Having “enough to get by” is not a reserve nor is it enough.
“Why waste your precious energy going after things you aren’t going to want when you get them? Exactly! When I promised that you would attract everything you’ve always wanted, I meant it. But now you don’t want it.” ~ Talane Miedaner, Coach Yourself To Success
“You can’t have everything. Where would you put it?” ~ Steven Wright
You can have anything you want, if you really want it. A key to living the Excelerated life is to have enough – enough time, enough money, enough resources, enough love – enough. If you don’t have a reserve of resources in all areas of your life, you spend your time scrambling to get your basic needs met. On the other hand, if you keep amassing resources beyond your reserves, you end up giving most of your time and life source to accumulating.
Having “enough” means having a reserve. Until you get your basic physical and psychological needs met, it is difficult to concentrate on your higher purpose. But when you take steps to get your physical and psychological needs met, you free up time and mental energy to devote to achievement and self-actualization.
How do you get your needs met automatically? By building and keeping a reserve of time, money, supplies, resources, people and love. When you have a reserve, you are no longer in survival mode. You free up the energy that you spent to survive and use it to grow and thrive. And by building a reserve, you know you have “enough”. You don’t have to continue amassing, you can move on to other things.
Reserve vs. Reserves
First, let’s be clear about what we mean when we talk about a reserve vs. reserves. “A reserve is a feeling,” said Thomas Leonard, the “father” of life coaching. “Reserves are a stockpile.” Part of having a reserve includes stockpiling. For example, I usually keep about a 6 months’ supply of paper products on hand. I never worry about running out and I am able to buy when the products are on sale. Years ago, I put aside $20 each week for five weeks, until I had a stockpile of $100. I always keep that money in my wallet – not to spend but to have in reserve.
“Building a reserve is an integrated process that strengthens your foundation. Stockpiling is an exercise in accumulation, which is a step toward building a reserve.” [Leonard] Stockpiling is a necessary step in accumulating some reserves, but stockpiling materials alone is not having a reserve. You must look deeper.
Building the Foundation
How do you know when you are building a reserve and not merely accumulating possessions? Here are some pointers taken from Thomas Leonard and Talane Miedaner.
o You choose saving over spending.
Robert Kiyosaki, in Rich Dad, Poor Dad, gives us this definition of assets and liabilities: “An asset puts money in my pocket, a liability takes money out of my pocket.” I once heard a friend say, “I want to invest in a good camera.” Do you see what is wrong with that statement? Buying a camera or a car or paper towels is not investing . . . it’s an expense. It’s spending. Obviously, you’ll need to spend for some things, but never think of it as “investing”. And choose to save whenever you have the choice.
o You avoid people who don’t have a reserve.
Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with“. Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in the drama and neediness of others. You won’t always be able to avoid them, but limit your exposure as much as you can.
o You are more generous (with time and money).
Because (1) you can afford to be and (2) you understand that you are a river not a reservoir. To keep the flow coming in, it also must go out.
o You have a large sum saved and you don’t need to use it.
This is a psychological buffer as well as a financial buffer against you ever being broke. Have an emergency fund but keep a separate amount that you don’t ever spend. (Similar to the $100 I carry in my wallet.)
o Your problems get bigger – but you are better able to deal with them.
“You can gauge the limitations of a person’s life by the size of the problems that get him or her down. You can measure the impact a person’s life has by the size of the problems he or she solves.” ~ Jeff Olson If you are caught up in the minutiae of day to day living, fighting fires and dealing with unmet needs, those are the problems that have your attention. A person who hasn’t had water for a couple of days isn’t interested in much more than finding a drink. Once you have taken care of the basic needs, then other, bigger challenges can hit your radar. But don’t worry – as you grow, you’ll be better equipped to handle bigger and bigger problems. The size of the problems reflects the size of the person.
- Choose 1 area and develop a huge reserve within a week. It could be as simple as stockpiling a 6 months’ supply of paper towels, putting aside money toward the $100 you never spend, or going to bed earlier to get enough sleep. It doesn’t have to be a big thing but it needs to be something that gives you the sense of what having a reserve feels like.
- Stop the leaks that are draining a reserve you already have. Are you paying for services (Netflix or Hulu for example) that you don’t use? Or do you subscribe to magazines you no longer read? Do you belong to a group that takes up your time but which no longer serves you? You can’t carry much water in a leaky bucket. Plug the holes that are draining your reserves.
- Deal with the money. While building a reserve is more than accumulating money, financial reserves are a necessity. Don’t wait until you have more to begin managing your money. Manage what money you have and you’ll have more. Begin saving today and work toward saving at least 10% of your income.
Have what you want.
“You can have anything you want in life,” said Peter McWilliams. “You just can’t have everything you want.” Why waste time and energy pursuing things you don’t want when you get them? Knowing what you want and what you need requires some inner work and reflection. And once you know what you need, build that into your reserve. You can always have enough. That is living the Excelerated Life!
Excelerated reserves — building your reserves in all areas — is one step in creating your Excelerated life, a life of well-being, meaning, and purpose.
Kiyoski, Robert T. and Sharon L. Lechter. Rich Dad, Poor Dad. New York: Warner Business Books, 1998, 2000
Leonard, Thomas. The 28 Laws Of Attraction. New York: Scribner, 1998
McWilliams, Peter. Life 101. Everything We Wish We Had Learned About Life In School – But Didn’t. Allen Park, MI: Mary Books / Prelude Press, 1994
Miedaner, Talane. Coach Yourself To Success. Lincolnwood, IL: Contemporary Books, 2000