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Own Your Life

The Little Things In Life

I’m a firm believer that it’s the small things in life that lead you to where you are now and where you are going to be in the future.

Not those “life-changing” events. Nope, just the long chain of small things that you choose to do every day.

Notice that I said “you choose” because your life is the way it is because of the consequences of millions of choices you have made.

If I ask you right now “Are you responsible for your life?” I am sure most people would say yes. However, if I asked, “Are you 100% responsible for your life?” I expect some hemming and hawing. Excuses as to why they are not 100% responsible could range from their parents made them this way, or ‘the government’. Many of those same people would then complain and point fingers at someone or something else to fix their perceived problems.

Some people have been waiting for that other thing to ‘fix’ them when they only need to point that finger towards themselves. Every single day they make a choice to allow whatever is wronging them to affect them. Every day they choose to live at some level of victimhood.

Maybe you don’t have deep issues, but have you ever blamed traffic for you being late? Have you ever allowed someone else to cause you to have a bad mood? Have you ever blamed a subordinate or co-worker for an error on a report that you are responsible for?

Any of these is not taking 100% responsibility for your life. Any of these is allowing you to believe that you are a victim of something.

But that is a defeatist attitude.

Traffic? You should have left earlier. Bad mood? Only you control your emotions. Erroneous report? You are responsible for double-checking the data.

You are an adult, and therefore are fully responsible for what you choose to do or not and how you choose to respond to what happens in your life.

No one else is going to fix your life. No one else is going to come along and say they’ll make sure it all turns out alright.

You have to realize it is 100% up to you.

Say this out loud right now:

If I want it to be, it’s up to me.

If you want to be happy, it is up to you to be happy. No one but yourself can give you lasting happiness.

It’s the same for anything else.

Want to lose weight? You won’t find it in a pill or surgery. Sure, you can get the fat sucked out of you from liposuction. But unless you change within, mentally, you will simply put that fat back on.

Want to be rich? Change your mental money mindset or even if you win the lottery or scored big on cryptocurrencies, you will probably lose it all. The number of lottery winners that are broke in just a few years is staggering. It is because they never learned that they needed to change their own attitude towards money.

HOW TO GET STARTED

Hopefully I have got you to realize that anything you want in life is up to you alone to make happen.

But it isn’t going to happen overnight. No, like I said earlier, the accumulation of millions of choices has led you to where you are today. So the only way to right anything in your life is by starting to make millions of tiny choices towards your desired goal.

Desire. Yes, you have to have a burning desire. An undying fire within yourself that wants your goal.

My goal is to be financially free. I live every day towards making this happen. Every choice I make I ask myself does this bring me closer to financial freedom?

But why?

I want to own my time. I want to be able to freely pursue my other goals. By achieving financial freedom I will then be able to more fully focus on the next goal on my list.

My desire for financial freedom burns hot inside me. It is my goal, my focus, my WHY.

It is not “I would like to be financially free one day.”

If you only would like something, then you won’t have the power to stay the course over the years it takes to achieve it. I will not wake up tomorrow and have my goal. It is still hundreds of thousands of tiny choices ahead of me. Many of those choices are between the easy road that leads me further away from my goal, or the hard choice that leads me closer.

If my WHY is not strong enough, eventually I would break and start taking the easy road.

That’s why I say “I WILL be financially free in 2019.”

This is how people start their new year’s resolution strong, but a month later they have already given up. They merely liked the thought of their goal, not truly had that fire inside of them for it.

You need to have WHY-POWER. Find yours first, or you will not make it.

 

STRENGTHEN YOUR WHY

The number one thing I have learned that helps anyone on the path towards their goal is to track it.

Humans have this ability to forget all the little things, the incremental changes around them.

Tracking it all gives you the ability to see how far you have come.

When I say track it, I mean every single transaction. Trying to lose weight? Track everything you eat and every single workout.

Want to get out of debt? Track every time money leaves your account or your pocket – no matter how little. Track the amount you reduce your debt every time you make a payment.

Track everything that is related to your goal.

To be able to see it laid out in your tracker is a powerful way to stay strong in the pursuit of your goal.

But it also has the ability to stop any straying off course.
If I see something for sale that I want, often the simple act of having that expense appear on my credit card is enough to stop me.

For instance, say I feel like having a snack and a soda. If I wasn’t tracking every cent of my purchases, I might mindlessly buy those things and be further away from my goals. But the act of having to enter that expense is enough to stop me from doing so. This same example works for those whose goal it is to lose weight.

In the book “Your Money or Your Life”, the authors recommend you track every single expense for a month. They say to do this because they have seen just how powerful tracking is.

In the financial sphere, often it is seen that people don’t have an income problem, but a spending problem.

Tracking helps them realize this. Once you realize something, you can take steps to fix it. Small steps, over time.

Tracking gets you on track.

Conclusion

  • Understand that your life is the result of the millions of choices you made – good or bad.
  • Stoke a fire inside yourself so hot that it won’t go out – find your WHY.
  • Track everything related to your desired goal – track it no matter how small.

Remember that personal change is a marathon, not a sprint. You are in it for the long haul, it can take years. To keep that fire burning, track everything. Looking back on how far all the small changes have brought you will give you strength to carry on. It will even stop any straying before it happens.

If I want it to be, it’s up to me.

 

8 comments

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  1. Josh

    “Every day they choose to live at some level of victimhood.”

    Marrying my wife was the best remedy for limiting my own victim mentality, because someone was willing to speak the truth in love.
    I don’t know how often the victim mentality held me back in the past because it was easier to shrug my shoulders, give up, and complain than own up and do better. While I still don’t try and open every door, I do go after more than I did in my teens and 20s. Sure I have some regrets, but it’s never too soon to make a change.

    Love your three concluding points as well, especially figuring out your Why.
    Josh recently posted…Are You A Financial Fatalist?My Profile

    1. MrDD

      Keep going after those doors, Josh!

  2. Mrs. Picky Pincher

    I’ve realized this past year that having a “why” is one of the most critical pieces to actually achieving your goals. It’s so, so important to know what’s driving you. Heck, it’s just as important as making an actionable plan to meet your goals.
    Mrs. Picky Pincher recently posted…What A Frugal Weekend! January 28My Profile

    1. MrDD

      If your WHY is strong enough, all the rest will fall into its place

  3. fin$avvy panda

    Wow! I love your post!

    It’s awesome stuff, Justin!

    I still love the fact your brought back that term “burning desire.” Love it!!!

    I agree that we can control 100% of the things in our lives that are controllable such as not being late for work, how much money we make, whether we can become rich, etc. As for the uncontrollable events, I shall leave that one to fate! 😊 knock on wood it’s not something bad!!
    fin$avvy panda recently posted…The Epic Tool You Need To Retire Early Like a King!My Profile

    1. MrDD

      Hey, someone’s gotta keep the wisdom of Napoleon Hill alive and kickin’ 😀

  4. Reverse the Crush

    Great post, Mr. Doubling Dollars! It really hit home with me because I’ve been noticing that people always want to place blame for their shortcomings. I’m also a firm believer in small steps and consistency to reach goals. I have friends that earn a lot more than I do, but I know that they will not be as consistent with savings. I also loved your point on strengthening your why! This is such an essential part of owning your life. It helps when you wake up and each day feels more purposeful and like it’s working towards something. Thanks for sharing the wisdom!
    Reverse the Crush recently posted…The Business & Culture of a Dividend Income PortfolioMy Profile

    1. MrDD

      Thanks so much for stopping by to read my writings and to leave a comment.

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