Don’t Just Sit There… DO SOMETHING!
I’m not personally big into the whole televangelism scene. However, there’s a show on TV called the “Hour of Power” that had a moment long ago that’s still ingrained in my head.
The program was hosted by Reverend Robert Schuller from 1970 until his grandson took over in 2013 (thanks, Wikipedia!).
I never actually watched the show, but there was a clip from it that ran regularly advertising the show. In it, Reverend Schuller takes a breath and then firmly says:
Don’t Just Sit There… DO SOMETHING!
For years, I just laughed when I would see that on TV. After all, I was young and it was funny to watch the manner in which he said it.
But then time continued to tick on over the years and guess what, the words were still there in my mind…
Don’t Just Sit There… DO SOMETHING!
I’ve actually come to realize that these words really are important.
Most of us go through life with blinders on. We go through the motions most of the week – going to work, coming home, hopefully playing with the kids (if you have any), eating dinner, watching TV, and going to bed.
Sure, you probably have some bits of differentiation in your routine, but I’m guessing there’s a pretty good chance this sounds familiar. It reminds me quite a bit of my own Time to Make the Donuts…, which is the beginning of my own “About” page.
Here’s the thing, unless you make some changes in your life, this routine is never going to change.
Decades from now when you’re old and gray, you’re going to look back and wonder where your life went.
Sure, you’ll have some good times along the way, but what will you really have accomplished?
If you follow the traditional plan in life, there’s a good chance that your days are going to pass you by. Working for someone else (especially if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing) is going to take its toll on you.
The days turn into weeks, the weeks into months, and the months into years.
Most of us just have this tendency to let the days lead us instead of the other way around. But by allowing this to happen, we become drones in a life where we could be doing so much more to fulfill ourselves.
The hardest thing any of us can do is to avoid complacency. The easy path in life is to simply leave things alone and just keep doing what we’re doing.
The better choice though is to get up and do something.
Make some changes in your life. Even if you make just one change in your life every day, you can dramatically alter your life for the better.
Wouldn’t you like to look back in life at a list of accomplishments and good things you’ve done? I know I would.
What can I do?
If you’re starting to think, “Yeah, this makes sense” but you’re stuck on what the “don’t just sit there” solution is, consider looking at these ideas…
Of course, I’m going to start with suggesting focusing on your finances – this is a personal finance blog after all!
If you’re in debt, you should be brainstorming every single day on solutions to help expedite your debt-free date. Take the time to figure out ways to save more and spend less. Figure out other ideas to bring your debt down as well – moving to lower interest loans, etc.
If you’re out of debt or you’ve never been there, use your time to figure out how to take your money to the next level.
Financial independence can be one of the most rewarding financial goals you can have. This is what can give you the ability to chase your dreams in life.
Work on getting your savings and investments automated. Find ways to save more and spend less (hmm, I feel like I said that about something else as well).
Once you have everything going on autopilot, it’s time to start working on learning the advanced stuff.
A perfect example of this is tax optimization. Figure these strategies out to squeeze some extra juice out of your finances.
The irony is that I’m sitting here typing this instead of getting off my duff and getting some exercise in. The good news is that I’ve had a pretty good year of exercising. In fact, this was probably the best year I’ve ever had with it.
The trick – just do it. Sounds simple enough, but it’s a strategy that I’m generally not good at executing.
I would bet that a majority of us don’t like exercise, although I do know some folks truly love it (I’m not in that latter group!).
It’s easy to think of stupid excuses to blow off exercising or to keep you from getting started. However, staying fit and healthy should be at the top of your list.
Even if you’re successful at everything else on your list, if you’re not in shape, you might not live long enough to reap the benefits.
If you’re mastering a lot of other points in life and realize you’re not spending a good amount of time with your loved ones, you’re doing it wrong.
You can have all the money in the world, but you’re going to be miserable if you’re missing out on this area of life.
Don’t just sit there! Get off your butt and have some fun.
Go outside and play with your kids. Do a date night with your spouse. Take a vacation together or look at less expensive options like camping weekends.
The struggle I tend to see with myself as well as a lot of others is that we aim to work hard to make more money. The reason we want to make more money is to take better care of our families.
But the truth is that money isn’t the solution here – time is. I can almost guarantee that taking some time to focus on your family would be appreciated more than all the money in the world. My recommendation is to use some of that TV time to spend with your family instead.
Entrepreneurship / Hobbies
I’m lumping these together because the best forms of entrepreneurship are going to revolve around your areas of interest. If you can take a hobby and turn it into something that makes money, you’re on the right track.
Focus your extra time on building a business. What this is will be different for each of us depending on your own interests, but this is probably the area that you can look back on and feel the most satisfied about.
For me personally, I’m so glad I started this blog. Building a blog not only gives you an outlet for your thoughts, but also has the potential to earn good money if you’re willing to put in the time. It’s more work than I initially anticipated, but very rewarding.
I’ve also written a couple of books about computers and I plan to write a book in the personal finance space in the near future. I get the satisfaction of the accomplishment of writing and publishing a book, but the royalties also serve as another stream of income.
We’ve also started buying rental properties. Although this started out as just a way to make money, I’ve grown to enjoy certain aspects of the real estate game. Additionally, these properties provide us with something else to pass down to our daughter later on if we want.
Regardless of what you focus on, don’t let life pass you by. Shut off Netflix, get off the couch, and make something happen.
Don’t just sit there… DO SOMETHING! Simple words, but a powerful message.
You only live once so make it a good one. Don’t waste a minute of it.
Thanks for reading!!