Winning In The Margins

I will make this assessment about me, and you can see if it might apply to you also…

I take things for granted.

No matter how attuned I am, I recognize I overlook the significance of certain people and events in my life. I don’t mean to. There’s just so much going on all the time, I find it impossible to pay close enough attention to everything.

I even miss some of the big stuff.

I wonder, is there a way to focus better, to pay attention and appreciate all the beautiful things in my life?

Part of me realizes how overwhelming this would be. And how impractical.

Many years ago, I read a book by Richard Paul Evans titled, The Five Things A Millionaire Taught Me. It made a huge impression on me. Richard’s basic premise was that we’re not very observant about opportunities in our lives. We make assumptions about what we can and cannot do. And financially, we form beliefs about what we can and cannot have in our lives based on the amount of money we possess.

Through his association with a millionaire, Richard’s eyes were opened to a new way of observing the world and he expanded his beliefs about how he could experience his life, especially as it related to his finances. He called his system, Winning In The Margins.

Reading his book opened new avenues for me too. I decided to take small steps toward an audacious goal.

I began on August 15, 2014, with the idea that I would set aside amounts of money I otherwise would have spent without taking any notice. I collected the extra one-dollar bills stuffed into my wallet, set aside birthday and Christmas money given to me, saved the equivalent value of coupons for places like CVS pharmacy. (I would tell myself that I saved money by using the coupons, therefore I could put aside those funds for this project). I wrapped coin, redeemed my reward points, cashed in some US Savings Bonds, funneled garage sale earnings and lot of other saving methods.

I tracked everything and recorded it on a spreadsheet so that I always knew where I stood relative to my goal.

After one full year I’d saved over five thousand dollars, exceeding the aim I’d set for myself.

I learned that lots and lots of little thing amount to meaningful big things.

I’ve continued this practice and on occasion, with my wife’s consent have included some investment dividends into the mix. This would have allowed us to accumulate over thirteen thousand dollars in the past nine years.

I say ‘would have’ because we don’t have the money anymore. That’s because all the little things became big things. They amounted to something powerful and so we decided to give all the money away. We donated it, sending it back into the world.

There is no shortage of worthy causes in this world of ours and we felt a desire to use the funds to support others. There are so many that have so little.

I’m not sharing this to impress you or brag about what we’ve done. I’m sharing this because I want you to know how powerful YOU are. Anyone who wants to, can do the same thing or something similar.

I believe this is a fact and it feels good to think we can each change the world for the better. Maybe not the whole world, but at least some part of it.

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