What do Beavers and Bees have in common? Both are characterized as being “busy”. If you look a bit deeper you see that both not only work hard, but have a vision of what they are building and proceed patiently and consistently. As a result, they build wonderful and purposeful structures that we would not normally expect from animals. They do so by working together and maintaining focus on what they are building. The beaver does not get discouraged by the fact that he must move one stick at a time… he just prepares to do so and keeps in mind the end goal.. .ultimately working hard and building a dam or safe home. Bees build the honeycomb in like manner with patience and perseverance.
We can take a lesson from the beaver and the bee. We should plan our personal financial strategy with many of the same qualities… patience, perseverance, hard work, and vision. We must take care not to be discouraged by focusing on how much time it takes to start putting the pieces together… earning income, minimize spending, paying down debt, establishing emergency fund, saving for future expenses like cars and college, and starting an investment fund Focus not on the time it takes to put in place each piece of the plan, but rather the need to progress each piece in a thoughtful and well planned manner. No shortcuts! If you hurry and get it wrong you may learn that it falls out of place and you have to start over.
If you are working on reducing spending, for example, instead of thinking of each thing you “can’t buy”, remind yourself of the end goal you are working toward. A clearly defined vision and positive experience will encourage you and help you succeed.
There is a story about a man who was walking near a construction site. He saw three separate workers laying bricks. He stopped and asked each one what they were doing.
The first man looked tired and was not very enthusiastic. He was looking at his watch every few minutes waiting on the next break or end of the day. He answered, “I am laying bricks.” The man had little purpose or sense of what he was accomplishing and was not motivated.
The second man was more upbeat. He worked with a little more energy and replied, “I am building a wall. Look how much we have accomplished already.” He seemed to be satisfied with what he was doing.
The third was whistling joyfully as he worked. He perked up when asked what he was doing. With enthusiasm in his voice he replied, “I am building a cathedral in which many people will worship God and devote their lives to Him. Many people’s lives will be improved. It is going to be beautiful!” The man was excited to be a part of it and that vision inspired him daily as he did his work.
The right focus can inspire and motivate us as we make our daily choices … even if they seem hard or boring on the surface. Avoid focusing only on the budgeting, or decisions on what not to spend, or what you feel you are giving up. Instead focus on what your life will be like when you manage your finances consistent with God’s word and are able to be a good steward of what He provides for your own family and for helping others.
Clearly define your vision… your personal financial strategy. Review our Guiding Framework as a way to get started. Then continue to fill in specific details to develop a specific plan for you. Remember it and visualize it while you make the small and big daily decisions (laying the bricks) that will get you there. Then work hard, stay focused, be patient and you will be amazed what you can accomplish.
Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .