Recently, I wrote a post that asked the question “What would you if you had a million dollars?”
A reader who identified herself as “KC” wrote an incredible response that I am sharing today (with her permission, of course).
… I will start out with our story. 10 years ago my husband and I were DEEP in debt. It took some very hard years and tough decisions (ie: no car in a northern city where it can snow any month of the year) and giving up some things that we thought were very important to us but… we are now out of debt and even better, we have that elusive 1 million dollars in assets and cash that you speak of.
What’s different? Nothing really.
Only a few lessons that I’ve learned:
If you didn’t tithe before, it’s unlikely that you will now. If you didn’t help your friends, it’s unlikely that you will now. If you don’t already save your money, it’s unlikely that you will now…
Basically I’m saying that unless you start to cultivate these things now, having a millions dollars isn’t going to change that. Your ‘mindset’ needs the change – and the money won’t change that.
I know some people who have nowhere near the million dollars that you speak of, and yet, they do all of these things and more.
With all due respect, you CAN take only $10 and gift it anonymously to someone who needs it more than you (and there is always someone in that position), you can tithe 10% of your income now, you can put money away for your child’s education now – even if it’s only $5, you CAN do all of these things.
Joe, I can understand the motivation behind your question, however I fear that it makes us forget what is truly possible right in front of us and in the situation that we are in right now.
When we were still climbing out of the deep pit of debt, some friends of ours found themselves in an even deeper pit. We helped them a little, anonymously, out of the little bit of money that we’d managed to stash away (leaving it almost at nil). But when I think back over the years, I recall that one over all of the other times that we have helped someone, that time felt as though we really made a difference to them and it made a difference to us.
Additionally, after achieving this momental moment, I’ve also learned something that I didn’t expect. When you ‘over-assist’ someone and they don’t have the joy of succeeding themselves, they don’t have the same joy in your gift. It feels like handcuffs to them. It creates an indebtedness that doesn’t belong in close relationships.
So… I guess that I am saying that a million dollars is not the be-all and end-all, it is simply one step on the many paths of being human.
All I could say when reading KC’s response was AB-SO-LUTE-LY and Amen sister!
What do you think?
Many of you know that Mark Asbell is a huge part of this crusade to help others accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances. He has been a tremendous help in growing this crusade at NewSpring Church and taking this message to the nation.
What you may not know is Mark and Shawna’s financial story. If you want to GET FIRED UP and BE ENCOURAGED – take 3 minutes to watch their story:
If you can’t view the video, click HERE.
If your financial story were put into a 3-minute video, what would you say?
“And there will be a party.” I’m going to that party!!!!
By the way, Mark writes a blog about money and relationships. You can read that HERE.
GET FIRED UP!!!
Selfishness leads to poverty.
But not necessarily in a financial sense. It is much deeper. I believe that selfishness leads to poverty of the spirit and soul.
Are we not all born with a drive toward selfishness?
It is proven to me every time I am standing in a line at Wal-Mart for thirty minutes. I want to cut in line to avoid waiting. Let's say that I did cut in line. I would have the immediate gratification of getting out of the line and not having to wait anymore, but there would be a moment later that evening when I would have to wrestle with the fact that I was out-of-line – literally and figuratively.
It is proven to me when my wife is suffering from morning sickness which has turned into all-day sickness. The magic fairy that somehow transformed dirty clothes and dishes into clean clothes and dishes has ceased to exist. The magic fairy that managed the household – mail, laundry, dishes, grocery shopping, library trips, activities with the daughter, shipping IWBNIN resources, managing the financial affairs … It all stopped. Now I realize that it was my bride all along. Now I have to clean, wash, shop, etc. Poor me.
You know what drives the pity party, right? Selfishness. You know what selfishness leads to? Poverty of the spirit.
No one wants to hang out with a selfish person. No one wants to hear the pity party.
If you want to lose friends and ruin relationships, be selfish.
Everyone wrestles with it. If you do not believe me, watch your children when they are little. "MINE!", is one of the most uttered words.
My friend, Jake Beaty, once asked another friend, Jamie Salmon, this question: "Why do you give?"
Jamie's answer rocked Jake's world. When I heard it, it rocked my world.
Jamie said, "I give to keep from being selfish."
Well said, Jamie. Well said.
Don't believe me? Go read Lazy Man and Money's post HERE.
This type of article is why I get up FIRED UP and PUMPED UP to do what I do. I am passionate about helping people make GREAT decisions with their financial resources so that their children can be PROUD of how their parents managed their "stuff".
When I teach the Financial Learning Experience, I always take some time to have everyone write down the reasons why they want to be financially successful. I believe that when people know WHY they are sacrificing financially, it helps them stick to their plan.
Do you know what the number one reason is?
Nearly everyone in the room has written down that one of the reasons they want financial success is to have less stress in their life!
Is that you? If it is, I want you to know that you CAN reduce the stress related to your finances! You CAN!
Here is a short list of items that removed a ton of financial stress from my life:
- A written spending plan every month before the month begins. It is truly EZ to win with money!
- Stopped acquiring more debt
- An emergency fund of at least $2,500
- A wife that chooses to work together with me to manage our money
- Paid off all debt except the house
- Realizing what "enough" was
- Answering God's call on my life (you can watch me share my journey HERE)
What has helped you eliminate financial stress in your life?