EveryDollar Budgeting Tool

A budget is not a sophisticated tool that only corporate people use.  A budget is a tool that everyone should be using.  Maybe you have never done a monthly budget, and feel a bit intimidated by it.  Don’t be intimidated any longer!  Everydollar.com is a great budgeting tool that millions of people are using.  It’s free and easy to get set up!  Click the picture below, and get your budget started today!

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From The Inside Out

Have you ever considered the metamorphosis that takes place in the caterpillar in order for it to become a butterfly?  It does not start out as a butterfly, rather it begins as a caterpillar.  There is a process that takes place over time that transitions the caterpillar from one world to another.

The following information is taken from http://www.butterflyschool.org  “Every butterfly begins its life as an EGG.  When a butterfly or moth larva (also known as a caterpillar) first hatches from its egg, it is very small!  This young caterpillar is referred to as a FIRST INSTAR caterpillar.  A caterpillar has only one job: to eat!  Caterpillars (and all insects) face a challenge as they grow!  Unfortunately, their skin cannot grow with them!  In order for a caterpillar to grow larger than the skin it had when it hatched, it must make a new, larger skin!  The caterpillar does this by first growing a new skin underneath the outer skin.  Then, when it is ready, it “sheds” the old skin, and the newer, larger skin underneath is exposed.  This process is properly called MOLTING.  After the caterpillar has molted for the first time, it is referred to as a SECOND INSTAR, and it has some room to grow.  The third instar caterpillar also eats and grows until it is too big for its skin.  It molts again, and the caterpillar with its new skin is referred to as a FOURTH INSTAR caterpillar.

The chrysalis (generically referred to as a pupa), is not a “resting” stage as many people think. Quite to the contrary, a lot is happening to the pupa!  The body of the caterpillar is transforming into an adult butterfly!  Wings are fully formed (the beginnings of the wings were actually forming underneath the caterpillar’s skin before its last molt) in the chrysalis.  Antennae are formed and the chewing mouthparts of the caterpillar are transformed into the sucking mouthparts of the butterfly.

After approximately 10 to 14 days as a chrysalis, the butterfly is ready to emerge.  When the butterfly emerges from its chrysalis, its wings are small and wet, and the butterfly cannot yet fly.  The butterfly must pump fluids from its abdomen through the veins in its wings, which causes the wings to expand to their full size.  Next, the wings must dry and the butterfly must exercise flight muscles before it can fly.”

 

We all want to fly

We all want to fly, but are we willing to go through the process necessary to be able to fly?  It all starts on the inside, and works its way out.  The caterpillar understands the value of the cocoon.  What takes place on the inside of the cocoon is crucial for the next phase of the process.  There is purpose in the process.  We want the applause by the crowd at the recital, but are we willing to endure the absence of the applause in the practice room?  This stage that you currently find yourself in, is preparing you for the next stage in your life.  You won’t succeed on the next level without first succeeding on your current level.  As you grow from the inside out, the world that was comfortable and a blessing for you in the early stages now has become the force that births you into the next world.  Be patient in the process.  The growth you are looking for will not come from the outside, but from the inside.  Your strength is in your struggle.  Your wings will not be strong enough to carry you, if there is no resistance in the growth stage.  I believe you can fly if you are willing to grow “From The Inside Out”!

 

Bringing Life Into Focus

Have you ever looked through a pair of binoculars and every thing you saw was blurry?  You found yourself looking way out there, but everything you looked at was blurry.  In fact whether you were trying to see something that was close or something far away there was a blur that was inhibiting your ability to see clearly.  The blurriness won’t go away until you adjust the wheel between the lenses in order to bring things into focus.

Often times life is like looking through a pair of binoculars – everything is a blur.  No matter if we are looking close or far away everything is just a blur.  It is not until we stop, and make conscientious adjustments that will cause things in our life to come into focus. Have you ever stopped and asked yourself why things in your life are so blurry?

Assume You Know

Simon Sinek in his book “Start With Why” makes the following case:  “On a cold January day, a forty-three-year-old man was sworn in as the chief executive of his country. By his side stood his predecessor, a famous general who, fifteen years earlier, had commanded his nation’s armed forces in a war that resulted in the defeat of Germany. The young leader was raised in the Roman Catholic faith. He spent the next five hours watching parades in his honor and stayed up celebrating until three o’clock in the morning.

You know who I’m describing, right?

It’s January 30, 1933, and I’m describing Adolf Hitler and not, as most people would assume, John F. Kennedy.

The point is, we make assumptions. We make assumptions about the world around us based on sometimes incomplete or false information. In this case, the information I offered was incomplete. Many of you were convinced that I was describing John F. Kennedy until I added one minor little detail: the date.”

This is important because our behavior is affected by our assumptions or our perceived truths.  We make decisions based on what we think we know.

Do we really know why some organizations, churches, and people succeed and why others don’t, or do we just assume?  You have to be careful what you think you know.  Assumptions, even when based on sound research, can lead us astray.

 

Change Your Behaviors

If your current behaviors are not bringing your life into clear focus, then you must change your behavior.  If you keep doing what you have been doing you will keep getting the same results you have been getting.  When we change our behaviors for the good our outlook will change.  Consider Psalm 34 for a moment.  The heading of that Psalm states that it is “A Psalm of David, when he changed his behavior toward Amimelach, who drove him away, and he departed”.  This Psalm shows how David’s outlook changed when he changed his behavior.  Look at negative behaviors in your life, and change them.  Nobody can change your behaviors, but you.  Don’t blame others, don’t blame the system, don’t blame your family, don’t blame your friends, you have to take personal responsibility to change your behaviors.

 

Know Your Why

If you have not read Simon Sineks book “Start With Why” you need to go get a copy and read it today.  In this book he unpacks what it means to “know your why”.  Very few people, and companies for that matter know their WHY.  Why do you do what you do?  Why do you get out of bed every morning?  Why does your company exists?  You see, Why is simply a purpose, cause, or belief.  Quite possibly your life is out of focus because your WHY is not clear.  When your WHY becomes clear, you will then have taken the first step in bringing focus into your life.

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