First, the question that is a campaign tool for many politicians is “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” I am a fiscally conservative single heterosexual man who is doing better than he was four years ago. I even had to spend a weekend or two at a local homeless shelter here in downtown Atlanta as early as August 2007 and April 2008. So now, it’s July 2011. How did I accomplish this miracle of improving my life in the midst of a financial crisis that is actually still going on?
The government didn’t have a thing to do with it. I didn’t get a stimulus check and I had business losses that gave my Federal tax benefits. I did not and do not see how the government did anything towards my personal progress except giving me the freedom to do it.
Perhaps, one of my best friends said it best: “You pulled yourself up by your bootstraps and pulled your head out of your ass.”
1) I stopped drinking alcohol
2) I stopped smoking cigarettes
3) I took responsibillity for the results of my life
4) I invested in my mind and my continuing education
5) I read positive things, listened to positive things and started exercising
6) I started using Quicken software to better control my expenditures
7) I stopped wasting money on pipe dreams and “businesses” that I didn’t have time to execute on.
Philosophically speaking, I came across “The Art of Exceptional Living” by Jim Rohn and “The Psychology of Winning” by Denis Waitley. I listened to them. I took notes. I red Atlas Shrugged because Jim challenged me to. I started pushing the limits of who I was into a new definition of Who I can be. I quit investing in a business that was doomed from the get-go and investing into more productive areas. I started paying off my debts and investing in me.
The bottom line is that I started accepting responsibility for my life. It’s the only way to create change in your life.
My challenge to you is “Are you taking more responsibility for yourself than you were four years ago?”