Picture a beautiful sandcastle. Hours spent crafting intricate towers and walls. Elements in the sand glisten as the sun sets. In the “perfect” location, Ocean front property. This beach is amazing, gentle sand, clear water, and void of human clutter. It is perfection…
The tide begins to rise. The sky turns dark with angry clouds. The wind begins screaming like a toddler tantrum. The waves become larger and larger… then with a violent crushing force… The sandcastle is obliterated. There is no trace of those hours of work. The beauty of it is gone.
A sandcastle marriage seems great when there are clear skies and calm seas. Everyone will tell you how beautiful it is. BUT when the storms of life, the baggage of the past, frustrations of the current day, and stress of 2 people becoming 1 appear, the greatness fades. That beautiful sandcastle marriage is shattered by the crashing waves of life.
Some foundations of a Sandcastle marriage:
- Infatuation (a powerful feeling that can fool even the best of us)
- Lust (desire to derive personal pleasure, satisfaction, or status from that sexy, powerful, or wealthy person)
- Baggage (lots of intimate experiences with others outside the covenant of marriage or other unhealthy dating relationships)
- Selfishness (My spouse is going to do all these things for me)
- Co-dependency (Need to fix someone else’s problem, making it your problem. Enabling the other person in the process)
- Unresolved emotional issues (most of us have things in our past that could use resolution, perhaps with the assistance of a counselor or physiologist)
None of these provide a foundation for marriage. A long-term successful marriage has a strong foundation. When the storms of life come blasting in; it may damage aspects of the marriage relationship for a season, but the foundation is solid. The couple can easier stand back up and rebuild together on that solid foundation.
Some foundations for a life-long marriage
- Love (a choice one makes, love is not a feeling. Hollywood wants us to believe love is a magical feeling but in reality it is a choice. Infatuation and lust are the feelings often mistaken for love)
- Purity (I can only talk about this one from the other side as I wasn’t pure before marriage. I know what it is like to have your mind constantly bombarded with past baggage. Baggage that comes crashing in on your mind with waves of guilt and shame.)
- Honesty and trust (speaking the truth with gentleness, being trustworthy and trusting)
- Communication (Set aside times to communicate about your life together, Daily is best)
- Vision and goals (What is your shared vision? You can’t have separate visions for your life or your foundation will crack)
- Dedication and loyalty (Divorce is not an option. Be dedicated to finding a solution. Speak well of each other to others and to each other)
- I am sure several of you have some other foundation blocks you could add. Please share them in the comments below.
None of us are perfect with all of these points. Sometimes our marriage foundations have cracks in them. Be quick to address and work together to fix them. While harder to repair, they are so worth taking the time to repair. There is an exponential power released when a married couple comes together with 1 vision and set of goals.
Storms and challenges in life will come your way. Your marriage will be threatened, attacked, and beat up at times. As Dr. Thomas Stanley (author of The Millionaire Next Door and The Millionaire Mind) found in his research, the vast majority of millionaires have long-term happy marriages. Children who grow up in homes with both parents are more successful. Married people have a longer life expectancy. The benefits of making a marriage work far and away exceed the costs.
It is better to build the solid foundation before marriage, but not required. Maybe your marriage seems to be a sandcastle right now. All is not lost. You can start working on your foundation today.
What are some other foundation blocks for a good marriage?
Compounding: the concept of reinvesting our harvest. How reinvesting your returns from investments grows your assets.
Here is an example of the basic concept.
You spend $1000 on a bond that pays 10%/year
|Year||Year Interest||Total Interest||Balance|
|1||$ 100.00||$ 100.00||$ 1,100.00|
|2||$ 110.00||$ 210.00||$ 1,210.00|
|3||$ 121.00||$ 331.00||$ 1,331.00|
|4||$ 133.10||$ 464.10||$ 1,464.10|
|5||$ 146.41||$ 610.51||$ 1,610.51|
|6||$ 161.05||$ 771.56||$ 1,771.56|
|7||$ 177.16||$ 948.72||$ 1,948.72|
|8||$ 194.87||$ 1,143.59||$ 2,143.59|
|9||$ 214.36||$ 1,357.95||$ 2,357.95|
|10||$ 235.79||$ 1,593.74||$ 2,593.74|
|11||$ 259.37||$ 1,853.12||$ 2,853.12|
|12||$ 285.31||$ 2,138.43||$ 3,138.43|
|13||$ 313.84||$ 2,452.27||$ 3,452.27|
|14||$ 345.23||$ 2,797.50||$ 3,797.50|
|15||$ 379.75||$ 3,177.25||$ 4,177.25|
|16||$ 417.72||$ 3,594.97||$ 4,594.97|
|17||$ 459.50||$ 4,054.47||$ 5,054.47|
|18||$ 505.45||$ 4,559.92||$ 5,559.92|
|19||$ 555.99||$ 5,115.91||$ 6,115.91|
|20||$ 611.59||$ 5,727.50||$ 6,727.50|
In 20 years your $1,000 has increased to over $6,700 and you will earn $670 in the next year. In year one notice it was only $100. That movement from $100 to $670 is compounding in action.
If you consumed(spent) that $100 each year, you would only earn $100 each year.
In our next example let’s say we invest an average American car payment each month in addition to that initial $1,000 investment. (We are using $350 for car payment as the average ranges from $300 to $550 per month)
|Year||Year Deposits||Year Interest||Total Deposits||Total Interest||Balance|
|1||$ 4,200.00||$ 324.19||$ 5,200.00||$ 324.19||$ 5,524.19|
|2||$ 4,200.00||$ 776.61||$ 9,400.00||$ 1,100.79||$ 10,500.79|
|3||$ 4,200.00||$ 1,274.27||$ 13,600.00||$ 2,375.06||$ 15,975.06|
|4||$ 4,200.00||$ 1,821.69||$ 17,800.00||$ 4,196.76||$ 21,996.76|
|5||$ 4,200.00||$ 2,423.86||$ 22,000.00||$ 6,620.62||$ 28,620.62|
|6||$ 4,200.00||$ 3,086.25||$ 26,200.00||$ 9,706.87||$ 35,906.87|
|7||$ 4,200.00||$ 3,814.87||$ 30,400.00||$ 13,521.74||$ 43,921.74|
|8||$ 4,200.00||$ 4,616.36||$ 34,600.00||$ 18,138.11||$ 52,738.11|
|9||$ 4,200.00||$ 5,498.00||$ 38,800.00||$ 23,636.10||$ 62,436.10|
|10||$ 4,200.00||$ 6,467.80||$ 43,000.00||$ 30,103.90||$ 73,103.90|
|11||$ 4,200.00||$ 7,534.58||$ 47,200.00||$ 37,638.48||$ 84,838.48|
|12||$ 4,200.00||$ 8,708.04||$ 51,400.00||$ 46,346.52||$ 97,746.52|
|13||$ 4,200.00||$ 9,998.84||$ 55,600.00||$ 56,345.36||$ 111,945.36|
|14||$ 4,200.00||$ 11,418.72||$ 59,800.00||$ 67,764.08||$ 127,564.08|
|15||$ 4,200.00||$ 12,980.60||$ 64,000.00||$ 80,744.67||$ 144,744.67|
|16||$ 4,200.00||$ 14,698.66||$ 68,200.00||$ 95,443.33||$ 163,643.33|
|17||$ 4,200.00||$ 16,588.52||$ 72,400.00||$ 112,031.85||$ 184,431.85|
|18||$ 4,200.00||$ 18,667.37||$ 76,600.00||$ 130,699.22||$ 207,299.22|
|19||$ 4,200.00||$ 20,954.11||$ 80,800.00||$ 151,653.33||$ 232,453.33|
|20||$ 4,200.00||$ 23,469.52||$ 85,000.00||$ 175,122.85||$ 260,122.85|
In this example over 20 years we have invested $85,000 and the current value is over $260,000. Your investment of just $4,200/per year has become a potential income of $23,500 per year.
Here we are compounding our investment by continually adding to it from other sources. This is the idea behind saving for retirement. You can create your own custom calculation here. It is a great way to determine how you can get to your desired saving when you enter into retirement.
Now, to really see the amazing power of compounding; let’s change your percentage return. Instead of mutual funds or bonds, what if we are investing in something with more potential. Maybe it is an investment, where we combine our money with our energy. Creating returns of 50% or more. It is the Power of Seed in action.
What if you average 50%per year on your money and you reinvest that? Maybe it is flipping houses, flipping cars, making jewelry or clothing. What is your passion? If you turned off the T.V. and used your time and talent what could you make?
Let’s take that $1,000 and invest in a “riskier” asset. (In these types of activities the main risks are risk you can control. This means the risk depends on how wise the investor is). Could you use $1,000 and find a way to make $500 this year?
|Year||Year Interest||Total Interest||Balance|
|1||$ 500.00||$ 500.00||$ 1,500.00|
|2||$ 750.00||$ 1,250.00||$ 2,250.00|
|3||$ 1,125.00||$ 2,375.00||$ 3,375.00|
|4||$ 1,687.50||$ 4,062.50||$ 5,062.50|
|5||$ 2,531.25||$ 6,593.75||$ 7,593.75|
|6||$ 3,796.88||$ 10,390.63||$ 11,390.63|
|7||$ 5,695.31||$ 16,085.94||$ 17,085.94|
|8||$ 8,542.97||$ 24,628.91||$ 25,628.91|
|9||$ 12,814.45||$ 37,443.36||$ 38,443.36|
|10||$ 19,221.68||$ 56,665.04||$ 57,665.04|
|11||$ 28,832.52||$ 85,497.56||$ 86,497.56|
|12||$ 43,248.78||$ 128,746.34||$ 129,746.34|
|13||$ 64,873.17||$ 193,619.51||$ 194,619.51|
|14||$ 97,309.75||$ 290,929.26||$ 291,929.26|
|15||$ 145,964.63||$ 436,893.89||$ 437,893.89|
|16||$ 218,946.95||$ 655,840.84||$ 656,840.84|
|17||$ 328,420.42||$ 984,261.25||$ 985,261.25|
|18||$ 492,630.63||$ 1,476,891.88||$ 1,477,891.88|
|19||$ 738,945.94||$ 2,215,837.82||$ 2,216,837.82|
|20||$ 1,108,418.91||$ 3,324,256.73||$ 3,325,256.73|
Your $1000 becomes 3.3 million in 20 years… most likely at some point in this you will need to bring on the energy/time of another person or more. This is basically concept of how Michael Dell started. Building computers in his garage and expanding until he was one of the largest computer manufactures in the world.
A business doesn’t grow in a straight line like our example. It will have ups and downs. One business or idea may reach a saturation point. At that point to earn the large returns; we may have to take the new earnings and find alternative investments or new businesses.
Compounding is the basis of the concept “it takes money to earn money.” Once you have accumulated those bricks of abundance, your money can work in addition to you working. Your money doesn’t have to be lazy. It can have a J-O-B.
What J-O-B does your money have?
Is your money lazy?Read More
First for those who aren’t aware, YOLO is an acronym for “You Only Live Once.” It is often used as an excuse for people to act like a moron.
Why I used it: we do only have one life to live on earth so perhaps it would be wise to try and do it right.
Experience and making mistakes is a vital part of the learning process. And yet it is often possible for us to learn from the mistakes and experience of others. This gives us the ability to skip some lessons and move on to greater challenges and opportunities.
“Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory.” (Hebrew proverb 11:14)
This proverb insinuates that these are wise counselors and not foolish ones. So how do we determine if the counsel we are receiving is wise? Here are 3 questions that will help us discern between wise and foolish counsel. So we can do our life right!
Do they have experience in this area?
There is a story about a multi-millionaire business man who brought in several other successful businessmen for an opportunity with amazing potential. The first question the leader asked was, “Who here has never failed in business?” Two men raised there hands. He asked them to leave.
In this new venture it would look like they would fail. The leader only wanted those on his team who had been crushed by failure. Why? These men were all currently successful, so if they had failed before it meant; They had picked themselves up and gone for it again. When it looked as though this venture would fail the leader wanted men who would push even harder for success.
If you can, find the counsel of someone who has been through what you are facing. It is much easier to start walking on the path another cut. Often you will get there faster than they did. Then you can use their ending point as a launching point for a new adventure.
Do they want the best for you?
A young lady at a licentious party could easily receive a multitude of counsel to remove her clothing. The question she should ask “Are those providing this counsel thinking of my best interest?” Or “do they simply want to satisfy their own servacive desires?” (Servacive = Self-serving).
Wise counsel should be focused on what is best for you. When I prepare your tax return my focus is on 2 things. First, Making sure you pay everything you owe the IRS, but not a penny more. Second, helping you understand the possible tax implications of future decisions.
My focus is completely on you and you can trust the heart of my counsel on your tax situation. However, I am viewing your situation from one perspective. This leads into…..
Did you get a diversity of opinions?
If you are buying a home, you can get wise counsel from a Real estate agent. However, stopping there would be unwise. Your Realtor has only one perspective and only get paid if you by the home.
We could also get advice from a lender, a contractor, and perhaps a home inspector (although be careful using one recommended by your realtor). I would also get counsel from people who live near where you are moving. Counsel from family members whom have purchased homes. Read blogs or books on things to look for when purchasing a home.
Each of these voices will have important things for you to harvest. They will probably have some worthless opinions too. The key is to get a diversity of opinions. This enables you to see a more complete picture.
The more complete the picture the wiser your decision will be.
You only have one life to live so let’s do it the best we can. Let’s get a multitude of counsel from experienced people, who have our best interest in mind, with a diversity of backgrounds. #YOLO
Who are your main sources of counsel?Read More
This article will be different. It is born of an emotional story of a father who died trying to rescue his 3 year old and 18 month old daughters. At the time of writing this article, the ages of my first 2 daughters is very similar to the ages of those young girls. When I read it I picture my Ruth and Abigail. Read the story here.
First you will read a simple poem. It is an emotional outlet for the pain I feel as I picture that 3 year old in her room screaming for her daddy. Next is a section about a father’s love. Then lastly I discuss lessons we can learn from this tragedy.
A father found holding the baby,
A daughter silent in her room
No more tears will they shed
Lives taken much to soon
What is a father to do?
When he has done all
Nothing more to give
He answered the call
Human flesh facing the limit
Nothing more he could bring
Wishing he could find a way
As the flames begin to sing
No regard for himself
Daughters his only concern
Courage born of love
Our lesson to learn
Tears flow as I write this poem inspired by such loss. I have daughters of a similar age. I too would run back in the flames without a second thought. Even if there was nothing I could do. So deep, is a real father’s love.
If you didn’t have the opportunity to experience this love from an earthly Father, there is hope. It is from that same heart of love; Father God sent His only son to die so that you might have eternal life. Your heavenly Father, who created you, loves you greater than any earthly father ever could.
Our lesson to learn;
First this is not a meant to be judgment in any form toward anyone who inspired this story. It is a tragedy and the wife and mother needs our prayers that her broken heart will be healed. Pray that she finds a future with hope and doesn’t blame herself. It was not anyone’s fault. It just sucks.
We can learn some lessons; that perhaps will prevent and reduce the occurrence of such tragedy in the future.
- Create a family fire plan. (Here is a great resource for doing this)
- Especially what happens when we are sleeping.
- What parent will take what child?
- Where is the primary exit?
- Where will we meet?
- Having a plan will allow your brain to focus your adrenaline rush. Without a plan it is very easy for the adrenaline to turn into panic and cause bad decisions.
- Have working smoke detectors in your bedrooms and test them.
- If your home has knob and tube wiring replace it. This stuff is ancient and extremely dangerous.
- Know common causes here is a list of the 10 most common causes of household fires.
Please don’t ignore this subject because it is scary or uncomfortable. If you create a plan it should alleviate fears. Do a risk assessment based on the common causes work to reduce them. Talking about this is loving those you care about.
Most likely you will never face a serious fire in your home; But lets be prepared because the risk of being unprepared can be deadly.
What is your fire plan?
How is the wiring in your home?
Do you have working smoke detectors in your home?Read More
I was preparing a tax return and the client asked me if I could work for the IRS. I said, “I could, but why would I want too?” His response “They have great benefits.”
I quickly replied, “Prison has better benefits.”
- Free housing
- Free food
- Free exercise equipment
- Free medical care
- Free cable
- Free education
When I first graduated college I had a “great” job at Ford Motor in Dearborn Michigan. I have been a Ford fan ever since I can remember. 12 of the 18 vehicles I have purchased have been Fords. I was getting to work for my favorite car company!!!
The pay was great for a fresh grad. The benefits were even better. I really liked how the upper management would focus on things they could fix (Which is why they didn’t go bankrupt and get a bailout).
But…. I hated my job. After just 5 weeks I was so frustrated driving to work one morning; realizing I just didn’t want to be there. After an attempt by some awesome finance managers to transfer me to a more fulfilling position (halted by bureaucratic HR people); I resigned after just 3 months and 1 day on the job.
I still like Ford, and believe it is a well-run company. I just didn’t fit in that environment. I had to let them know “It is not you, it is me.” I am not one who will let golden handcuffs keep me in a job I hate.
That experience was a great step in defining what type of organization I work with the best. It was not a bad experience, quite on the contrary it was wonderful. It taught me about me. It is a major contributing factor as to why, I know I won’t enjoy working for the IRS.
The benefits of a job do not matter to me when making a decision where to work. This doesn’t mean they should not matter to you. Our first responsibility is to be responsible adults and provide for our family’s needs. I make choices to forgo certain luxuries at this stage of life, so I can be free from the “grey walls of a prison.”
Are great benefits “golden handcuffs” keeping you in a job you detest?Read More
I started chatting with a friend whom I had not talked in years. Their answer my query “How are things going?” was “Just working to pay the bills. You know how it is.” I quickly replied “I don’t really work much anymore; I just do what I love most of the time.” Their reply “why don’t you work?”
Why don’t I work?
I refuse to spend the majority of my week doing something I don’t enjoy. I refuse to do the same thing every day. I will spend my time pursuing my passions and doing the things I love.
What do I do if I don’t work?
Taxes: I love helping people keep as much of their money from the greedy government as legally possible.
Coaching: We are all created for a purpose, we can all use help finding that purpose. I enjoy helping others create a plan do their purpose, then prepare for their purpose, then DO their purpose.
Real estate: I love dirt and I love buildings. I enjoy being involved in the transformation of a building.
Spending time with my family: I love the flexibility to be the parent who stays home when our daughter can’t go to daycare. I enjoy getting my daughters ready for daycare in the morning. I enjoy being able to occasionally prepare dinner for my family.
Writing, Speaking, Teaching: I love expressing my thoughts whether composing a poem, teaching middle school students at church, writing blog post, or speaking to a group. I want to get better at each of those. So, I make writing and creating presentations a priority in my life.
In each of these things there are times when I get frustrated. They even have parts that I don’t like doing. However, I don’t dread Monday. I don’t view the weekend with great awe.
I enjoy my life everyday!
I am “Living the Dream!!!” “If I was any better I would be in Heaven!!!” If any of you ask my how I am doing you have probably heard one of these responses. In that moment I may feel that way or I may be proclaiming it by faith. Either way it is the truth of my life.
What if You don’t enjoy your life every day?
Ask yourself why? Serious stop and ask “Why don’t I enjoy my life every day?” …. Do you have some reasons? Now what can you do to change that situation?
The most powerful thing in your situation you can change is you. Your attitude and your actions are the one thing you have complete control over. Perhaps you just have a bad attitude?
Next and somewhat related step, ask yourself what you like about your life? Maybe you should sit down and write a list of why you like your job, your relationships, your home, your family.
Now do the same thing what is it you don’t enjoy about your life? Is it work? What is it about your job you don’t like? Why do you dread Monday morning? Side-note: If this list is full of things that you can’t control such as: the government, other people, wall street, fox news, sports teams, weather, your genes, other drivers, then you probably aren’t ever going to be happy until your list changes.
These 3 actions are the beginning of finding a life you love and were meant to live. This is the first step toward a life where the lines between work and play are hard to define. If you are “just working to pay the bills,” take action today, to create a more meaningful life.
What does a meaningful life look like for you? (comment below and let us know)Read More