Another piece of advice from The Richest Man in Babylon is to discipline yourself when it comes to saving your money. They give the example of a man who decides that he is going to throw one pebble in the river each day. It would make sense if this person would miss a day that he could say to himself that he will drop two pebbles the next day. It would make even more sense if his goal was to eventually put as many pebbles in the river as possible, that he would start on the first day by throwing as many as he possibly can at that time.
The book does not agree with what most of us would look at as pure logic. It says that you should only drop one pebble per day and if you forget one day, that you should go back to the river and drop the pebble for that day instead of dropping two the next. The reason being is that if you discipline yourself and continuously do the same thing, it will become natural and you will be able to do it for a long time. If you choose to take shortcuts, you will either burn out or give up at some point.
I find this to be true with many things in my life. For instance, blogging. When I write a few blogs at the same time and then post one per day, I usually end up getting lazy and missing at least a day once all of my posts run out. When I write each and every day, I miss less posting because I am on a schedule and I don’t have time to get lazy.
I noticed the same thing when I work out. Most people that are out of shape that decide to get into shape try and overdo their workout at the gym on their first day. During the workout they are pumped and feel like they can handle everything but when they get home, they are more sore than ever. Each day after that the pain gets worse and worse and does not allow you to work out again for at least a week and by that time you are not motivated anymore.
If you take things one day at a time and start building a routine that you can handle, you will be much more likely to continue for many years. If you are working out, try just going to the gym on the first day for 15-20 minutes and do a light workout. You will leave feeling good and that you can handle more. Take that feeling and come back the next day and the next and so on. Then you will be able to add each day in small increments until you are happy with your workout.
When it comes to saving money, some people feel that it is easier to give a lump payment into their savings once a month or even year (especially when they are saving in a tax free IRA). The only way to make sure that you continue to save is to put money in your savings regularly enough that it becomes a habit. At that point it will be hard to break.
I am a typical person more or less that has always tried to get away with doing the absolute minimum to get by. In school, I did my assignments last minute, I barely passes some of my tests, I crammed for everything and didn't care about retaining any information. I always wanted to be successful and get lucky but my problem was that I thought that luck and chance were synonymous. One day, all that changed when i found out that there was more to "Luck". I learned that it was possible to make your own luck and that people that were "lucky", all had very similar characteristics. I made a conscious decision to become one of those lucky people and the world started to open up. It didn't happen overnight and I'm still not there yet but at least I know what to look for and what to do. Recognizing the opportunities to get lucky is only the beginning of the battle. Now I have to train myself to jump on every opportunity and one day be truly "lucky".
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