January 2, 2012
As the new year commences, many of us will soon be breaking the resolutions we just set. My wife and I were traveling home on New Year’s Day when we overheard a lady talking in the Dallas airport. She was talking to the man next to her about her resolution to quit smoking. She said it would be easy because she had done it many times before! In fact, she was so confident she could quit that she made a bet to pay her brother $100 for every cigarette she smoked.
The story wasn’t worth telling you until what happened when we landed in New Orleans. After we retrieved our numerous heavy bags from the carousel, we headed out the door like a U-Haul to catch a cab home. Who was standing outside the door smoking a cigarette? Oh yes, the lady who was so confident she could stop smoking! I wonder if she paid her brother $100 for that cigarette.
I don’t like making New Year’s resolutions because they too often have a beginning and an end. I try to live my goals throughout the entire year without using January 1st as the motivator. One of my main goals and main objectives of the blog is to take control of my life and to help you take control of your life.
What does it really mean to take control of your life?
Taking control of your life will mean different things as you get older and as your goals change. It should also change as you accomplish more and more of your objectives. You should begin to get greedy and confident as your accomplish more and more of your goals because you’ll see the importance of taking control of your time and your life.
Now, I don’t think we’ll ever fully control of our lives, but that shouldn’t stop us from trying. As Nassim Taleb explains in his Black Swan Theory, “Wear your best for your execution and stand dignified. Your last recourse against randomness is how you act — if you can’t control outcomes, you can control the elegance of your behavior. You will always have the last word.”
Taking control of my life has meant different things through the years as it will for you as well. When I graduated college, my goal was to be independent financially, and feel like I could finally do what I wanted with my money. Unfortunately, this resulted in $50,000 in debt before I realized I needed to change.
It got so bad that my next goal was to be able to make all of my payments at the end of the month, but I had a few months that I was unable to do this without using my credit card and racking up additional debt.
I had to take control of my money. I started tracking my spending and finally saving money. It felt good to finally have it under control.
Once I got control of my money, it was time to take control of my life and figure out what I wanted to accomplish. I started to think more about my career and how I could accomplish more. This resulted in success at work and more money. However, it inspired me to want to do more with my life.
The goal that I’m working on now is to take control of my future and to help others do the same. This is a long term goal, but I need to work on it everyday if I want to make it happen.
What does taking control of your life mean to you? Does it mean quitting a bad habit, getting control of your money, retiring with millions, or all of the above?