As I was digging through files and paperwork for this year’s taxes, I stumbled upon a quote I had on a scrap of paper. It was from Helen Keller’s Autobiography that I had read over a decade before:
“I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved not only by the mighty shoves of the heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.”
I laughed when I read this quote because my thought was, “Oh my gosh, she’s NAILED the basic principle to all of success!”
In this simple statement Helen Keller has basically given all you need to be wealthy, powerful and successful in any endeavor you choose to take on. Sure all of us want to do something that is great before we die. I’m right there with her. I want to perform a work that will live long after I leave Planet Earth. What we have to remember is that we accomplish such a work by daily decisions that move us along the path in a steady, methodical way!
Right behind Helen Keller’s quote was a story of a Hindu saint who was attending a sacred ceremony in his beloved India. He was mulling over all the thousands of people surrounding him and how few seemed to be focused on the spiritual goals of the event. Rather, many were focused on the money that could be made from the attendees. He then came to be in the company of a guru who told him simply this:
“For the faults of the many, judge not the whole. Everything on earth is of mixed character, like a mingling of sand and sugar. Be like the wise ant that seizes only the sugar, and leaves the sand untouched.”
How does this help you with your monetary situation? Simply this. What are you doing each day that is moving you toward your financial goals? Are you tracking your expenses? That is the single most valuable activity that you can do to understand where your money is going. At the end of each week or month review your expenses and make adjustments on how you are spending your hard-earned cash.
What other activities are you performing each day that move you along physically, emotionally and spiritually? Your attitude and focus determine the reality that you will experience. So if you focus on your expenses and focus your attention on activities and behaviors that are nourishing to you, you will find over time that you are becoming less agitated, angry and irritated with life. You will discover a hidden talent (or many) that had never had a chance of expression because you are now living a purposeful existence.
So, here is your homework for the next week or two.
1-If you aren’t already doing this, track your expenses…this will solve a multitude of ills financially.
2-every day take a few minutes before you fall into bed to determine if the use of your time was a benefit to you or a hindrance to your purpose filled life.
3-Lastly, write down the things you want to do before you die. Even if you don’t know how you will ever travel to Australia, the point is, start making plans to go even before the money arrives, that way when it does, you will be able to go!
My hope for you is that you will be that smart, little ant that carefully picks the pieces of sugar from the sands of life. Focus on the sugar not the sand and you will watch your life go from irritating to sweet! Good luck and stay in touch.
Janine Bolon, Fool & Founder of The8Gates, writes your story so you can live the life you want. Find out how she does it here: http://the8gates.com/old/contact/