Who is in charge of your money? Let’s keep this really simple: YOU ARE. Are you looking at a financial mess – it is yours to fix. Are you looking at an incomplete budget? It’s yours to fix. Are you down and out about how bad 2014 was to your pocketbook? 2015 is yours to improve things.
Before you leave after that joy-filled and encouraging first paragraph, let me get to my point. You are in charge of your money, so TAKE CHARGE of your money. We have become a society that forgets we have the power to take control of our situation in much greater capacity than we give ourselves credit. I listen to people almost daily tell me all the things that “happened to them” instead of all the things they are going to make happen. While life is going to happen and there’s nothing we can really do to stop it, what we do about it is entirely up to us. As Greek philosopher Epictetus (and many others after him) said,
It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.
He’s also the guy who is credited with such sayings as:
- “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”
- “Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.”
- “First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.”
- …and plenty of others
I don’t want to get all poetic or philosophical here other than to remind you that you are in charge of a lot more than you give yourself credit. If things aren’t the way you want them to be, YOU are the one who can do something about it. Yes, you might need help. Yes, you will probably falter. And yes, you are much more capable than you’ve led yourself to believe. This gets me to why I bothered sharing several quotes from a Greek philosopher. Here are a few suggestions that might help you improve in those areas where you aren’t happy:
- LISTEN. You can learn a lot about this world just by tuning in to what is going on around you.
- Remind yourself regularly through notes on the mirror or other simple and prominent methods that YOU are in charge, even though some days it will feel like you aren’t.
- Be honest with yourself.
- If you struggle in a certain area, ask for help from someone who’s been there.
- Read a book written by someone who actually knows about what you’re going through (instead of somebody who claims to be an “expert”).
- Be patient with yourself, but don’t cut yourself too much slack.
- Build perspective by spending time helping and encouraging those who are less fortunate than you are.