Spinning Out of Control
The world around us certainly feels this way sometimes. Chaos is everywhere. Division, extremists, violence, and even hate seems to be at the root of headlines 24/7. The only certainty appears to be uncertainty. It’s hard for anyone not to have fear at some level.
Even if we were just talking about the politics of our country, the pendulum in D.C. is swinging back and forth so far that it’s hard for anyone to make long-term plans. Who knows where we will be in two years, four years, or a decade from now?
The problem is that there is no such thing as not making a decision. Ever heard about “Buridan’s donkey”? He was equally hungry and thirsty, and was standing midway between a hay stack and a trough of water. Because a donkey always goes to whatever is closer, Buridan’s donkey dies of both hunger AND thirst.
Not making a decision does not always mean death of course. However, you must consider that it might mean that your indecision will cause someone or something else to make the decision for you. No one likes to lose control over their life, yet this is exactly what happens.
The world may feel as though it is spinning out of control and that all we can do is control our response to it – but our future doesn’t have to spin out of control with it.
Do you remember this acronym when we were talking about financial fears? F.E.A.R…for you, does it stand for: Forget Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise?
You have a choice. Yes, there are things you cannot control. Yet there are many things within your control.
Ted was a successful man. He had a big house and a wonderful family. He enjoyed the fruits of his labor with toys, travel, and giving all he had to his wife and kids. Ted woke up to a phone call one day: his job was no longer there. He turned on his computer to learn that the markets were falling apart and another banking meltdown had just commenced. He immediately thought of his obligations – the mortgage, credit card debt, cars that were upside down, and his mere three thousand dollars in savings. His backup plan was decided right then and there for him – his retirement funds, but even that was not more than a year of his salary.
Todd was a successful man too. He had a great house and a wonderful family. He also enjoyed the fruits of his labor with toys, travel, and making sure his family was taken care of. He, too, woke up to a phone call and learned his job was no longer there. He too learned that the markets and economy were crashing before his eyes. He immediately thought of his obligations. His mortgage was almost paid off and his cars were nothing fancy, but paid for. He had socked away twelve months of cash to cover bills. Todd’s back up plan would probably not need to be touched. If it did, though, he was prepared. He had always paid himself first. 20% off the top of his pay had been invested week after week for years.
Ted or Todd – whose shoes would you want to step into? When the world around you seems to be spinning out of control, I would challenge you to look inward. What can you change? Make a decision today – Face Everything And Rise!