You Can't Predict, You Can PrepareWritten by Kathy Gates
When opportunity knocks, can you open door? When misfortune strikes, can you make it through unscathed?
When you are faced with risk, uncertainty, and unpredictable, your ability to deal with it is directly tied to your ability to absorb consequences. Successful people know that in order to be "choosey" in life, in order to put themselves in a place of control over their lives, in order to make decisions on what they want instead of what they have to do, they must first have reserves. They know they cannot predict future, but they can prepare for it.
Reserves means: extra, a stockpile to draw on, more than you need, insurance, back-up plan, escape plan, Plan B, safety net. Call them whatever you want to - what it means is "It's not a problem".
Reserves exist in both practical and emotional levels of our lives, and consist of both material and nonmaterial things. You must have not only material things like money, furniture, house, cars, computers, or clothes. You must also have love, leisure, support, space, time, happiness, and opportunity. The emotional reserves in your life are every bit as important as physical ones.
With reserves in place, you are able to live your life looking forward instead of always digging yourself out of a hole. With reserves you remove fear of acting on what you want, because you are able to afford consequences. With reserves, you have enough support to make a mistake, you have enough money to get you through, you have time to work it out, you have enough self-love to learn instead of quit.
Without reserves, stress and fear are your motivators. Think of it on a small scale: Ever been caught with a dying printer cartridge? You have to make a special trip, usually at an inopportune time. With a reserve you have a back-up, stocked at your convenience, not when dictated by circumstance.
Think of it on a larger scale: Ever get hit with some unpredicted expenses? Without a reserve of money, you have to choose what bills to pay, and what becomes a backlog. Without a reserve of money, you become motivated to go to a job you hate by fear of not having that paycheck each week. Without a reserve of energy, stress, adrenaline, and possibly even caffeine, drugs, or alcohol are motivators to get you out of bed each morning.
Reserves take fear out of making a mistake. Reserves take pressure away. Without reserves you can't make mistakes or misjudgments - consequences are too high. You end up walking on eggshells. Without reserves you can't take advantage of short term opportunities - you simply don't have resources to spare.
The Amazing Power of Small StepsWritten by Kathy Gates
It's small things in life that can drive you loco on any given day, isn't it? (yes, I see heads nodding!). Like batteries dying in your garage door opener in middle of mother of all rainstorms. Or birdfeeder that makes a mess on back patio. Or leaky bathroom faucet.
But it's also small things in life that seem to make it all worthwhile. A hug from a child, making a new friend, a beautiful sunset, getting something on sale, hearing from a far away loved one.
It's a normal tendency to think that life is made or broken by BIG things in life. It's easy to sit around and complain about how life sucks, and wait for knight (or princess) to show up, or magic pill, or lottery win that will make life better.
But truth is (drum roll, please) -- life is made up of very small steps.
Think of all small steps in your own daily life. Like how many individual steps it takes just to get dressed in morning (turn off alarm, get up, turn on lights, turn on shower, etc). Or many small steps to prepare dinner. You get idea -- seconds turn into minutes, into hours, into days, into a lifetime.
Still not convinced small things contribute to BIG RESULTS? Ok, what if you decided to read just 30 minutes each day? At end of 365 days you have read 182.75 hours. That's 7-1/2 full days nonstop 24 hours a day!
The same is true of anything. Save just $1 a day and you'll have $365 at end of year.Christmas money! Clean out one drawer each day, and at end of week you'll have Spring-cleaned kitchen. Throw out or box up just ONE THING you no longer use each day; at end of month, you'll have a nice donation. Eat just 200 calories less each day, and at end of year, you will have eaten 73,000 less calories, an equivalent of 146 pounds! Write one page of your life story, and at end of year you'll have a novel!