Someone who swears blind he can’t afford to send his kid to camp will suddenly afford the latest power tool. Or he can still afford to spend $400 per month on his nicotine addiction. He still buys a Starbucks Venti Mocha Frappuccino every day. It’s illogical, I know, but it’s all about passion, purpose, and priorities.

It’s why  a woman we knew first paid for an expensive cruise on her credit card before declaring bankruptcy; not only has she no morals or dignity, but she actually planned to rip the credit card company off – and now brags about her thievery. Her priority wasn’t to save as much as possible, do the right thing, honour herself and God,  or think of her old age (she’s already a senior) – it was to play and cavort until the end at any cost.

And, of course, the marketers and advertisers know this, so they don’t talk about the amount of money people waste on things they don’t need, can’t afford, and don’t have the discipline to refuse. Instead, they focus their attention on how much they “saved” and the “deal” they got, because their priority isn’t frugality and good stewardship; it’s bragging to their friends about their new clothes / watch / toys. These are children who never grew up, never learned self discipline.

Walk into a mall, and you will find 90% of the stores focused on teenagers and women. The men fall for the junk food and sit around waiting for their females to spend their hard earned money on junk stuff. And those women who earn their own money are also guilty of buying stuff they don’t need and can’t afford.

They end up poor, old, weak, unable to earn money, and without savings. The chickens will come home to roost one day: While people will justify the most destructive choices to satisfy their base passions and addictions, when you sow to the wind, you will reap from the whirlwind.

How do we change our lives? Not by watching some narcissist prance around on a “Motivation Seminar” stage in a gaudy satin suit like an escaped circus monkey. Not by denying oneself all forms of pleasure and buying a hair shirt and a new cilice. There is a way that works.

Create a Master Plan with real, measurable,  major goals for each area of your life: Spiritual, Health, Family, Social, Intellectual, Financial, Career/Business, Hobbies / Recreation. Attach fun and excitement to the process of achieving these goals, not just their final attainment. Create an Action Plan with specific targets. If you’re married, do this all with your spouse, so that your goals are interwoven and common, and none of them clash.

By having and following a Daily Do List that fits and supports your Action Plan, you can change your priorities, passions, and purpose. You can have fun associating with people who share your values and purposes for the different areas, since many will, of necessity, overlap and complement each other. You will achieve more, faster by teaming up with others, and a good husband / wife team is unstoppable.

Robin Elliott    LeverageAdvantage.com