One of the hardest lessons in my life has been getting my priorities in order. I traditionally tend(ed?) to be a people-pleaser and so attempted the impossible/crazy task of trying to keep as many people as happy as possible. In other words, prioritizing no one and telling (through my behaviour) the people who were the most important to me that they weren’t as important as the other random acquaintances in my life. Not cool. It was such an ah-ha moment for me realizing that:
- The important people in my life are exactly that because they are top class gems of humans. Seriously. The absolute best. (Although I always knew this.)
- And they deserve to know that. (Because sometimes they don’t know this.)
- I can let them know with my words (which I often do) but more powerfully with my behaviour.
You see, dear Reader, value (love) is an action, a behaviour. And so I should act accordingly.
When I first started acting on my priorities I got really anxious (beating heart, increased breathing, slight sweating etc). But I quickly got over that because it felt so good to have my actions and values so inline. It felt wonderful to stop inadvertently hurting the most important people in my life and what a relief to no longer be trying to please everyone!! But there was another surprise side-effect: I realized that I was also allowed to prioritize myself from time to time too 🙂
So, what the hell does this have to do with money? Well, I had a similar ah-ha realization about saving. As much as we know it’s good to save, Husband and I haven’t been making it a priority and acting on it. It was something that happened at the end of the month (if we had anything left over!) In other words, our behaviour concerning money sent the message that our selves and our financial security came last after EVERYTHING else. Again, not awesome priorities.
I realized that the ONLY times in our lives when we have successfully saved have been when we have made it our first priority i.e. it was the first thing we set aside when we got our salaries. This started with paying off my student loan and since then has occurred anytime that we wanted to travel. Even while living in South Africa – we always magically found the money when we previously thought that there was none to be had (see the pictures from Italy! 🙂 ).
What this tells me is that our problem isn’t that we can’t save. Our problem is our priorities. And not acting in line with our values. We’ve never even considered if our spending is in line with our values. We’ve certainly never prioritized saving for our selves, for our financial security, for our future. If so much good came from me learning to prioritize the most important people in my life, I can only imagine the magic that would happen if we learnt to prioritize our money in line with what we actually want from our lives… 🙂