I like to leave as much margin as I can in my life to prepare for the unexpected. If the personal finance experts say we should have 3-6 months of expenses saved for emergencies, I want 6-12 months just to be safe. I schedule a blog post every Friday, and I’d like to have several weeks of posts saved up just to make sure I can keep my commitment.
I’m the opposite of a procrastinator. I err on the side of getting things done too early. Sometimes I waste time because I do things that would have taken care of themselves if I had procrastinated a little longer.
I prefer to be a homeowner over a renter. I can’t wait until I pay off my mortgage so I can truly be an owner without that monthly payment hanging over my head.
However, in many areas of life we can’t build much margin. We have to be more like renters than owners. In these areas the rent comes due daily rather than monthly, and we are limited in the amount we can save.
Here are 3 areas in which we need to show up and pay the rent every day:
1. Physical Health There’s no way to truly own our physical health, and we can only save up to a limited extent.
We can spend a lot of time and effort building muscle, getting in great cardiovascular shape, and losing all excess fat. However, if we stop paying the rent, if we stop exercising and eating healthy, we will immediately begin to lose the ground we have won (as I wrote about in my last post).
Our savings may allow us to remain reasonably healthy for a period of time, but eventually we need to start paying the rent again. It is better to show up and pay the rent every day.
2. Accomplishment I was my high school class Valedictorian and Athlete of the Year. But like Uncle Rico in Napoleon Dynamite who is stuck in 1984, no one cares anymore.
The only way past accomplishments mean anything is if we take the things we learn and continue paying the rent on future accomplishments. Past accomplishment may open doors to more opportunities, but if we don’t continue paying the rent those doors will mercilessly slam shut.
We will not continue going to a restaurant where we get bad service, even if we’ve received great service in the past. We may give the benefit of the doubt a few times, but eventually the great service in the past will mean nothing to us.
Past accomplishment does not guarantee future success. We have to show up and pay the rent every day.
3. Motivation Zig Ziglar said, “People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily.”
There’s no way for us to save motivation. We need to continue paying the rent by doing things that motivate us daily.
Everyone is motivated differently. Reading or listening to stories about great people and great accomplishments (as I wrote in a previous post) motivates me to reach higher and be better. I wear my Bose bluetooth earpiece every day while driving, cleaning, etc so I can listen to inspiring books or podcasts.
Once you figure out what motivates you, go out and pay the rent every day!
Gather Our Daily Bread
In a previous post, I wrote about an address by D. Todd Christofferson called, "Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread.” This is another way to look at the principle of showing up to pay the rent every day.
He relates the experience of the Children of Israel in the wilderness. They were able to survive because the Lord gave them manna daily. They weren’t able to gather extra for the future. They had to live for today and trust that more manna would appear tomorrow.
So go out there and gather your daily bread, pay your rent, and look forward to a bright future!
Question: In what ways do you pay the rent every day?