reflect yours

For students you could replace it with: coworkers, boss, subordinates, kids, spouse. This is a big deal. Meaning: If I’m irritable and impatient, they are probably going to get uneasy as well.  If I’m positive and upbeat, that is usually contagious as well. I’ve had days where my kids read me like a book. They’d say “Are you okay?” “Everything alright” when I was upset or just tired. The other thing I got told was people had no problem putting at risk kids in my room because I always stayed calm. Kids that are irritable need someone who is steady and mellow.

My wife wishes sometimes I would get more excitable, but the truth is, I think we balance each other perfect. Ultimately the point I want to make is this (cliche alert): Is your attitude worth spreading? Is some little event in your day or life being allowed to take over your well being?

Homework Assignment: Assess your mood. Figure out what has caused it today. Solve or put away the things that are irritating (stuff that needs to be done, bad comments through the day) and remember the positives. It probably isn’t that bad, and if it is, get some help or spend some time in prayer.