Categories
Success

Frustrated? Stick to Your Plan

Last night Murphy’s Law seemed to reign at my job. I awoke this morning with the frustration still eating at me.

The details don’t matter. You’ve probably felt the same, that desire to just say “fuck it” and change your plan.

So what can you do when that desire hits?

You can do the same thing that I do.

You can stand tall, pull up your panties, and keep working towards your goals.

Every single day you need to do something to bring your dreams closer. Every single day you need to wake up and take one step towards your goals.

You may not see any results at first. Like the Chinese Bamboo, it can take years to see progress. Like the Chinese Bamboo, you need to feed and water your dreams every day.

And like the Chinese Bamboo, when the time comes, success will appear so suddenly that you will be amazed.

That was exactly what happened when I achieved my freedom for the first time. I had spent two years of my life writing nonstop as I struggled to support my family. I had almost given up. I had taken yet another public job making shit for pay and resigned myself to a life of struggle.

But I kept writing.

Despite the fact that I had resigned myself to the fact that I would always be forced to work at a public job I still kept working on my plan. Each and every day I wrote a little bit more. I wrote on this blog. I wrote on my books. I would not allow myself to go to bed at night until I had done at least one thing, had taken one step towards my goal.

You know what? It worked. One day I woke up and checked on my progress. My jaw bounced off of the floor. There was more than enough book royalties coming to me to cover three months of living expenses.

I was finally free.

A dream that I had first allowed myself to dream back at the turn of the century had finally come to fruition. A dream that I hadn’t seriously started working towards until 2009 had become reality with a suddenness that left me amazed.

Now I have a new dream. In order to achieve that dream I find myself in yet another public job, earning less as a manager than I would make as an entry-level burger flipper at the local McDonalds and right now that grates, especially after the frustration of last night.

It would be easy to throw in the towel. It is hard when you look around and you feel as if you are barely making progress. You look around, questioning yourself as you wonder if you made the right decision.

Those are the moments that define you. Those are the moments when you discover if you are dedicated to your plan. How you move through those moments determines whether you are destined for success or failure.

I know what I intend to do. In fact, I’m doing it right now.

Are you?

Categories
Car-Free Finances Frugality Investments

Desire and Frustration

I underestimated just how heavily it was raining as I left work yesterday afternoon. By the time I realized that I should open my umbrella it was far too late. I was soaked to the bone.

“I have got to increase my income,” I muttered as I sloshed my way home. If I acquired a full-time job making just $10 an hour, I would basically double my current income. I could afford the extra maintenance and insurance expense of a vehicle.

Unfortunately, I would have to work the same shift with someone I completely trusted to actually show up every day in order to earn the money to afford a vehicle, or sacrifice a lot of time walking to and from one of the local factories with my current transportation situation.

Basically, I’m caught in a Catch-22. I need to earn more money in order to afford a vehicle, but I need a vehicle in order to work a job that would provide that money.

That f*cking sucks.

So what can I do now, with what I currently have, in order to meet both short and long term goals?

I gave that a lot of thought last night.

I am already making progress. I’ve got an optometrist appointment scheduled for later this month. That is the first step in re-acquiring my driver’s license. Once I purchase a new pair of eyeglasses I will feel safe about applying for a driving permit. Once I attain that permit, I’ll have to wait around six months before I can even think of taking the driver’s test.

I am in the process of building my credit. To make myself feel better about my progress, I sent the credit card company $20 to pay off my current balance with money to spare. I’m doing everything I can do in that area, so after I made the payment I moved on to the other areas of my life.

Each day I restore at least one of my older posts to this website. Each day I work a tiny little bit on a new book that is in the works. It is still in the initial stages, but that book may provide a little bit more money to invest in the future.

Each night I read before I go to bed. I’ve got plans to attend the latest library book sale on my next day off in hopes of acquiring more books to further my education, so I’m doing everything I can do in that area of my life.

I am keeping up with reading the SEC filings on the companies I’ve invested in and plan to invest in at some point in the future. I pitch in a bit more money each month towards my investments. Other than pinching my pennies even further, I’m doing all I can do at the moment.

Since I’ve managed to reduce my smoking expense from 7-8 packs a week down to 3-4 packs a week, I’ve even managed to increase the amount I have free to invest. That means I’m making more progress in both areas of my life right there.

So what can I do now, on top of what I’m already doing, to meet my goals? I turned that question over a thousand times last night. I am busting my ass, burning the candle at both ends, just to do the things I’m currently doing.

Yet there are two tiny Baby Steps that I had missed.

I had yet to initiate my plan to stash half of my raise into my emergency fund. While I had established the savings account and transferred my emergency fund over in order to start receiving interest on the money, I had yet to sit down on payday, calculate half of my tiny raise, and transfer it over.

I pulled out the pay stub I’d received earlier in the day, calculated half of my raise, and transferred the money over. It wasn’t much, but it’s better than nothing.

Then, in order to signal to myself that I was serious about eventually acquiring a vehicle, I created yet another sub-account. I added $10 to that one.

It’s a measly amount, but at least it’s something. At least I am actively saving up, not only to purchase a vehicle, but to cover the cost of insurance, repairs, and maintenance when the time comes when I feel comfortable to buy. I’m not sure how much I’ll add to that fund each month, but as long as I do something, it will be better than nothing. It will be a lot better than bitching and complaining whenever I grow frustrated.

I will have something to show myself that I am taking steps to reach my goal.

But last night it just didn’t seem like I was doing enough. Ten dollars is a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of money I would require to feel safe to even consider purchasing a vehicle.

Depressed by that thought, I sat down and cried.

I gave myself a few minutes to feel sorry for myself, then I washed my face and got back to work. I am making progress, even though it doesn’t feel like it. All I have to do is keep working. The rest will come in time.

I pulled out my Success notebook, the book where I write down motivational passages and encouragement. I read every page. Motivated by that, I read one more chapter in my current business book and went to bed.

I can do this. I don’t know how I’ll manage things yet, but at least I’m making progress. I will channel my frustration into white-hot rage, converting it to the fuel I need to keep moving forward.

This is about more than me. I want to prove to the whole damn world that just because you’re poor it doesn’t mean you have to stay that way. I will learn how to run with the big dogs, and I will teach others how to do the same.

I’m gonna do that if it’s the last thing I do.