(excerpted from the Day That Turns Your Life Around)
After having struggled for so long, it took a shift in attitude for my family and me when success started to happen. When I started making a little extra money at age 25, Schoaf taught me to also let it serve as a new inspiration for lifestyle. To take my family to dinner after I'd had 2 or 3 pretty good weeks and it looked like it was going to continue. I would say, "Today we get to order from only the left hand side of the menu, we don't have to look at the right hand side". Didn't cost much, just a little extra. But you can't believe the effect on the family, wow, that these are new days.
It's called changing your life as well as changing your skills and earning more money. It's best to invest some of that early money in lifestyle. Go to the movies. Take two vacations instead of one. Just some little extra things that now the family gets inspired by this new commitment to earning more and becoming more and learning more, taking some night classes, whatever you have to do. Now you make it more worthwhile for the family by thinking of lifestyle changes that now become very exciting. Go to the concerts. My parents said don't miss anything. Don't miss the play, the music, the songs, the performances, the movie - whatever is happening.
When I started making some extra money I opened up an account for my wife and I called it the "No Questions Asked Account". I said, "here is the checkbook for a new account and it's called no questions asked". I'll just keep putting money in there and you spend it for whatever you wish. It was life changing. It wasn't a fortune. But she didn't have to ask for money any more. I could sense that it was a little embarrassing at times when she had to ask me for money. I thought, that's not good, so the first time I get a chance, here's what I'm going to do. And sure enough, I did it. The "No Questions Asked Account". You can't believe what that did. It was absolutely amazing.
With that little extra money, work at creating lifestyle. Social friendships, church, community, country. All those things that make a composite of our overall life. Start furnishing that with new vigor, vitality, money, whatever it takes to expand your life into what I call the good life as well as economics.
And it doesn't always take a lot of money. How much is a movie? Even for a person of modest means. $8 or $10? It might cost $60 million to make it and it only costs $8 to see it.
When I discovered those kinds of concepts at age 25 you can imagine it was hard for me to sleep nights that first year. I got so excited about changing everything. And one discipline leads to another. One change leads to another. Feeling good about yourself and starting to make the turn to do something you've never done before, then it starts to work, wow, and then you get excited about changing other areas of your life as well.
Now after you have made your fortune, the money and extravagance might not seem as big a deal. And fortunately you can then create even more powerful opportunities, in particular, opportunities for benevolence, philanthropy and giving.
Now I'm certainly not saying to focus only on external pleasures and rewards. Your relationships, health and spirituality are all of more consequence.
But in the beginning, when the rewards of your hard work begin paying off, make sure and treat yourself and those closest to you to a new world of lifestyle and celebrations.
To Your Success,