Ken Okazaki Blogging is serious business

16Feb/112

Didn’t Your Dad Teach You To Live Within Your Means?

Well, he was wrong. And this is why.

It's depressing. Everything is falling apart! Have you ever felt like everything around you is caving in? Your credit cards are maxed out, rent is late, and your mobile phone is costing you more than you can afford. If this has ever happened to you, read on.

That's when human nature kicks in. You instinctively start shrinking. Spend less, do less, eat less, be less. Thinking that this is going to help you get back on your feet, you instead find yourself in a poorer state then when you started. You have become less of yourself.

Now you can pat yourself on the back for a job well done if this is what you really wanted.

But I think you'll agree with me that you want more. You want to be more, do more, live more. You want to have more options.

Living within your means is putting a limit on yourself. It's tying a rope around your waist and attaching it to your house so you can always safely find your way back.

The length of the rope is your means.

Staying within it gives you comfort and certainty.
Stepping beyond it represents danger and excitement.

When you are within your comfort zone there is little reason to want more because you accept your new normal.
But it's people like you and me who know that there is more, who won't settle.

Applying the title too literally is not what I'm suggesting, although the fact that you've read this far tells me that it's served it's purpose. I'll explain:

When you find yourself under external financial pressure, don't shrink. Rather, expand. Use the energies that would cause you to shrink and channel it to your creativity and put it to work thinking of new ways to earn more.

External pressure is more effective than self-motivation for most of us to cause us to take action. I'll illustrate that below:

Let's say you want to increase your income by $300 a month.

So you make commitments and plans but things don't go as expected and at the end of the month you are still at the same level: just scraping by, making ends meet. You think: "Oh well, maybe next time."

Now let's switch it around.

You commit to increasing your income by $300 and to solidify your commitment, as soon as you get your paycheck you invest that amount to your plan for increasing your income. You now know that you are going to be $300 short at the end of the month, and start thinking about where it's going to come from.
You know you HAVE to get it or else you are going to face external pressure in the form of your landlord, credit card company etc.

This is where you have to fight the urge to cave in. Take those thoughts and fears and channel them to your financial creativity.

Then the bills come, the ones you can't pay now because you invested that $300 at the beginning if the month. You're teetering on the edge, thinking that this was a bad idea.

Then the magic happens.

The culmination of a month of figuring, thinking and worrying comes together to create something new. Something you wouldn't have thought of if you had not gone through this process.
The key to unlock the door to your financial difficulties.

Now this may seem unrealistic to you, but you will find hundreds, if not thousands of stories of success that happened as a result of strong external pressure, financial or otherwise.

Yours could be on the list next.

Now do yourself a favor and generate some strong external pressure that will propel you to your next level of success. Or, if you have personally experienced it, post your own story below.

Progress always involves risks.  You can't steal second base and keep your foot on first.  ~Frederick B. Wilcox

A ship in harbor is safe - but that is not what ships are for.  ~John A. Shedd, Salt from My Attic

Living at risk is jumping off the cliff and building your wings on the way down.  ~Ray Bradbury

Comments (2) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Hey thats really cool ideas! I like that ‘granny’ on the edge of the bridge! I feel like ‘that’ when I ride my motorbike … with all kind of thoughts crossing my mind … how am I going to be able to raise more funds…… am I doing the right things ….. will I be able to visit my children … how about the cost of everything ….. and then I feel the wind! the freedom! Hear the music! the peace … I am in God’s hands! HE planned an abundant life! exceeding gladness! over and above my dreams will I be taken care of! I can dare to trust Him! Rise Above and ‘stay’ there! and eventually money always comes! Not when I limit but when I expand!This last week end i was invited to go with some friends to a beautiful island out of Cebu PI, it was going to cost something (taxi rides from home to bus station, bus rides, boat rides, nights at bungalow on the beach, meals out)…. I was tempted to say that I couldn’t afford it but the temptation was so strong to be able to spend more time with these 2 precious single moms and their children, that I accepted …. they were so happy I came that they paid for everything and even sold some of my jewelry and bags (from our LivelyHood program)! I came back home with more in my pocket that when I left! Had spent wonderful quality time with my friends and also with the kiddos, made new friends as the island was full of foreigners and nice people to talk to, got to visit this beautiful island for the first time, got new ideas for starting a new projects to generate more income as the excitement of being together was great, ideas kept popping in my head! We sang the whole bus ride back home! All happened because I stopped looking at my limitations and means and choose to expand! …. I am going to try ‘that’ every time and tell you more next time! Going for a motorbike ride right now … to feel the wind again! And start growing larger Wings of Freedom… I take the risk!

  2. Abi, you’re awsome!


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