|I never cease to be amazed at what big impact minor changes can make in the life of an individual. In science, this is a well known fact, hence the drive for accuracy and precision in mathematics and the sciences. A less than one degree deviation in the flight path of an airliner taking off from continental United States to Europe can mean landing in another country entirely.“Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things. I am tempted to think there are no little things.” – Barton, Bruce
When it comes to personal finances, the changes a small adjustment will make in the course of a few years can be amazing. The steps to financial freedom and independence can range from 5 to 20 depending on who you are listening to. They are saying the same thing in different ways; some breaking stop steps down into simpler easier to digest steps. These can be condensed into one single step – pay yourself first.
It took me a while and a bit of further study to understand the concept of paying yourself first. Whenever I managed to save, the savings gets spent a couple of months later. I felt trapped in a vicious circle with no discernible way out. I was spending first and saving what was left, and after a while, the savings gets spent when the proverbial rainy day shows up. The rainy day had a knack of showing up at the nick of time, just when I have a bit saved up.
It took listening to Jim Rohn to finally drive the nail home – I needed a minor adjustment in my philosophy. Save first before spending, not spend first and hope there will be something left to save. When the focus is on spending, even your saving becomes a target for further spending. It did not stop with just saving the money. I needed to get the money out of the line of fire by putting it to work – investing it so that:
1) I do not have access to spend it
2) It will earn interest or returns
3) I will be motivated to keep saving and investing as I watched the principal and interest income grew
4) It becomes a habit, so it becomes automatic.
It was so simple I was amazed how I missed it all this while. I came to realize that common sense was not very common. There is a common sense for each level of growth and self awareness and until you get there, it sounds like rocket science. I was so caught up with satisfying my needs and wants that I did not realize that the most sustainable way to do that is by continuously growing my income and that can only happen when I delay gratification, save and invest first before spending.
Now that saving and investing first before spending has become a habit, I no longer struggle in that area. It happens by reflex, automatically. It is the first thing I think about after setting aside an amount for giving, the moment money enters my hands. Because of that small adjustment, my savings, investment, interest and returns grows month by month. I become richer every month. With increased income, I can afford things I really want, and I can make a difference in the lives of other people.
If you desire to attain financial freedom and independence, you may want to win this battle first before you proceed much further, especially if you are an employee or small business owner. Make your money work for you, so that you do not have to work so hard for money. It is a matter of a small adjustment.
– Usiere Uko is editor of www.financialfreedominspiration.com and author of Practical Steps to Financial Freedom and Independence –www.amazon.com/Practical-Steps-Financial-Freedom-Independence/dp/147006832X .
Who is the greatest person that ever lived before Jesus Christ?
Do a poll on this question and you may be surprised at the varying answers you will get from Christians. Names like Adam, Abraham, Pharaoh, Moses, King David, King Solomon, Elijah, Daniel, Jacob, Isaiah, Julius Cesar, etc. may show up on the list. But here’s what Jesus Christ has to say about the question above: “Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he” Matthew 11:11 (NIV)
From God’s perspective, the believer is greater than anyone that ever lived before Jesus Christ because believers are born of God (John 3:3). The divine nature of God dwells in us (2 Peter 1:4). We, unlike the men of old, have the privilege to approach the throne of grace with boldness (Hebrews 4:16). We have access to a level of wisdom greater than Solomon’s, because we have the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16). We have the “God-kind” of life, and access to His riches (Ephesians 1:3). In fact, I John 4:17 makes us understand that “as Christ is, so are we in this world”. What a glorious position we have been called to occupy! So by nature, all believers look alike; but our actions set us apart. We all appropriate the blessedness of our new life in different ways, and that makes us look different in the world. So what would your response be if I asked you – who is the greatest Christian on earth today?
For many, the first thing that would probably come to mind is the external works and achievements of some “men of God”. Many will think of some church general overseers, famous healing evangelists or preachers that command the largest crowds in our day. But have you ever wondered why John the Baptist was said to be greater than King Solomon or Moses? If we were to rate them based on “spectacular results”, what spectacular results would you attribute to John the Baptist over the other patriarchs in the scriptures? If God were to answer the same question, would His response be different from ours? Most likely! The bible says in 1Samuel 16:7 (CEV) “…People judge others by what they look like, but I (God) judge people by what is in their hearts.”
Today, God places many of his children around us to support us in Christian growth and fulfilling His mandate, but we sometimes despise them because they are not famous or do not hype their achievements. We spend months trying to get an appointment with that renowned preacher, but the answer to the yearnings of our hearts may be found in the lips of our Sunday School teacher; We consider every word spoken by the man that pastors a 10,000 congregation church to be “the Rhema”, but the words of the pastor of 100 members may well be “the heresy”; We find it difficult to support that poor looking missionary who may currently be nurturing the “Billy Graham” of the next generation, but find it easy to buy the 7th drum set in that big cathedral, even though the drums will be left idle in the church store. It’s a pity that believers of today despise the wristwatches God has placed beside us to help us understand the signs of the times just because they are not the size of our church clocks.
Beloved, let’s stop idolizing men of fame and despising the “seemingly common” believer around us; let’s pay attention to the support God has placed around us and let them help nurture us into greatness. A body that pays attention to only its head and treats other parts as unimportant is on the verge of collapse. A believer that only seeks ‘the spectacular’ is likely to miss the supernatural. God has placed every believer around you for a reason and you should benefit from the greatness around you. As we pay much respect to some of our leaders, we should not despise our fellow believers around us because who knows, the greatest of all may just be the most despised among us.
– Tope Aladenusi