A few years ago, I made a conscious decision that I would stop shopping at the supermarket chains and that I would go to either the main open market or to the community markets for my fruits & vegetables. I also decided that I would purchase my fish and seafood from the seafood market on the water front. I said that supporting my local small business people was important to me, and I wanted to find a way to live this way! It is also important to me to eat locally grown produce, rather than imported produce – and there is a much better chance of finding local produce at the markets.
I have to go out of my way to actually do this – the supermarket is closer, more convenient, cleaner, and air-conditioned! It also means that I have to set aside precious time on a Saturday morning to go, because they aren’t open late in the evening after work. But this is a conscious choice about which part of the economy I want to support. How and where I choose to spend my money is important to me.
For me, this choice was about coherence – I say that I support my local farmers. Am I buying their produce? Or am I allowing my choices to be dictated by what the local supermarket decides to stock the shelves with?
“Don’t tell me where your priorities are. Show me where you spend your money and I’ll tell you what they are.” – James W. Frick
In this very same way, I am constantly saying “Yes” or “No” to things in my life: deciding where to spend my time. And deciding where to spend or invest my money.
Whether I am conscious of it or not.
Actions express priorities.
— Mohandas Gandhi
Whatever I choose to do, or not do, is an expression of my priorities at the moment, and in general. And so it’s always good to take a close look at
- How am I voting with my money?
- How am I voting with my time?
- Who am I choosing to spend my time with – or who am I choosing not to spend time with?
What about with the mundane tasks of life? Am I consciously patient and kind with the mundane? Or am I impatient? Or simply lazy? Do I treat those who serve me kindly or arrogantly?
How you do anything is how you do everything.
— T. Harv Eker
At the end of the day, what I say, what I do, and how I spend my money shows what I truly value.
I can say the same for my relationships: am I investing my time in those relationships that I say are important to me? It comes back, again, to coherence.
Are my actions coherent with my thoughts and words?
If I take this to my dreams and goals, I need to look at my results. The first sign that there is no coherence between what I say my dreams and goals are and what they truly are, is what are the results that I have so far.
I learned many years ago this very important principle from Nico at Initium Group:
The results are the only thing that matters!
But, don’t worry, the results don’t really matter.
When I look at my results – what can I see?
- Am I making headway towards achieving those dreams & goals?
- Can I see actions that I have taken consistently towards that?
- Am I spending my money on those dreams & goals, even if it is only small amounts of my left over money – my “play money” or “fun money”?
- When I have a look at what I have done this week with my time, does it align in any way with my alleged dreams & goals?
- Am I acting coherently?
The results don’t actually matter. But, at the same time, the results give me much needed information.
If I failed, then there was a learning opportunity.
If I achieved them easily, then maybe my goals were set too low.
If I spent all my time doing something else – is this really a priority for me?
Maybe I’m scared and procrastinating…
What are my priorities when I look at my time spent and money spent?
How does your spending – time or money – give you insight about your true priorities?
If you are looking for coaching – help in setting your priorities and then sticking to getting those things done – please feel free to contact me through my page.