Endurance and Survival
I am totally fascinated by stories and documentaries that depict the remarkable will to endure and survive that we find in the animal kingdom. Take the emperor penguins of Antarctica. Every year in autumn, they leave their cozy ocean habitat and take a journey that spans hundreds of miles, walking across a frozen continent to their inland breeding grounds. In a tortuous march that takes many months, these birds brave unspeakably brutal conditions to bring new life into the world.
Knowledge or Entertainment?
You have just spent the better part of this book learning 7 essential rules for managing money. You’ve added to your knowledge bank. But so what? Don’t get me wrong. Knowledge is a wonderful thing and I am thrilled that I might have imparted something of importance to you. But until what we learn moves us to action, it’s nothing more than entertainment. If you do not apply these rules to your life, you’ve wasted your time and money. And ended up with another book gathering dust on your bookshelf.
Please don’t let that happen. Don’t stop with the knowledge. Determine right now that you will turn these rules into tools; that you will move from knowledge to action.
Write, Commit, Become Accountable
A Dominican University study offers enlightening data on the value of writing goals, as opposed to just thinking about them. Participants in the scientific study were divided between those who wrote their goals, those who simply thought about them, and those who became accountable to a supportive friend for their progress.
The results bear out what I know to be true in my life: those participants who wrote their goals accomplished significantly more than those who did not write their goals. And those who wrote their goals and became accountable by sending weekly progress reports to a trusted friend accomplished the most.
One Step at a Time
I love to knit. That is not to say that I am a fast knitter or even that good at it. It’s not the finished product that I find so enjoyable. It’s the process, the way it works. It’s the gentle rhythm, the pulling of one loop of yarn through another, over and over
Curiously, knitting has only two stitches: knit and purl. That’s true for me and even the most advanced knitter on the face of the earth. Just two stitches. No matter if I go fast or slow, how intricate or ordinary the pattern, I can make only one stitch at a time and one stitch makes absolutely no visual difference whatsoever. That’s just the way it is with knitting.
The Rule Team
You could approach your overall money management plan one rule at a time, opting to master it, then move on to the next rule. But as I said earlier in the book, I do not recommend that. The 7 Rules work together. They are part of one whole. So if you choose to work on one rule at a time, placing the others in abeyance, things will fall out of balance. You could be setting yourself up for frustration.
When you need to buy groceries, you’ll be duly prompted which aisles to visit. And if you swerve down the candy aisle and feel the need to stop, it won’t be guilt tapping on your shoulder. It’s your natural capacity to achieve goals that will suggest you should just keep going. Setting goals, working toward them every day, and finally reaching them is the way to change your financial future. Your goals need not be huge. In fact, setting smaller goals makes sense. With shorter benchmarks, you’ll reach your goals more quickly, providing the boost you’ll need to set a new goal, or 12, until finally you’ve changed your life.