You have always heard the reasons not to be selfish. Being in the company of those that only think of themselves, well it’s just not pleasant. It isn’t good to be in a rut in life so that all you think about is you. However, I do want you to be in a mindset that YOU are number one… I know it sounds so contradictory.
Let’s break it down a bit more.
If you ever plan to help others, you first have to help yourself.
How can you give something you don’t have?
In order for you to be your best, you must be depositing in key areas of your life.
You may ask why do I need to prepare myself spiritually? It is because you are a spiritual being in a house of flesh. No matter what your belief system is, you are created by God. He is a Spirit and He created you in His image. He gave us a body as a method to carry around not only who you are, but as a place that He can reside. Many have tried to fill the void that is distinctly made for Jesus with addictions and all sorts of other things. Yes, I am suggesting that you read the Word of God and find out what it says about every area of your life. Pray for revelation and proceed with an open mind. This is the one area that will last… for eternity.
Have you ever had a hangnail or chiggers? A hangnail will have you asking complete strangers for nail clippers. That tiny thing on that one finger will nearly control your entire body. It is amazing how small irritations can effect you so strongly. Chiggers are to a human what fleas are to pets. I have had them several times just this year. I can’t hardly stand in my yard without replenishing the tribe on my legs. The higher they move up your body the more frustrating they can become. If they come above the belt they seem to gravitate to the bellybutton. A single chigger in your bellybutton will get your attention. Just south of the belt and they are just plain torture.
If you feel good you tend to be more productive and creative. In the information age that we live in most jobs now tend to be less demanding on our body. For the most part my work is done with technology rather than muscle. This is of course not the best for our overall physical health, so we must be active in other areas. This may take the form of a gym membership, walking, hobby or other activity. I will readily admit that I need to work harder in this area of my life. I know that I feel better when I am active. Why is it we tend to not do what we know to do? You have heard the disclaimer, “Please see your doctor before starting this or any exercise program.” For sure start slow and gradually increase your activity as your body responds positively. Don’t neglect to eat healthy. Start adding better things and gradually eliminating the not so good from your diet.
All aspects of our life are interconnected. Improvement in one area will tend to bring change in other areas of life. I have seen people begin to strive for excellence in one area and it seems almost natural that other areas benefit. If your relationship with God is great and you are fit as an Olympic athlete, but in debt up to your eyeballs things will not feel complete.
You can begin with the end in mind by creating a vision list. Write your vision down and start thinking about what it will feel like when you accomplish it. Starting in the right direction begins in your mind. Even if you are not completely clear on everything you can take one step, then another. Clarity will come with time as you allow yourself to dream.
Beyond the goal setting and dreaming we have to have an action plan.
Creating your own priority list
- Talk with your spouse about money
- Hire a coach
- Get a free credit report
- Open a savings account- ING Direct’s Orange Savings Account
- Evaluate the type and how much insurance coverage you have. (You could save money)
- Get on a written budget- Assign a task to every dollar
- Get organized- I struggle with this area. Remember improving in one area…
Don’t get too focused on your future self that you don’t enjoy the present. We are not promised tomorrow. We can only work with what we have and what we have is today. Spend time working on your relationships in life. If you are married, work hard to be the best Husband or Wife you can be. Take her on regular dates. The same principles you applied to get her will keep the sparks flying. If you have children, make memorable moments for them. Small things do matter in this case. Small amounts of time or short trips from reality can make all the difference in their life. They are worth every sacrifice. If you know me, you know that I am single and I don’t have children. With that in mind you probably find it difficult to take advice from me in this area. My perspective is from a broken home. I know what it feels like to lack the presence of my Father in my life.
Get over yourself and be the man you are called to be. Take the responsibility or eventually lose your family. I have seen how to lose it with one decision. Many times it starts with neglecting one of these areas I’ve talked about. Failure to be the man or woman, debts mounting, a fling in the mind with an old friend.. immorality spells certain death to your relationship.
In the end it is family that matters. Improving in all areas of your life will just make your relationship stronger with your closest loved ones. So be selfish enough that your priorities will shape you into the excellent person you long to be.
How have small improvements in one area of your life improved other areas?