How to Take Control of Your Life Now

381091 39: President John F. Kennedy speaks at a press conference January 24, 1963. (Photo by National Archive/Newsmakers)
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy

what is leadership?

Leadership is the ability to influence others to cooperate with you in the accomplishment of a worthy, mutually beneficial goal or task. It is just as applicable in the family and social relationships as it is in the workplace.

Today, I will share some valuable insights, learned the hard way, to help you learn them the easy way.

the first requirement of leadership

If you are going to successfully lead others, you must first successfully

Startup Stock Photos
Startup Stock Photos

lead yourself. If you have a family, you owe it to them to lead them successfully; to be right in the decisions you make that affect all of you. The results can change lives for a lifetime.

how i messed up financially

Forty years ago, I boldly made the statement that if I had $100,000 I could live off the interest for life. Wrong! That statement was a reflection of my youthfulness at the tender age of thirty. I didn’t realize that I couldn’t predict the future. Without thinking carefully, I just assumed that the economy at that time was much the same as it would be years later.

I needed to be able to predict the future.

No one but God can predict the future. Everyone knows that. But that is exactly what is required for you to do, and do successfully, to know how much money you will need for retirement. That’s quite a challenge isn’t it?

time changes things – often radically

When I was thirty, the interest from $100,000 dollars would have provided a modest existence for me, without working (my sights were set too low). Problem is, time doesn’t stand still; things change.

Today, in 2016, on a really good day, I might manage to get 1% interest on that $100,000, for a return of $1,000 PER YEAR. That breaks down to $83 per month. Hardly enough to live on.

are you falling into the same trap?

What is the basis for your financial planning for retirement? I’m sure it doesn’t exceed the sum total of your knowledge and experience, right?

That means that even if you are not struggling now, you are most likely to find yourself short on money twenty, thirty or forty years down the road, if you don’t learn some different things, and do some different planning.

Back to my $100,000 story. If I had depended on my somewhat experienced thinking from forty years ago, I would now be forced to return to work, and/or start spending my capital.

The capital would give me four years at $25,000 per year, which would provide only a meager existence. Not exactly living life to the fullest. That means it would be time to get a job. That’s a possible cure, if one is not too frail to work and too poor to retire; otherwise, you’re sunk.

j-o-b (“just over broke” – les brown)

There are many of you out there in your thirties and forties who are finding it next to impossible to find a job, even though they say the recession has ended. If it’s that hard for you to find a job now, what would it be like for me at seventy?

If you think now, in your younger years, like I did in mine, you might want to ask what it will be like for you in your sixties or seventies. Keep in mind that predictions are that the plague of old people being broke and dependent on others will get worse and worse.

Of course, the government wants you to believe that it will fix things. Government has been singing that song all of my life. If that’s true, why in the last 50 years hasn’t there been a lasting improvement?

the birds and the bees

Here’s an interesting fact of life for grown ups: When you “get down on your luck”, people don’t come running in to help; they ease away from you.

I have already alluded to the fact that this problem stems from the fact that planning for the future is virtually, not literally, an impossible task, especially for younger people who, by virtue of their relative youth, don’t have the necessary experience to deal with it. There is a deeper cause at work here also.

here’s what people are saying

Consider this excerpt from a recent CNBC News article:

“People defined financial security as having enough money to pay bills with a little left over for extras or savings, and only limited concerns about how to make ends meet.” (emphases mine)

In the wealthiest land the world has ever seen, what kind of deal is that? Why is that their expectation so mediocre? Most of you are probably asking in your mind “What’s wrong with that?” Let’s break it down, take a close look, and I’ll show you.

  • “Enough money to pay bills”: that shows responsibility; it’s a good thing
  • “With a little left over for extras or savings”: shows skewed priorities; extras come before savings. Savings is a responsibility to yourself and those depending on you
  • “And only limited concerns about how to make ends meet”: this suggests that having concerns about how to make ends meet is the way things should be. That is only normal because that’s the way 95% of people think of it. And that’s how they live.

who defines your approach to life?

In America, the richest land that ever was, and 95% of the people are just trying to make ends meet, maybe save something, maybe not; should those people who are just getting by be the ones to define your approach to financing your life?

Back in my Marine Corps days, I was taught to never present a problem without offering a solution. That was good teaching, so here is an idea to make the above situation better, much better.

think and change the narrative

For you, my special readers, let me suggest that you consider changing that quote to something more suitable to your skills, talents and abilities. How about this:

“Readers at defined financial security as having plenty of money to pay bills, save abundantly, support their favorite benevolent organizations, give their families the best of everything and have enough left over to take splendid vacations twice a year, while never needing to be concerned about how to make ends meet.”

Doesn’t that sound better? Do you see the shift in priorities?

One more question: What kind of results do you think you will get from each of those ideas?

been there, done that; changed my ways

I have found that if I dwell on the “just get by” notion, (I used to do that) of the 95% who are not making it in the CNBC quote that I get those “Just getting by” results. It’s interesting how you end up in the same place as the crowd you follow. It’s not really surprising; you know the metaphor “water seeks its own level.” It’s true for people too.

Since then, I have found that if I focus on the notion of abundance for myself as illustrated in the quote I offered that things gradually change for the best, and life keeps on improving and improving and improving.

the jury in my mind has reached a verdict

The discovery I made, after many long, hard years of mediocrity is that, as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “A (person) becomes what (they) think about all day long.” And, as the Bible says, “…As he (a person) thinketh in his heart, so is he…” (Proverbs 23:7).

a chrystal clear illustration

In his timeless lesson, The Strangest Secret in the World, Earl Nightingale taught this principle by using a brilliant illustration, comparing the human mind to the soil of the earth. Here’s what Earl said:

“The mind doesn’t care what you plant in it, but just like the earth, it will return what you plant.”

He continued the illustration by saying that a farmer went out and planted two seeds; one corn and one nightshade, a deadly poison. He planted both seeds and watered them and nurtured them. One seed produced an abundance of corn, while the other produced an abundance of poison (as a person sows, so shall he reap).

If you think poor, you will stay, or become poor. If you think rich, you will stay, or become rich.

not a magic trick

This is not some kind of magic or hocus-pocus. It still requires that you seize opportunity when it is attracted to your abundant thinking, and that you act on it. But the point is that nature works in such a way that the person who is always negative attracts negative things to him or herself, while the person who thinks about an abundance of good and worthwhile things attracts opportunity to enable him or her to grasp that abundance.

The internet today has provided unlimited opportunity to any human being on the planet to do better than just survive; much better, IF they will get their minds in gear on a positive note and offer value to others at a fair price.

action you can take for improvement

Anyone can create an Ebook or an audio message that contains information of value from their life’s experiences and acquired knowledge that is valuable to some small percentage of the world’s population.

I just ran some interesting numbers. If you created a product that was of interest to one thousandth of one percent of the world’s population and one percent of those people bought a $10 product from you, you would gross $70,000! Not only that, there would be 7,000 people in the world who would be a little smarter, for having learned what you have to teach. Absolutely amazing!

bad news

The unfortunate problem is that 95% of the 95% of poor thinkers will continue to be poor thinkers and this information will just whiz past them. If they continue on that path, they will get old and be broke and their retirement years will be stressful and miserable.

good news

The beautiful solution is that a small percentage of the remaining 5% will decide to take better care of themselves and will shift to abundant thinking. They will stick with it until it becomes a reality.

If they follow that path, they can create a regular or extra income that they can control in response to shifts in the economy. They will have the power to repeat the process, and always add value to others, in return for just compensation. They will always be able to generate more income, into and through retirement. These are the people who take control of their lives. They live abundantly.

there are many examples to prove this

Right now, the internet is loaded with people who changed their thinking, seized the opportunity, took action and stuck with their plan. They have become millionaires.

Just Google “list of millionaires” and the returns will include young millionaires, American millionaires, African millionaires and millionaires in third world countries. If they can do it, you can do it too!

It is not in your job, how hard you work, how much money you have or how long you work. The key is in your thinking…and what you do with the ideas you come up with.

follow through

Right now, I am working on an Ebook that I expect to publish in August that will go into a lot more detail and give you 7 simple steps to create a nice extra income to help you move beyond just getting by. It will guide you to start attracting the abundance that is naturally yours, if you just change from mediocre thinking to abundant thinking. I will be offering a special introductory offer for subscribers of this blog. Stay tuned.


Outfitting yourself to lead others is something that no one else can do for you. Teachers can show you the way, but in the end, you must do it yourself. It must begin in your thinking, period.

All progress begins in the mind, through thought. You can prove this for yourself by simply reflecting on your life and accomplishments. You will easily see that everything you ever accomplished was preceded by thought. Since that is true, isn’t it also true that what you are is also preceded by your thoughts (what you think about all day long)? After all, each of us is the sum total of what we think about and act on.

According to the statistics, 95% of Americans will be broke and dependent on fickle outside sources for survival in their old age. It seems to me that going with the flow and following that 95% is not a very good idea.

If you follow the 95% who miss the target, you will most certainly miss the target also. If you follow the 5% who are either financially independent or wealthy, likewise, you will end up right where they lead you.

The internet abounds with articles, books, videos and audio recordings about how the 5% think and what they have done to achieve abundant lives. If you have the technology to read this, you have the technology to study that 5% of achievers and become one of them. The ball is in your court.

other related articles

Forbes: The Greatest Retirement Crisis in American History

CNBC: Americans are Still Struggling Financially

Discussion question: Have you been caught up in thoughts that have held you back? If so, have you gotten over that?

What words of encouragement can you offer to your fellow readers here?

If you have a question or comment of a private nature, or need to see if you need some coaching, just submit the form below.


2 thoughts on “How to Take Control of Your Life Now”

  1. Oh, Bob, I LOVE this! I was just thinking about this exact thing this morning. ‘Why are so many people content just making ends meet? At what point of shuffling Peter and Paul do they feel stressed enough to change? How can we help change their money mindset?’ I love that you offer a solution to bump up that income.

    Words of Encouragement:
    In a way, my husband and I got “lucky” and didn’t start off making lots of mistakes like student loans and credit cards. For some reason, the things that everyone else was doing seemed stupid. I wrote in one of my posts that I followed the advice of college admissions and took out a small student loan the first semester and then I was like, ‘well that was dumb, I could just wait tables one night a week and make this money.’ Here’s the post, some might find it helpful:

    That said, we’re still human. We feel that same pressures and are often criticized for being different. We have the same desires and need for approval. What I want to tell your readers is that YOU CAN create a life where you don’t have to worry about making ends meet. My husband grew up in poverty and my life wasn’t much better. We decided what we wanted our lives to look like and committed to making it happen. ANYONE can do it! The road to financial freedom will seem long when you begin, but it’ll be over before you know it. Imagine what it will feel like when you don’t have to worry how you’re going to pay next month’s bills. Imagine what it would feel like if you didn’t have to worry about keeping your job. Just think if you could free up all of that time spent worrying and shuffling debt. All of that time could be spent creating your future. YOU CAN do it and it’s totally worth it.

    PS – Funny you say $100k. Years ago we were having lunch with my husband’s stepdad. I don’t recall what he was talking about, but he said, “if I had $100,000 I’d retire.” The look on our faces changed the subject really fast. 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment, Holly.

      I appreciate your willingness to help my readers with additional information very much.

      I read your article that you referenced in your comment. It hits the bullseye! I especially like your advice about not taking advice from financial advisors. Often they are not licensed and not even in control of their own finances. With rare exceptions, their advice will usually direct the unsuspecting to buy products that they make a commission on. Conflict of interest, anyone?

      My recommendation is that my readers follow through and get the additional information and fresh viewpoint expressed in your post.

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