Does Your Past Govern Your Future?

Many people believe that their past governs their future. They believe that they are destined to a fate determined by the accumulation of their past experiences.

Is Failure Inevitable?

Past ExperiencesDo you believe that you have always been short of money, and always will be? Do you believe that you have little control of your life events? If you believe it, then it will be so.

You can change! If you cast aside the influences of the past and provide your own, new, better influences, you can change. The past is there for you to learn from, not emulate.

Are You Governed by Your Past

Remember the lessons of the past, but don’t be unduly governed by them. An extreme example would be burning your hand on a hot surface, and so never touching any surface again. Not reasonable as anyone can see. We do something very similar when we rationalize our actions based on I tried something similar and it failed, so never again. Sometimes the way we did it was the problem, other times our knowledge of the situation changes. Either way, our old learning may be very wrong.

Think PositiveFill your mind with ideas of success – not dream about it – but instill positive thoughts. If you start your day feeling like, and believing, that it will be another lousy day, you are most likely correct. On the other hand, however, if you wake up believing that this will be a great day, you will be correct.

Positive thoughts can be as simple as, “I have a huge task ahead. I can turn it into manageable bites and get it done.” Positive thoughts do not need to be joyous thoughts, but should contribute to your confidence that you can get this done. Think solutions, not problems.

My wife and I are just a normal couple of seniors, but we have an enormously happy life. We choose to be happy, and dwell on happy thoughts. Right now, our master bath is being renoed. It looks like the shower will be without glass until some time in the new year, but we are having company over Christmas. We are dwelling on the joy the company will bring, and not spending time being unhappy because we will be without the master shower. We’ll just schedule showers! No problem.

And Me You Ask?

What has this got to do with you? Simply this, decide to be happy, then focus on the things that you can influence. If you are perennially short of cash, there are two potential causes. Not enough income, or too much out go. The easy answer always is, “But I if I just had a little more income my problems would be solved.” If you are underemployed, a lack of income may be the problem. For most people however, the problem is a lack of control of the out go.

Idea - Plan - ActionIf you truly do have an income problem, you need to create a plan to provide that increase. If you work for a large company, perhaps you need to take some courses to get a promotion or pay increase. Frequently, you company may even pay for the course! Maybe you need to change companies or industries completely. You can do it if you plan for it. I spent many years taking courses in my “spare time” to allow me to get pay increases and job promotions.

Maybe outgo is the problem. Do you have a bigger house, vehicle, etc. than you need? For many of us, the payments for unused capacity, whether domicile or vehicle can drag down our finances. If you have a large family, then you may need a large house, if however, you are just a young couple, a modest apartment should suffice. Do you need that large, new vehicle, or would a much smaller used vehicle meet all of your needs?

Track your expenditures to see where your money actually goes. I have created a free spreadsheet to help with this – see the sidebar. You would be amazed at the amount of money we spend without even thinking about it. Once your track your money, you will know whether or not you need additional income. For ideas on earning extra income, see Ways to Earn Money on the Side.

Budget PlanningIf you decide that your income is indeed adequate, but you need to control where your money goes, make a budget. See the sidebar for a free budget planner spreadsheet. It’s amazing how enlightening it is to decide where our money goes, and actually directing it there. Map your path to financial success, and let it be your guide.

For your assistance, I have written a number of articles that may be helpful.
Four Tips for Creating a Solid Budget
Four Reasons Why Budgeting Isn’t a Bad Word
Planning a Budget That Sets You Free
Save Money on Your Grocery Bill
The Real Secret to Enough Money
8 Tips to Kick Your Overspending Habit Now

As always, I am not a qualified financial advisor. I just relate financial management to my own experience which may not resemble yours at all. Advice is frequently worth exactly what you paid for it. Most of mine came from expensive experiences.

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