Do What You Can and One Step More – Not Poor Anymore
It’s a gorgeous Sunday afternoon in August. Still summer, but I can feel the tinges of autumn already nipping around the edges.
I’m sitting in my office, working. I’m writing this post right this moment, but mostly, I’m here to work on my novel today.
When I looked up a minute ago, I watched a middle-aged man run across the Hickory Bridge outside my window.
He wasn’t one of the ultrafit dudes, either.
He was a new-to-fit middle-aged man. I’m eight stories up, but even from my vantage point, I could see that he wished he was doing whatever he usually does on Sunday afternoons.
I had a feeling of solidarity with him.
Sometimes it takes working on a Sunday to get where you want to be.
Sometimes it takes eating a PB+J at your desk instead of going out to lunch every day, so you can put the extra bucks toward paying down your debt.
Sometimes it takes moving away from the place you’ve lived your whole life, so that you can finally get your money in balance.
Sometimes it takes working when you’d rather be taking a nap or playing with your dog or going to a movie or pretty much anything that’s not work.
And sometimes it takes running across the Hickory Bridge.
Because sometimes it takes digging in.
What is it you want?
To not be poor anymore. To be out of debt. To buy a house for cash. To be a bestselling author. To be an Ironman.
It doesn’t matter what it is. How big it is. Or how small.
What matters is that decide what you’re willing to do to get there.
I don’t always work on Sunday, of course. Last weekend, I was on vacation with my husband. Sometimes I put my work away on Friday and don’t think about it again until Monday.
But when I look around me at the people who have done the the things I want to do and the people who have wanted to, but haven’t, I see one big difference.
The ones who have succeeded have put in the time.
They are the ones who never say oh, I could never do that.
They are the ones who are out running the Hickory Bridge on a Sunday afternoon (metaphorically, you know.)
They are the ones who realize they haven’t put in enough time lately, so they haul their cookies to the office on Sunday afternoon to get some words in.
They are the ones who other people look at and say wow, they have a lot of energy.
Work is the difference between success and failure. Every time. No matter how many self-help gurus try to tell us otherwise, I’ve never seen it happen any other way. Not for anyone.
If you really want to not be poor anymore.
You get there the same way you get to run a marathon.
You start with what you’ve got. You do what you can, and then you take one more step.
I read a story years ago that’s always stuck with me.
It was about a woman who was so sick and so overweight — the only exercise she could manage was to walk to her mailbox at the end of her driveway every day.
But she wanted to run a marathon.
She started where she was. She did what she could, and then she took one more step.
She walked to the mailbox every day. Then a little further. To the neighbor’s mailbox. Then the light post. Then the next neighbor’s mail box. Then the corner.
It was painstaking. It took months to get where she could walk around her block. But she got there. She got stronger. And she started eating better, because she started feeling better. And she started feeling better, because she was eating better and because she was stronger.
It all built on itself. And she made it to her marathon.
Not quickly. Forget quickly. But she got there.
You’re not going to stop being poor today. But you can make a better choice this afternoon. And you can brainstorm an income stream and do the work to start it flowing.