Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to it."

This quote is by the late Johathan Winters, probably one of the funniest entertainers ever. He was also a great observer of humanity. I think that's what made him so funny. Plus his own life story is amazing. He built one of the most successful comedy careers over decades. He has lived these words.

So what does this quote mean? Well, it means two things to me.

First, we've heard people say "I'm waiting for my ship to come in." That's kind of a passive way to approach life. Just sitting around waiting. We know lots of people like that. Their idea of initiative is to sit around. OK, maybe they'll buy a lottery ticket once in a while. But they see economic success as just something that happens to them without their initiative and without their control.

The second thing I pick up from this quote is that while desire and effort are important, equipping, planning, and good execution is critical to financial success.

It's not enough to want success. You have to want it enough to risk your comfortable and predictable spot on the dock. You have to want it enough to be willing to get in water. You have to want it enough to perhaps learn to swim, to train so you can swim better and longer, and to pick a good day to do it. You have to want it enough to have a good safety net or plan, so that if things don't go right, you can try again and not drown in the middle of your first attempt.

Let's face it, for most people, financial success is something we have to go out and get. So, to my fellow swimmers: let's train, make sure we pick the right times to make our attempts, and have our safety plans in place.

Being active, intentional, and deliberate--those are key parts of economic responsibility.

See you in the water!

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