A Personal Story – Change Your Mindset, Change Your Life

During the first few years of our marriage, my wife Christian and I experienced some very difficult financial hardships, which dictated the state of our mindset. I had a startup business that was drowning and we were struggling to make ends meet. We were in a very deep, dark financial hole and we couldn’t see any way out. The more we tried, the deeper we went. Then, one day the unthinkable happened—the electricity got turned off for non-payment.

That day I had to take a wash-up in the sink with a freezing cold gallon of water from the refrigerator. I sat on the floor in front of the bathtub and cried like a baby. I screamed up to God and asked Him why? I asked Him was that all He had for us; was that all that life had to offer? Deep down inside, I knew the answer was no, and that was all the shimmer of hope I needed. From that day forward, I made up in my mind that our lights would never be turned off again. I made up in my mind that I would do everything within my power to change all of the financial problems we faced. And, I did. Of course it wasn’t overnight because the problems weren’t created overnight. But, the key is: I made my mind up that we wouldn’t struggle anymore. We changed our perspective about our problems. Instead of seeing them as problems, we used them as stepping stones to financial freedom. Instead of allowing them to kill us, we allowed them to motivate us.

[ctt title=”When you change your perspective about problems, your whole life will change. That is the only way to overcome your problems.” tweet=”When you change your perspective about problems, your whole life will change. That is the only way to overcome your problems. @cortneyssargent” coverup=”02Pbq”]

Whether the problem is with your personal finances, marriage, family, business, job or a combination, you change the trajectory of your life. It doesn’t matter how big your problems are; what matters is what you choose to do about the problem. Life is going to happen every single day and I promise you that it won’t all be nice. Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% what you do about it. Instead of focusing on the 10%, focus on the 90%.

At the end of the day, the choice is yours. Will you choose to sit back and dwell in self-pity and apathy, or will you choose to step up and take your life back? Make life worth living, instead of living by default.

Embracing Change Will Revolutionize Your Life

If you’re not happy and don’t have joy in life, you can change that. If you don’t like your situation, you have the power to change your situation. But, you can’t change your situation if you don’t know what the reality of the situation is.

I was recently talking about some issues that plague the black community and I submitted that the problem isn’t really the problem; the real problem is the mindset. He followed up by asking me a very good question: how do you think people in the Black community can change their mindset?

Well the answer is simple, but the application isn’t. In order for anyone of any race to change their mindset or lifestyle, they must be INSPIRED and INFORMED. When someone is inspired to do something, it ignites something on the inside of them that makes them want to do different than what they’ve previously done. What I want to talk about today is the second part of that solution- being informed.

Being informed is the first step to real, lasting change. You can change your mindset, your money, living situation and entire life – but it all starts with being informed. You may still be living the same lifestyle as you were 5 years ago because you haven’t been informed about anything different.
I can’t explain this in depth like I’d like to right now, but I will at a later date. For now, take this for example: If you go to the doctor he’s going to ask what’s wrong. When you tell him that you’re hurting, he’s going to ask where. Why does he ask questions? Because he can’t help you if you don’t INFORM him of what’s specifically wrong with you. If you don’t tell him where you’re hurting, he cannot help you. Of course, he can guess, but that will relegate him to giving you solutions to problems that don’t exist. And, that’s what many people do: try to fix stuff that’s not broken.

Instead of running from the issue, address it head on by acknowledging it and applying a solution. Quit putting band-aids on your wounds. Instead, tell THE doctor what’s wrong so He can apply the correct solution to your ailment.

Even though you may not like your current situation, whether it is your finances, business, church, home, school, or marriage, you need to accept it for what it is. That’s the first step to making it better. How can you get out of debt if you have no idea of what’s on your credit report? You can’t. How can you become financially free if you never answer the creditors phone calls? You can’t. How can you have a better marriage if you don’t sit down and converse with your spouse? You can’t.

Here’s my final piece of advice on this Motivational Monday: Don’t be afraid to face the truth. And, sometimes, that truth may not be as bad as you’re making it out to be. But, there’s only one way to find out…

What’s green in your life?

What’s green in your life? When you don’t take care of a pool or fish aquarium, algae grows, bacteria gets in the water and eventually it turns green, or even brown. To get rid of that algae, you must treat the water with chlorine and pool shock. Depending on how contaminated the water is, it can take several days for the water to clear up. In order to keep algae from growing, you must take care of it on a weekly, sometimes daily basis.

Our lives are the same way.

[ctt title=”When we don’t take care of certain things in our life, algae grows and our water turns green. What’s green in your life?” tweet=”When we don’t take care of certain things in our life, algae grows and our water turns green. What’s green in your life?” coverup=”02Pbq”]

Is your marriage contaminated? When was the last time you took your wife on a date? When was the last time you appreciated your husband. At your wedding when you said “I do”, the real dating started at that moment. Never forsake being friends with your spouse; this is what keeps the fire burning.

Is your family life turning green? How much quality time are you spending with your children? Right now your children need you more than ever; don’t ignore them because you’re too busy. How about your other family members? Don’t be so occupied with work and life that you don’t call those family members that you don’t talk to often. We’re all busy and that’s probably not going to change anytime soon. I know you’ve said before that you don’t have time to do something. The reality is though, you DO have time, you just choose to do other things with it. Make time for what’s important.

How about your finances? Is your bank account green? What are you doing today to get you and your family’s finances in good shape? Set small goals and take small steps toward fulfilling those goals. It’s not impossible; you just need to adjust your mind-setting from I CAN’T to I CAN.

Finally, has your spiritual relationship become contaminated? Again, yes we’re all busy but you must make time to spend in your Bible, meditation and prayer. There’s an awesome 5-day Bible plan I read a couple weeks ago that I’d like you to check out. It’s called The Lies of Busyness: Devotions From Time Of Grace. It’s very challenging and straight-forward. It has encouraged me to make spending time with God a priority. This really hit home for me and I’ve found myself reading the plan over and over. Here’s the link.

What’s green in your life? This week, I want to encourage you to start the maintenance process to get you water clear. Get rid of all that algae and make your water blue, again. It may seem impossible, but it’s not. YOU GOT THIS! Be encouraged and have an AWESOME week!



What would you do with $86,400?

Today’s motivation is about using up your deposits. I’m not sure who wrote this analogy, but I find it POWERFUL and it really gets the point across. Allow this to motivate you today!

Imagine there is a bank account that credits your account each morning with $86,400. What would you do with that money? It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening the bank deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day. You can’t go to the ATM and just withdraw all of it out. You must slide a debit card in order to use the money. What would you do? I’m sure you would swipe that card until every penny of it is gone, wouldn’t you? I mean who wouldn’t, right?

Each of us have such a bank. It’s called TIME BANK. Every morning Time Bank credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night whatever amount of this you’ve failed to invest for a good purpose, it writes off as lost. There’s no carry-over balance and you can’t use the ATM. It allows no over draft. Each day there’s a new deposit for you. Each night it burns the remains of the day. If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours. You’re responsible for the loss.

There is no drawing against tomorrow. You can’t take out a loan. You can’t put it in a CD. You must live in the present on today’s deposit of time. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness, success and great relationships. You can’t just go to Time Bank and withdraw all of it out of the ATM; you have to use your debit card and put your time to good use. The clock is running!! Make the most of today. Don’t worry about tomorrow.

What are you doing today to get to the next level? Many people set goals and creates plans but they never put them into practical action steps. It’s not enough to plan; you must activate the plan by putting it into action. Otherwise, you’re just a good planner.

To realize the value of ONE YEAR, ask a student who failed a grade.
To realize the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.
To realize the value of ONE WEEK, ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.
To realize the value of ONE HOUR, ask a wife who’s waiting to see her husband get off the plane coming home from Iraq.
To realize the value of ONE MINUTE, ask a person who just missed a train.
To realize the value of ONE SECOND, ask someone who just avoided an accident.
To realize the value of ONE MILLISECOND, ask the person who won a silver medal at the Olympics.

Treasure every moment that you have! And, treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time with. And, remember time waits for no one! Every night Time Bank account deletes the deposit for today.

Don’t waste one second of your life. Ready? Set? GO!!!