The 11 Be Attitudes:
#1) Be Grateful
Give thanks in all circumstances.
You choose what goes into your mind. Choose wisely. Read the Bible and other affirming books, listen to praise music, spend time with loving and encouraging friends and family. These are all sources of thanksgiving and gratitude. Yes, there are hard times but take to heart Jesus’ words:
In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome the world.
– John 16:35
#2) Be Debt Free
Be Debt Free.
Blessed are the debt free, for theirs is a life full of comfort and peace.
You can attain wealth two ways: you can increase your inflow (your income), and you can decrease your outflow (your expenses). Picture a sink with the faucet on and the drain wide open. To get more water into the sink, you need to increase the water flow in, decrease the water running out, or both.
If you save 15% interest on a credit card debt, that’s the same as earning 15%!
#3) Be Obedient
Blessings follow obedience.
You cannot expect God’s blessings unless you have a relationship with Him. Sin in your life can and will block God’s blessings. God is holy. He wants us to be holy. God cannot tolerate sin. It must be forgiven by trusting in the blood of Jesus.
Many Christians have secret closets of sin blocking God’s blessings on them. Some cheat on their taxes, others take supplies from work, others engage in sex without being married. Some view pornography thinking nobody will know. But God knows our sin. It breaks His heart.
#4) Be a Cheerful Giver
Be a Cheerful Giver.
What we own are mere tools for God’s purposes.
When you create something it belongs to you. Since God is the creator, God is the owner of everything. There is only one owner, and it is God. We are the caretaker of things during our lives but never the true owner.
Since everything is God’s, we can hold our possessions in an open hand and not fear losing them.
Pride over financial success – keeping up with or ahead of the Joneses – is a deadly byproduct of not acknowledging that everything is God’s, not mine. I looked at a jet ski recently. It had a 215 horsepower engine and went 72 miles an hour. “Wouldn’t it hurt to hit the water doing 72 mph?” I asked. “Well yeah,” the salesman answered, “but if being the fastest jet ski on the lake is important to you, then this one is for you.” It wasn’t important to me and I didn’t buy that model. Being the “fastest on the lake” was not a priority for me, nor should it be for you.
#5) Be Generous with Yourself
Be Generous with Yourself.
Blessed are the generous, who pay themselves second, for their wealth will accumulate rapidly.
After you have paid your tithe, you should pay yourself next. Put money into investments for your future. Put yourself ahead of other creditors. This rule can be easily remembered as the 10-10-80 rule. Pay God His tithe, that’s the first 10%. Pay yourself second, that’s the second 10%. Then live on the remaining 80%. Follow this rule and God will bless you. Ignore this rule of paying yourself and you will be poor.
I can hear you protest that you cannot afford to save. Actually, you can’t afford not to save. People spend what they make. Have you ever noticed how expenses increase as earnings increase? A raise will often put you further into debt rather than get you ahead. That’s because you will tend to think, “I now make more, therefore I can now afford this car, kitchen table, or wide screen TV,” and you will lock yourself into spending more. We can live on less. It is uncomfortable at first, and it takes some planning and effort, but it can be done.
#6) Be Careful
Better to avoid mistakes than to correct them.
Consider this example. If you started with $100,000 and lost 50%, you would have $50,000. Suppose the next year you made the same percentage you had lost the prior year. Would you be back to $100,000? After all, you lost 50%, and then made 50%, so are you whole?
No! The $50,000 left after the loss would only grow to $75,000 even after earning 50%. To be made whole after losing 50% you must make 100%, or twice the rate of your loss.
#7) Be Calculating
Blessed are the calculating, for they will build a house upon a rock.
…once you understand the Rule of 72 and its subrules, your life will be forever changed. When using the Rule of 72, I have discovered four subrules, or tangential rules which are labeled as Epiphany #1, #2, #3 and #4. They are vitally significant. Your wealth or lack of wealth may hinge on whether you apply this knowledge. Your spending, investing, and planning and yes, your life, will be altered – for the better – forever, if you understand and apply the rewards of doubling.
Remember when I mentioned I drove an old, yellow Dodge Colt for a number of years? No power anything, stick shift, no air conditioning, just basic transportation. I could have afforded and enjoyed a much nicer car, but I enjoyed investing more. Five years later, I used these savings to buy a year-round, lakefront house in Northern Michigan that has been assessed at $495,000; up from the original $75,000 investment. A small sacrifice has provided years of great family and friends’ fun, as well as an appreciating asset.
#8) Be an Owner, not a Loaner
Be an Owner, not a Loaner.
Blessings follow obedience.
Loaner investments (fixed income) have a place in almost all portfolios. They provide a known rate of return. They can be guaranteed by the U.S. Government, a corporation, bank, or insurance company. But for serious wealth accumulation, according to Dr. Siegel, ownership through equities can be the proven pathway. Variable annuities provide this type of equity ownership while Equity Indexed Annuities tie their performance to an equity index, hence their name.
Own your home as soon as possible except if you expect deflation. Don’t be a loaner and rent a home. Own it! Why? Because part of your mortgage payment will be principal. Making a principal payment is paying yourself. It is a forced savings plan where you build equity every month. By contrast, your monthly rent payment goes 100% to someone else and not to yourself. Plus the landlord is making a profit from you.
#9) Be Active
Blessed are the active, for their plans will be accomplished.
Unfortunately, many people spend more time planning a one week vacation than planning their financial future. People don’t plan to fail, they just fail to plan.
Therefore planning is vital. You cannot start soon enough. You do have enough money to start planning now. If you think you have too much debt to plan, then start a debt reduction plan now.
#10) Be Educated
Learn from a competent advisor.
My dad used to cut my hair occasionally. The barber could always tell when my dad attempted to give me a haircut. My barber would charge me more for a “repair job” after my dad’s sincere but sloppy attempt at barbering. Hair grows back more quickly than a portfolio. There are more moving pieces in planning an estate than in the scissors used for a haircut. Successful planning is vitally important. Get competent help from experts including attorneys, CPAs and financial planners.
Why do people have fences? For protection. The farmer wants to keep the good animals (chickens, cows, and sheep) in place while keeping out the bad animals (wolves, foxes, and coyotes) that would destroy them. A competent financial planner helps construct a fence that protects your growing assets.
#11) Be on the Right Path
Be On the Right Path.
Blessed are those on the right path, for they will see God.
God is holy. He cannot tolerate sin. When Adam and Eve sinned, all mankind were tainted by Adam’s actions. You and I were born with a sin nature. It is just easier to be bad than good. That’s a universal truth that we all know from a young age.
It has been said, “Life is not a dress rehearsal, you only go around once.” But life is a dress rehearsal for eternity. I want to spend forever with God, not apart from God.
No man or woman knows when he or she will die. Accept God’s gift today. It will lead to an abundant life here on earth and eternal life in Heaven with God.