How to Get Back Control

Whenever we read the news, we can often feel out of control.   We can choose the potential disaster of our pick.  Whether it’s North Korea, turmoil on airlines, rip offs by big business, higher costs of living, failing pensions, more stress, health care meltdown or whatever.  The list goes on and on and it’s all beyond our control.

There are some steps we can take to make our own little slice of life, the part we can do something about better, richer, more fulfilled, healthier with less trouble with worry and stress.

A reader asked me this question:

“Gary, I keep asking myself, how do Gary/ Merri Scott continuously continue to produce uniquely insightful information for readers? How could I model just a small slice of Gary’s success online? I  truly do not understand how you have been able to continuously grow for decades while evolving from print to internet/online, covering totally new locations, new businesses and completely new subject matter (not only investing, but health, language, Real Estate Retreats, Import/Export, Publishing, Country- UK, US, Ecuador, etc).

“Other than sheer determination and follow-through, which are obvious requirements, what is your long standing secret to success in lifestyle marketing?”

My reply is that success comes when you have a decent idea and can manage to stick with it long enough.   Experience alone will bring you success!

This is why doing something what you love and really want to do is the first step in regaining control.  Our entire state of being is to seek happiness.  If we are not having fun or gaining some great fulfillment or satisfaction, then it’s hard to have staying power.  The old saying “No Pain – No Gain”  is simply wrong.   The way to create discipline that brings control in our lives is to use pleasure to start our routines.

For example, I get to write almost every day.  This has brought me innumerable rewards, some of them financial. This process has brought me freedom I never imagined I could enjoy.  Today, for instance I have been sitting around our pool listening, watching, enjoying.

Next week I’ll be looking at our glorious woods in the middle of the Blue Ridge on a perfect blue sky day.  There is nowhere else I would rather be.

Yet despite the multitude of attractive distractions, of life in nature, I am writing and am actually happy that I get to write.  Writing for me is a privilege.  The fact I actually get paid for it is a really nice bonus.

The writer above suggests that “sheer determination and follow-through” are a part of this.  I am not so sure.

I need “sheer determination and follow-through” to clean up my desk, balance my check book and to do my taxes once a year, but I want to write.  I want that first cup of coffee and the sunrise and bird song to get me started.

Writing rarely takes “sheer determination and follow-through.”  I awaken in the morning, ideally well before dawn, and this is the second thing I want to do. The first is make a cup of French press organic coffee.

This is what I first and foremost love to do.  So I repeat Rule #1, “do something you love”.

However for real staying power, there is another really important rule.

Another reader touched on this rule when he wrote:

“Do what you love surrounds my instincts – also becoming debt free will put a new perspective on life.  I have found, being 39 years old, that there are many generation X’ers like myself – but most have been sold big homes lately with trick loans. By the time they pay this debt off, if ever, we could see a new chapter in the Bible. I have found working with X’ers, I needed a strategy to get them out of mortgage debt to start investing for their future.”

This reader touched on the third really important point of success.  Live within your means!

A business must be able to start small, before it can grow large.  Most businesses start with a learning curve.  During the beginning and in the learning times it is essential that businesses are small.  Once lessons have been learned, the business can grow.

One cannot focus on and enjoy the things we love if we are hounded by payments and cannot afford the essential requirements of our business.

Do not spend what you do not have!  Avoid debt for consumption. There are times when debt to invest makes sense, but never borrow to spend. Invest your extra money in the business rather than in fashion and consumer goods.

The late Dr. Thomas Stanley in his book, “The Millionaire Mind” lists the twenty most important factors that 733 millionaires (whom he interviewed) made them rich.

None of the factors have anything to do with having a high IQ, a good education or a sharp stock broker. Some of them may surprise you but learning these factors and how to attain them are perhaps more important than any other knowledge you can gain about investing. The author discovered that most of the wealthiest households were not located in the most upscale neighborhoods. This discovery led to additional studies and finally to this book. These wealthy people don’t dine out much, are likely to drive four-year-old Buicks, and own very few Armani suits.

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Learn about “The Millionaire Mind” here

The first rule of success: have some little thing that gets you going.   Most mornings, when weather permits, I get my cup of coffee, head for the porch and work in the predawn, waiting for sunrise and the first awakenings of bird songs.

Few events make me feel as good as this view.


Do whatever jerks your chain.  Just make sure it’s something that you like.  Long term success is built on  daily persistence, and we need something that gets us going every day.   Our main energy should be spent on action and creativity, not getting started.  We need a pull to begin, not the need to push.  If we have to discipline ourselves to begin, we can be worn out before we get down to the task at hand.  Hope these thoughts are helpful!



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