With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable.
– Thomas Foxwell Buxton
Zig Ziglar used to tell a story about a man who came to him dissatisfied with where he was in life. The man had plans of what he’d like to do but it was going to take 5 years to get to where he wanted to be. He wondered what he should do. Zig responded that the 5 years were going to pass regardless of whether the man did anything or not. He had a choice. He could wake up 5 years from day the same person, with the same income, and the same skills or he could spend 5 years working really hard to learn some new skills and 5 years from now he’d wake up being the person he wanted to be. The time would pass regardless. It was his choice what he would be when that time came.
Most of us have areas of our lives where we wish things were different.
Not enough money coming in?
For some the budget issues aren’t really a matter of cutting your lifestyle, as there isn’t much lifestyle left to cut. The issue is really on the income side of the equation. If you find yourself in that position what will you do about it? You have a choice. You can do nothing and 5 years from now you’ll have the same financial hardship, or you can decide today to pursue a path that will lead to more income. That might mean getting some training, going back to college, reading some books, or learning some new skills. It might take a few tough years to get to where you want. But those years will pass regardless of whether you are working on a better future or not.
Not enough savings?
Perhaps you lament not having started saving for retirement earlier. Perhaps you think it’s too late to start. You have a choice. You can continue what you are doing today and 5 years from now you’ll still be lamenting not having enough saved. Or you can start putting some away now. Perhaps all you can afford is a small amount. Maybe it’s just $100 a month. In 5 years though that will be $6,000 in savings you don’t have today!
Hate your job?
I have seen statistics that as many as 3 out of 4 American workers claim they don’t like their job. But what are they doing about it? If the answer is going home and checking out the prime time TV lineup then unfortunately in 5 years they will probably still be in a job they hate. But what if instead they turned the TV off and started to take some action. Learn the skills it takes to do what they really want to do. In 5 years they might be waking up on Monday morning looking forward with joy to the week ahead. Quitter by Jon Acuff is a great book if you find yourself in this circumstance.
Buried under a mound of debt?
Perhaps you find yourself yourself lying awake at night wondering how you are going to pay the bills. With no action, I promise you’ll wake up 5 years from now with the same knot in your stomach. But what if instead you decided to make the sacrifices you needed to start paying off that debt? What if you took a class like Financial Peace University? What if you decided to take seriously Proverbs 22:7 that says “The borrower is a slave to the lender.” In 5 years you’d wake up in a radically different place with a sense of peace perhaps you have never known.
This applies to all areas not just financial ones. Wish you had a better marriage? Better health? Were closer to your ideal weight? Were more fit? Had a better spiritual walk? Had better friendships? Had the skills to do that hobby you always wanted to try? Whatever the case may be. Take the steps today so that 5 years from now you will be in a much different place.
Where will you be in 5 years?
It’s really about choices and taking responsibility for your future. If there are areas that you wish were different decide now what changes you need to make. Steering our life in a different direction is usually hard. It takes discipline and possibly some self-sacrifice. And often times it might even be a bit scary. But as Zig said you have a choice.The writer of Proverbs said something very similar.
He who tills his land will have plenty of food,
But he who follows empty pursuits will have poverty in plenty. – Proverbs 28:9
The next 5 years will pass regardless of what you do. You can wake up 5 years from now with the same problems you have now. Or you could wake up 5 years from now in a completely different place. Are you willing to till the land of your dreams? It’s up to you.
Where would you like to be 5 years from now?
Photo credit: creativelenna (creative commons)