This weekend, it was 82 degrees in Southern California. Summertime in January! Every weekend I go for a 20 mile bike ride around the park. Beautiful weather brings out everybody, so it was crowded on the bike path. When I pass, I warn people that I am coming up on their left to let them know I am there for their and my safety. In California a bicycle rider must follow the vehicle code. I am obligated to pass on the left. They are supposed to ride on the right. Yes, the right, this is not Great Britain! That is true for the walkers as well. I came on a few riders and walkers and warned them I was on their left, the rider did not move to the right. He proceeded to curse me out and call me an old man. I am old, but I was going faster than him, so it was not even slightly warranted. I don’t know what was bugging him. Was he being just self-absorbed, selfish or worse? As a society, we expect everyone to follow the rules. We need everyone to stop at a red light or stop sign. Anything else is chaos!
So what was that all about? Just blowing off steam? Well, maybe! Life is a journey with rules, opportunities and pitfalls. Just like my ride there are rules to follow, if you want to be successful. Savings (including investments) is the number one rule. It is the difference between rich and poor. Savings provide choices. It may mean a good retirement, money for a vacation, your child’s education, or owning a home. Savings is part of living within your means! What does that mean? It is as simple as living on less than you earn. This is true no matter how much you earn. Part of living on less than you earn is staying out of debt except for a home mortgage.
How can you earn more? To earn more, you need education or training. Formal or informal training or education is the number two rule to succeed. A high school diploma is not enough to succeed in life. There are a lot of choices, but the difference between a good life and a life where you will struggle is that additional training. Remember the training can be informal such as learning various skills in a kitchen to eventually become a chef or go to culinary school and receive formal training. After graduation, you will move up much faster to become a chef. Going to college is a choice for some, but it does not teach you to be president of a company. College shows you learned certain skills to prepare you for a career. Now it is up to you to gain the experience to become successful.
How do get what you want? Setting goals and establishing a plan is the third rule. To be successful in life, this rule is one of the most important! Everybody says they want to be rich and happy, but they do not know how to get there. Using SMART goals is a good start to establish goals and a plan to reach them. This works for anything you want, whether it is professional, personal or educational goal. Goals can range from reading a 400 page book in 20 days to saving money for a down payment for your first home.
These are not the only rules you have to watch out for on life’s journey, but they are the important ones. Success is the achievement of something desired, planned, or attempted. Achieving success means following these rules and avoiding the pitfalls. Pitfalls can be huge debt, insufficient training and no goals. Look out, follow the rules and avoid the danger ahead! What are you doing to make your life better?
Photo by: chego 101