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Friday, April 26, 2013

Putting the Lessons Into Practice

How many times have you gone through something challenging and said to yourself after "well I sure learned my lesson?" And even if you did quote unquote learn your lesson are you 100% sure you have put it into practice? I fell into this trap. Many years ago I racked up quite a large amount of credit card debt. Symptoms of post college - 20's life in the Big Apple got the best of me and I found myself saddled with over 20K worth of debt and a big question of how in the heck was I going to get out of it? I was very fortunate to get a loan that consolidated all the debt and eventually paid it down and all the while I told myself "well I sure learned my lesson!"

I suppose I did really learn that it is important to keep track of your finances, and budget, and use credit cards only in an emergency and all those kinds of things. But after I "learned" that I did not want to be in debt and be in control of my finances I yet again years later found myself in a dire financial situation. I had not ever budgeted, telling myself that because I freelanced and didn't have exact and steady income streams I would not be able to crunch the numbers. I didn't keep track of what I spent money on, telling myself that I really didn't spend a lot of money because I am not really a shopper and rarely buy big ticket items.

But it's like anything else, if you don't put what you learn into PRACTICE it is really the same thing as not having learned anything at all. I can read 20 personal growth books this year but if I don't put anything I read into practice than it's not really going to help me to grow. I can read articles about fitness and get all the wonderful tips out there about how to stay in shape but if I don't work out my body will not change. You see where I am going here. Because lo and behold when I found myself with next to nothing I HAD to start putting some lessons into practice. I HAD to keep track of every dime I spent. I HAD to budget in the best way I could. Because I had not put what I learned into practice I was given the circumstances again so that I could finally learn what I was meant to and CHANGE things. The way I handle my finances now is completely different than I ever have before. I continue seeking out lessons so that I spend and save money in the healthiest way possible.

And this brings me to the second phase of learning and practicing. The chance to bring even more gratitude into my life. The power of gratitude is grand and expansive and should not be underestimated. Because I had basically no money to buy anything, the gifts that were given to me, the meals that I was generously taken out to,  the little things people gave me that they weren't using anymore, I was extremely grateful for! I will no longer take a gift of any kind for granted. I am incredibly grateful for everyone who helped me through that period of my life. And that gratitude expands. The more we are grateful for what we are given the more we become able to receive. So be very mindful of the learning put in your path that it is truly being put into practice. And then be grateful and watch what expands! Have an amazing day!

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