A Bodey in Motion

Building momentum, one step at a time

Go Pro

The number one cause of flat tires in my household? Nails jammed in the tread.

I’m really bad about driving the tires on my car until they are as bald as the head of Charles Xavier. I know it’s generally unsafe to do, but I hate having to replace stuff before I’ve used it through it’s full potential (and then some). I’m kind of cheap that way.

That having been said, you can imagine how frustrated I get when I walk out to my car and find a flat tire. What a pain in the butt. That’s never a good thing.

Of course, it used to be worse. Back before we took control of our finances, a flat tire meant the added joy of money stress. Would they be able to fix the leak, or would we have to replace the tire? Where would the money come for that? Did we have enough cash or are we going to put it on the credit card and pay it off with interest over the next three months? More often than not, it’d go on the card.

There’s no money stress today, though. No credit card, either.

So, what changed?

Hint: it wasn’t a bigger salary. I learned a long time ago that you can’t out-earn stupid behavior.

No, the difference is that today we have a plan. We save for car maintenance, like flat tires. We save for a lot of things, and we do that because we have important things we want to do with our money. We want to save for the future and we want to give generously. Not tying up our money with payments, paying back interest on unforeseen purchases, allows us to do those things with consistency.

In other words, we went from reacting with money to being proactive. We stopped letting our money problems happen to us, and instead began happening to our money.

Reactive people are driven by feelings, by circumstances, by conditions, by their environment. Proactive people are driven by values-carefully thought about, selected and internalized values.

Stephen Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

This is true for a lot of things in our lives. Whenever we let external factors control us, we abdicate responsibility for the results of those decisions. For example, if we forgo regular rest in a vain attempt to maximize our time and get everything done that we “should be doing” then we’re giving power over our health and productivity to that list that we feel the world has placed on us. Ultimately, however, the consequences of the failure to act upon our time (or money, or tires, etc.) with wisdom and maturity falls directly on us.

Until a person can say deeply and honestly, “I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday,” that person cannot say, “I choose otherwise.”

Stephen Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

If there is an area of your life that been out of control, then you need to start to act upon it. Seek out help and advice if you need to, but take control back. Stop reacting. It’s time to go pro.

July 30, 2012 Posted by | Past and Future, Work and Money | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Go Pro

Quick Hits of the Week

Live from my Nashville hotel room, here are this week’s Quick Hits:

  • I am terrible about staying on top of my email. My inbox is constantly full of dated messages that I would love to read, but I just don’t have the time or energy to do so. A lot of what I’m keeping is junk. Clearing your inbox every day, or achieving Inbox Zero, is a worthy goal, though. There is a lot of advice out there for how to do it, but I think Michael Hyatt’s suggestions are some of the best.
  • Before I get too far into this thought, let me be clear that I do love my country. I love the freedoms that it was founded on and the rights that we enjoy and continue to fight for here. That being said, it’s important to recognize that we don’t have it all together. Really. I think our country could be compared to a young boy moving into adolescence. We tend to think too much about ourselves. We’re overly fascinated with sex and violence. We worry about stupid things, and we think countries older than us just don’t understand. I think Mark Manson’s list of 10 things most Americans don’t know about America is generally good advice (especially points 4, 7, 8, and 10). Now, that doesn’t mean I want this young country to grow up to be any other nation than itself, but I am sure that we can stand on our principles as we continue to grow into national maturity.
  • Speaking of freedom and maturity, while I support our military servicemen to be free to enjoy whichever form of entertainment they find engages them, I can’t see this as a mature choice.
  • If you’re trying to convince another person to consider what you say, then you’re trying to influence them. We want to influence people when we’re sharing a part of our life that we feel passionate about. Maybe we’re trying to promote our ideas, products or services. Or maybe we just want them to go see that great movie that we just saw. Either way, we all want to be able to influence people better, and Brian Tracy has five common mistakes we should avoid when doing so.

Is there something valuable or important or cool or funny or weird or awesome out there I missed this week? I can’t hit it all, but you should let me know about it by dropping me a line or sharing it in the comments below! I’d appreciate the heads up.

July 26, 2012 Posted by | Quick Hits and Links | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Quick Hits of the Week

Quick Hits of the Week

  • I set an annual goal of reading, on average, two non-fiction books every month. It usually ends up being 25 to 30 books every year when I’m done. Harry Truman said, “Not every reader is a leader, but all leaders are readers.” Charlie ‘Tremendous’ Jones said, “You’re the same today as you’ll be in five years except for the people you meet and the books you read.” If you are seeking to influence the people around you, you need to be reading books that will grow you into the leader that you want to become. I just recently finished Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, which is a little poignant since he died a couple of days later.  The world needs more leaders like Covey.
  • Ever since we began planting and growing our food, we’ve been tinkering with it. Gregor Mendel is considered the father of modern genetics, and he did most of his research by modifying pea plants. Apples are no exception. What we eat today has been modified through natural gene exchange that occurred as a part of the process of millennia of agriculture. Today we have a company that has modified apples by introducing a synthetic version of a gene already found in the fruit. They simply want to grow apples that are resistant to browning caused by cuts and bruises. This will allow more of the apple crop to make it to market (because grocers will reject bruised fruit) and could increase apple consumption (which has fallen by 20% in recent decades). I don’t see the problem with it, but then again I’m one of those freaks who think that people should be able to consume raw milk, too.
  • Everyone knows that they need to be saving and investing for their future. We need savings to protect us against the unexpected. We need investments to provide us with options, and allow us to finish our lives strong. The problem is that most of us do neither consistently. We don’t make it a priority. That has to change. Seek out strategies for saving money, so you can build a foundation to grow wealth from. Don’t guess when it comes to investing, instead follow the habits of successful investors. You can’t put it off any longer.

Is there something valuable or important or cool or funny or weird or awesome out there I missed this week? I can’t hit it all, but you should let me know about it by dropping me a line or sharing it in the comments below! I’d appreciate the heads up.

July 19, 2012 Posted by | Quick Hits and Links | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Quick Hits of the Week