"The" key to success - There is no such key
Not literal, but you know what the image above is saying figuratively. Don't waste or blow your money away for nothing because every penny counts. As of today's date - May 2, 2016, NIKE stock is trading under $60 per share. If you have $600 to spend on some Nike "Jordan's" to look fly, why not pickup like 9-10 shares of NKE and get you a nice sneaker for $60 bucks? You can still "look fly" and have a future plan. Same goes for your latest iPhone especially if you are someone who has pressing needs.
My Top 5 tips for Success:1. Be Your Own Bank and Plan for "raining days" or emergencies
- Do not plan your expenses based on someone else's income. Your parents, friends and family should not be your primary source of income. Think about what you can do for others not what others can do for you. Staying discipline and spending less than you earn will make everything else that comes your way look like a big bonus. If you own a business, focus on profit not popularity.
- Plan for emergencies like Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 11:1-2. I've always been a big believer in the "no income = no expenditure" policy. When your total expenses including your debt is less than half of your income, then you have a better chance of being a "successful" person in whatever you do.
- Be willing to make a decision and live with the consequences - good or bad. This doesn't mean a rush to judgement or recklessness. It simply means you cannot dwell on one issue forever or blame others for the results of your decisions.
- If you believe that "time is money", you should also believe that waste of time is waste of money. Don't entertain the idea of what you think you want or deserve if your basic needs have not been met. When your wants becomes your needs, you will most likely loose. You don't want groceries, you need it. You don't need video games, you want it. Decide what your wants and needs are, then follow it up with a plan and a timeline.
Time is money
3. Be Courageous and Flexible
- Don't be scared to be different but don't try to "reinvent the wheel" if you'll be better off re-designing it. Don't be afraid to fail and see failure as an opportunity to learn for growth. What worked for others may not work for you. Work towards maximizing your strength and use it to limit the impact of your weaknesses. Do what works for you and be open to flexibility.
- This is not the year 1948 so flexibility is paramount in today's society. If you are in a downward trend type of industry, don't wait for things to go completely wrong before weighing your options for a possible change. With growing technology, this is a new age where things (employment, businesses, industries) can change in no time so be flexible. Be prepared for changes because no condition is permanent in life.
- The willingness to work means accepting opportunities that comes your way. These opportunities can be permanent or temporary but your primary approach should be to ask yourself if it's an upgrade from being unemployed. Even if it's not in your field, it could be an opportunity to learn something new. Be willing to flip burgers at a place like McDonald's instead of flipping TV channels from your couch (2 Thessalonians 3:10).
- You've probably heard the phrase: "the best ability is availability." One of the best ways to make yourself available and able to work is to live a healthy lifestyle. Learn as much as you possibly can because "knowledge is power" and "health is wealth." This is a good way to avoid excuses when an opportunity presents itself.
Health is Wealth
5. Be Content and Give Happily
- Contentment doesn't mean you should stop hustling or bursting your tail by working both hard and smart. You can work hard and smart without ignoring God in your life. Contentment means to put God first in any situation you find yourself. This is why Paul said godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Timothy 6:6-10). Money is not evil just as temptation is not a sin. The love of money is root of evil. It leads to evil just as temptation can lead to sin if we let it. Job and John the baptist were both men of God. One was the richest in his region and the other couldn't be any poorer even if he tried. What they both had in common was putting God first regardless of their individual situations. Don't work so hard simply because you want to keep up with the Jones's. Work hard and smart for you and your goals.
- Give without expectation especially to those who you know are not able to give back to you (orphans). Giving only to those we expect to receive something from is what I call fake giving. Give without keeping track of every dime you give but this doesn't mean you should go bankrupt. I personally choose not to keep detailed record of my giving because I don't want to look at it one day and feel like I've done enough. Only give within your means and always pray for wisdom on how to spend your hard earned money. If your giving doesn't make you happy, then I encourage you to review the reason behind your giving because something must be wrong. Remember you can't save the world but this doesn't mean you can't do your very best. You can give love, money, time, smile, encouragement, etc. Yes, we all have something to give because a broken crayon can still color.
Life is a journey so go explore.