Early August 2012, as I sat in a living room belonging to two people I now consider close friends of mine, I made a decision that would completely alter the next year, and quite possibly the rest of my life. Not only did that decision create possibilities that would later transform my financial situation, which I stressed and thought to be dire; it blossomed into so much more.
It should be no secret that God speaks to us through other people. He uses people in your life to deliver His messages. He delivers His message many ways, but this is a common medium. If you’re not listening, then you may miss it. Plug into His frequency. Pray. Reflect on your situation. Open your ears and eyes.
The problem most of us have, beside only calling on God in times of need or desperation, is that after we pray we continue to worry about our situation that had our hands clasped in the first place. It is true that if we ask for it, God will give it. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” – Matthew 7:7 So if after asking for God’s help you immediately spend all your time worrying and stressing further, then you’re probably not going to see or hear Him answering your requests. He may speak to you through this post for all we know.
Luckily, last August I had my ears turned up to Heaven because I knew of nothing else to do. Patiently waiting, as patiently as I could, I looked for the answer, which presented itself through two special people. Did I see it at first? No, well, at least not the full extent of it. I thought the opportunity presented to me could be the answer, but I didn’t at that time know it would be.
In that living room I heard a lot of information that I couldn’t even begin to recite because frankly, it’s all cloudy… with the exception of two things that I remember very clearly. Those two things are as clear to me as if they were just uttered a minute ago. Of the two things I heard my friend mention I don’t find as important anymore and the second and even more appealing was that he brought his wife home from her full-time job in just a matter of months with a company called AdvoCare.
Now I don’t have a wife to bring home, but I knew what that translated into for me. I saw a possibility for a way out. A way out of practicing law. A way out of Montgomery. A way out of this debt prison that I placed myself in several years prior.
I stated in an earlier post that my desire to practice law is little to none. It’s not what I thought it was going to be when I entered law school. I went into this profession to help people and the amount of time I’ve put in compared to the amount of people I’ve helped does not translate into an attractive ratio. I’ve also stated how my desire to be back home in New Orleans and out of Montgomery is stronger each day and I’ve also mentioned my over $200,000 debt mountain that had piled up in front of me.
I know not everyone has been as unfortunate as me to graduate with a massive amount of student loans, but for me it has been crippling. I love donating to charities, especially some of my friends’ ministries; however, sometimes I felt like I needed to be my own charity. Some of you won’t know what it feels like to want to give more yet be financially unable to do so while supporting yourself at the same time. Some of you will. Some of you will never know what it feels like to owe a large portion of your income to loan companies because of student loans, credit cards, mortgages, car payments, etc. But some of you will. Some of you will never know family and friends that struggle financially and have a hard time providing for their kids or spouse. But some of you will. Some of you will sit there and continue to complain about your situation, yet do nothing to change it. But some of you will.
One thing I learned from reading personal growth books is that I had to become my own problem. I had to stop blaming my circumstances on everyone else and take responsibility for the mess I created. No one made me take out student loans. I chose to do that. No one made me enter into a profession that I’m unhappy with. I chose to do that.
“A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.” – John Burroughs
I am not a failure and refuse to blame anyone else but myself for the circumstances I created. I had the power to change my financial situation and so much more and I took it. Here’s the best part: YOU CAN TOO! There’s no reason you can’t and no one is stopping you except YOU.
Humor me for just a bit. I’d like you to do an exercise with me. Close your eyes and think about your current financial situation. Think about your health. Do you see either of those things improving in the next month? The next six months? The next year? The next five? Ten? Most people won’t because they’re not doing anything about it now to alter their future and change their circumstances. They’re too afraid to change anything. Well, guess what… if you don’t change anything then you better get used to struggling because you’ll be doing it the rest of your life wishing that you could take that trip, wishing that you could get rid of that debt, wishing that the spousal arguments over finances would go away, wishing that things would get easier, but they’re not going to change unless you change.
Here is a great excerpt from a book I love called “20,000 Days and Counting” by Robert D. Smith:
“Become your own problem. Yes, you read that right! This may be tough for you perfectionists, but stay with me. Start thinking, I am the problem. I am the problem. I am the problem. When you do that, you take the outside circumstances and bring them inside. Suddenly, you have power.
If you assume that you are the victim, you lose power. You shut down all creativity. But when you bring it inside yourself, now the ball is in your court and you can do something about it. You have control. See the switch?
Remember, it is a thinking process, not a feeling process. Some people may say, “Well, I don’t want to be the problem. That feels very negative.” But it’s not. It is really good news! If you’re the problem, you can solve it. So assume the responsibility, own the difficulty, and I guarantee you will create a solution.”
You have a choice and that choice is solely yours. You can take action or you can continue to struggle. I have the solutions to your health and financial issues, but you have to make the choice to learn more. AdvoCare is changing the lives of more and more people everyday. Will you be one of them?