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The Wrong Recipe for Success

I heard a speaker several years ago at a men’s retreat describing the mindset of different age groups. He stated that your twenties are full of dreams and idealism, believing that your dream is just around the corner.

As you get into your thirties, you realize you’re no closer to your dream than you were in your twenties and the idealism begins to fade, and the dreamer dies a little. What he said clicked with me.

I used to think that the recipe for success was “Work Hard + Wait for Permission = Success.”

You know the routine….just show up before everyone, work harder and longer than everyone, and eventually someone with authority will notice and they’ll give you permission to succeed, meaning an opportunity or promotion. This isn’t wrong, if your goal is to work up the corporate ladder.

However, it guarantees you will always be working for someone else’s dream and not your own. You also run the risk of climbing the ladder only to find that it was the wrong one.

I held fast to this mindset through my 20’s, thinking it was just a matter of time before someone recognized the gifting inside me and offered me an opportunity. But as I worked my way into my 30’s I discovered that the “waiting game” held no guarantees, and all of the “offers” were into things disconnected from my purpose and passions. In short, I realized that the only person responsible for fulfilling my purpose was me.

Stop Waiting For Permission

I’ve used this picture of the caged lion before…it resonates with me.  I usually use it to show the feeling of being trapped by debt, but that’s not why it resonates with me. I’m sure you’ve been to a zoo and had the experience of seeing these massively powerful creatures, but you can tell that something is missing. Their captivity has killed something inside; there’s no fight in them, no heart.

Do you ever feel like that? Like you know your life was meant to roar but all you can muster is a feeble cry? So you keep waiting. Waiting for someone to unlock the cage. People come and admire you, speak about your power and your beauty, but it’s with a sadness in their voice. Even though they can’t see the bars, they sense the cage. So they make some nice comments and walk on to the next exhibit.

Here’s what you have to understand about success…about fulfilling your potential. No one can do it for you. Not your parents, not your spouse, not even God. Oh, God is so ready to help you, but he won’t do it for you. But what he has done is given you permission. Now it’s up to you. Do you give yourself permission to succeed? I’m not talking yachts and Ferraris…I’m talking purpose and destiny. As Zig Ziglar said, you were “designed for accomplishment, engineered for success, and endowed with the  seeds of greatness.”

Believe me when I say this – the only limits to your success are the ones you place in front of you. Give yourself permission. Remove the limitations. The world needs what you have.

Committed to your success,

-Wesley

We respond to 100% of our comments! How have you limited your success in the past?

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Are You Worthy Of Financial Freedom?

Your financial future depends on how you answer this question.

I had the opportunity yesterday morning to attend a Dream Builder’s breakfast here in Orlando. The subject of grace came up, and a very intuitive woman at my table made the comment that people who don’t allow themselves to receive or experience grace often do so because they don’t feel worthy of receiving grace.

Grace isn’t a word that comes up much when talking about finances. We throw out words like discipline, diligence, desires, delayed gratification, etc., but not so much “grace.” Why is it that grace is THE word to use when talking about sin, overcoming addictions, loving difficult people, enduring trials, but not when it comes to our finances?

Too often, we have this mentality that says “I dug myself into this hole and I’m going to dig myself out.” We may even throw the phrase “by God’s grace” in there somewhere, yet it still carries the tone of “I screwed up and created this mess. It’s my job now to fix this.”

What’s the point?

If in the core of who you are you see yourself as a failure, as someone who can never measure up, as someone unworthy of success, then debt can actually become your excuse for never stepping out and at least trying to fulfill your potential. It’s a lot safer to be in debt and be “trapped” in a routine job that you need to make your minimum payments every month than it is to be free. This may not make sense at first, but in some way’s it’s risky to be debt-free. Like the photo above, the lion is safer in the cage than in the wild. But lions weren’t meant to be caged, and neither are you!!!

“Am I worthy of financial freedom?” It’s the same question as “am I worthy of love?” or “am I worthy of success?” It speaks of how you see yourself. It’s a funny question because (let’s be honest) in many ways the answer is “no.” Yet if you can’t answer this question with a resounding “YES!” you’re always going to struggle financially. The only way to confidently answer this question is when you realize this truth:

You’re not the one answering the question.

If I create a beautiful painting, the painting itself doesn’t have the right to determine if it is worthy to be displayed at the Louvre or  sold at a garage sale. It would be ridiculous to ask the painting if it is worthy or not. It’s a stupid question. You would ask the artist. Only the creator has the right to determine the worth of His creation. And this is why it’s called “good news.”

Despite our failures, our sinfulness, our inadequacies, and yes even our financial blunders, our creator looks at us and shouts “Worthy!!! Worthy of my love! Worthy of my blessing! Worthy of my Son.” Romans 8:32: “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”

“Am I worthy of financial freedom?” is the wrong question. What we need to be asking is “Do I freely receive His grace in all areas of my life?” As you journey from debt to life always remember He is on your side.

Committed to your success,

-Wesley

We respond to 100% of our comments. Let’s dialogue: Do you believe that God is on your side in paying off debt? Have you considered the need for grace when it comes to your finances?

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What Is The Opposite of Debt? (Hint: It’s not Wealth)

Now that you know our story (see our first two posts, Part 1 & Part 2), we want to share with you why Debt To Life exists, and specifically, who we had in mind when we created it.

Beth & I came to the realization that as long as we have debt, we are a slave to that debt (see Proverbs 22:7). While your lender can’t totally rule your life (at least not in our society), they do have some power over you as long as you owe them money.

The financial gurus like to talk about good debt versus bad debt, but when your a slave, it’s all bad. People often play this financial game with debt…”My money’s earning more in interest in a money market than I’m losing in interest on my loan, so I’m just going to keep the loan.”

While that may make some sense financially, when you realize you’re a slave, you no longer care about winning the game; all you want is out of the game. The bottom line for a slave isn’t winning, it’s freedom.

If your heart burns for freedom, you’re in the right place.

There’s a reason we named it “Debt To Life.” We could have easily named it “Debt To Wealth”, or “Debt to Not So Much Debt So You Can Have More Stuff.” But we didn’t, we named it Debt To Life. There’s a million websites and resources out there to help you build wealth if that’s your desire. We’re not against building wealth, however, if your primary goal in life is the accumulation of wealth or stuff, this is not the place for you.

Too many people trade happiness for wealth, thinking that their wealth will bring them happiness. At Debt To Life, we believe that fulfillment is found in living out one’s purpose, regardless of the income level associated with that purpose.

For Beth & I, a significant part of our purpose is found in helping people, both in our own backyard and around the world. When we were buried in debt, we literally felt trapped in our jobs, like we were years away from really living out our purpose on a more “full time” basis. Like the lion in the photo above, we felt caged, spending our energy fulfilling someone else’s dreams but not our own. In some twisted way, the cage represents security and familiarity, but it comes with a price…your purpose.

If your heart burns for purpose, you’re in the right place.

One of our goals in writing this post is to help define and connect with you, our target audience. We did a lot of research, and had some snazzy information to impress you with how much we know about the statistical metrics that define who we think you are. But at the end of the day, what defines the community we are aiming for isn’t so much a specific set of demographics, but rather an attitude of the heart.

Only you really know if you are hungry or not to take the steps necessary to get free of your debt. Only you really know if you’re tired of serving someone else’s purpose and are ready to discover your own.

Maybe you’re reading this and you’re not so sure about all this talk of freedom and purpose, you just know you’re tired of getting screwed by your credit card company. Wherever you find yourself, if this resonates with you, we encourage you to stay connected, and let us walk with you on your journey towards financial freedom.

If you haven’t already done so, sign up for our newsletter, and get our free special report about the “1st Step to Financial Freedom that No One Talks About.”

Committed to your success,

-Wesley

P.S. For us, the opposite of Debt is Freedom. What are your thoughts? We respond to 100% of our comments!

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