Today’s mantra: True happiness and fulfillment isn’t bought in a store (or on Amazon, despite how much I love that site… ).
Today’s action: Think through what your own good life is and how you can get there (or if you’re already there, meditate on gratitude).
I love daydreaming about the life I want. It gets me excited and keeps me motivated to stay the course. It’s so easy to get distracted by all the “shiny” things we see, but I’ve proven to myself time and time again, that they don’t bring lasting happiness. Now if only my brain would retain that lesson and stop getting tempted!
I’m especially tempted by things that promise to help me achieve the life I want. Things to organize, declutter and make life less hectic. Along with things that will help me improve myself and get my money in line. I have a tendency to want to do everything at once.
I want to eat healthier, exercise more, improve my relationship with God, be a better person, declutter the house, fix up the house, sew all my clothes, grow all my produce, start a business. Not to mention get 8 hours of sleep and spend quality time with my husband. That’s not unrealistic, is it?
Ruth Soukup of Living Well Spending Less said,
“The secret of productivity is being able to focus 100% of your attention on the most important task at any given time.”
I don’t know about you, but I definitely struggle with focusing on only one thing at a time. I think that’s part of what makes it so easy to be distracted by the next “shiny” thing we encounter. I love improvement in any form. I started reading self-help books in middle school because I’m that big of a nerd. So when I encounter a product that promises to help me improve *insert any topic I want to improve in*, I have a hard time not getting tempted by it.
The problem is that I don’t stay focused on any one topic long enough to get substantially better at it. I also have a bad habit of buying knowledge I want (books, courses, etc) and then never getting around to actually accessing the knowledge. If I actually took the time to focus all my attention on one topic at a time I’d be so much better off and so much further along in my goals rather than ping-ponging around like I do now.
So what does this have to do with money? If we can laser focus in on the one thing that we want out of our money we can actually accomplish that goal and in less time. It’s like those stories of people who pay down huge debts- they laser focus in on their goal- being out of debt- and they crush it! Every decision they make is focused on that one goal, and that one goal trumps all other goals for the time being.
If we asked ourselves, “is this bringing me closer to the life I want,” before every purchase we made, how much better off would we be? Now that doesn’t mean you can’t pause to take a vacation here or there or go out for ice cream sometimes, but just be diligent in putting your ultimate goal first.
Have you day-dreamed of the life you want? And have you figured out a path to get there? What helps you stay focused on the long-term and not get distracted by today’s “shiny” things?