3 Things You & I Can Learn From The 2010 Lakers

27 04 2010

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First, let me say this: I’m a life-long Lakers fan. It was my father’s favorite team in the 80’s when Magic, Worthy, and Kareem were running the Showtime fast break.

Yup, life-long… er… w-well with the exception of the

Chicago Bulls dynasty runs but I digress.

The Los Angeles Lakers of this past NBA season

have been a complete enigma to their fans.

It’s been filled with moments of nirvana…

…with echoes of … umm twisted genius…

…(Or could that be omens of impending implosion?)…

Jump-ball

But even with their occasional inconsistency binges, there are at least 3 valuable things we can all learn from their recent season and current playoffs run to defend their title. So let’s tip-off shall we?

#1 Success is a moving target

Ask Jordan, ask Ali, ask Tom Brady.  Ask any former champion just how hard it is to get BACK on top after you’ve already been there. The Lakers are still the defending champions after winning the title last June, but what can their struggles this year teach us?

Well, for starters Success is a moving target. When I get out of debt, in order to maintain my debt freedom, I will have to continue doing what got me out of debt! The fact is I’ll NEVER be at a place where I can just say “Ah, I’ve made it, I can STOP now!” And this applies not just to money but any area in which you hope to maintain any real level of success.

#2 The larger the letdown , the less likely the loyalty

All Lakers fans are bandwagoners, ALL OF THEM, except maybe Jack Nicholson… and possibly Lakers Owner Jerry Buss. Even I have had my moments. (See second paragraph of this post.) After the last 2 losses in the first round of this year’s playoffs, even die-hard “fans” have begun to question if the Lakers can ascend the heights of hoopdom again this year. Suddenly, Naysayers abound!

The point here is that being a true fan is supposed to be an act of Loyalty. Not just the type of Hollywood “fan” that shows up court side on Christmas day, or shows up on camera just as the announcers happen to be talking about their next blockbuster, or the ones who can remember when Kobe dropped 81 points. The kind of loyalty I’m talking about is akin to the type of fan that remembers the Nick Van Exel, Eddie Jones, and Cedric Ceballos led Lakers of the late 90’s that preceded the 3-peat Shaq & Kobe special… and still LOVED them because they were Lakers.

Make sure you’re showing THAT kind of loyalty to the things that matter. You can do this by tithing, giving to charities, and paying yourself first by saving for emergencies and putting something away for retirement. Love YOURSELF!

#3 Never put all of your eggs in one hoop bucket basket

I’m talking to you, Kobe. I know ALL about your greatness in playoffs past, and I’m looking forward to your continued assault on the All-time scoring leader list next season.  But for right now, beginning with Game 5 of your 1st round series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, I DON’T need to see you chucking up every flailing desperation shot attempt on every possession down the court. If ever this quote applied, it surely applies to your valiant effort so far this post season:

“We’re all in the gutter, but some of us are still looking at the stars.” – Oscar Wilde

Your ambition in spite of the doubts and injuries is simply awe-inspiring, but at the same time, MY GOSH MAN it’s also terror inducing!

The lesson I’m learning here is to make sure you spread the wealth.

If you let all of you hopes ride on just one pony, what happens when that pony pulls a hamstring? Conversely, Just because you’re the leader doesn’t mean that your other teammates aren’t expected to perform their roles, so allow them to do their jobs too!

The same applies to your money. You never want to spend it all in one place. You have categories that each need to be addressed: Food, Clothing, Shelter, Transportation. I can’t just go out and spend my entire paycheck on Clothing and Gas. (Unless I plan to sleep in my car and drink petrol since I’m neglecting my need for Shelter and Food!) Got it? Good, now spread it around.

Well I hope this has been insightful for you whether you follow the NBA or not! These types of life lessons can be gleaned from just about any other activity in the exact same way.

Live Invincibly,

@W

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Hi-Def Resolutions: The New Secret To Making That Resolution Stick This Time

4 01 2010

Let’s pretend it’s July4th… are you still keeping that resolution?

There is a mental trick you can apply to almost any goal that will boost your morale when you feel like falling off the wagon: Stop living for ‘today’ and pretend you are 6 months in the future. Imagine that you’re already 6 solid months into doing the very thing you’re starting today.

Momentum is a funny thing because it’s formed only by perception. If you feel like you’re making progress in something, then you really are making progress. Makes no difference what others say, or the results they are looking for. If you think it’s getting done, then it is!

With this thought in mind let’s jump 6 months ahead and envision fireworks displays, sparklers and flags lining the streets. Now tell yourself that you are incredibly proud of the way you’ve been able to keep from (insert your goal here) these last 6 months! See you’re already half-way home to keeping that resolution for all of 2010! And that percieved momentum will help you move a long way towards ACTUALLY keeping it together till July 4th really swings around.

In many regards this is an extension of the advice I gave in my very last post “Finish FIRST So You Don’t Come In Last!” The same trick is at work here.

Seeing beyond where you are can directly impact your end result. Can you see it yet? Then, Happy 4th of July!

Live Invincibly,

@W 

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You Will Fail @ *Blank* If You Don’t…

24 11 2009

Let’s play a little game! For each word below, repeat the phrase in the title of this post, then read the word, and then think about how that complete phrase applies to something in YOUR life.

For example: “You will fail at _____ if you don’t Communicate.” *A.  Marriage

*A. Is rhetorical, there is no right/wrong answer, only examples that may apply to the associated word.

Try not to move on to the next word until you’ve mentally answered the current word. Also, when reading a new word, try repeating the entire phrase “You will fail at ______ if you don’t…”

Got it? Good, now let’s get started…

You will fail at _____ if you don’t:

Believe

Work

Move

Communicate

Hustle

Act

Care

Motivate

Play

Exercise

Risk

Calculate

Heal

Budget

Compete

Run

Survive

Rise

Ask

Study

Assert

Prioritize

Sweat

Own

Shine

Dream

Change

Rest

Pray

Persevere

Give

Read

Obey

Learn

Perform

Mature

Let’s face it, we could continue this game forever right? The basic point of this post was to basically offer you a mind check. If you feel you’re lagging in a certain area, or procrastinating on moving forward with something you want or need to do, I hope this was of help to you.

If you came up with some other words that resonated with you more than the ones I listed, please let me know in the comments section, I’d love to know what they are!

Thanks for playing along and…

Live Invincibly,

@W





Spark Your Debt Reduction with a Firesale

21 10 2009

match strike

During the past 2 1/2 years that we’ve been trying to get out of debt, my wife and I have exhibited all of the true hallmarks of a “Gazelle Intense” couple… well all except for one. We’ve worked extra jobs, we’ve trimmed our budget to the bare minimum necessities, we’ve just about done it all except SELL some stuff.

Dave Ramsey has a saying that goes like this “Sell so much stuff that the kids think they’re next!”

We’ve – or at least I have — always been on the fence about selling things to raise extra cash. Now, I’ll freely admit that some, no most of the issue is pride. It’s hard letting go of things you worked so hard to purchase. And that is especially the case if you are selling the items because you either need the cash, need the extra space or if the items are in perfect working order. All of the previous 3 examples apply in our case and in some ways that adds to the challenge.

But in all actuality we really do need the space, we have a 2 bedroom condo stuffed to the gills with various items that we are not using. Only 2 people live in this house but somehow we have 3 bikes lol. And up until a few weeks ago our 2nd bedroom was serving as on-site storage for everything that we either didn’t have a staged place for, or didn’t want to use, but also didn’t want to lose.

Then comes the challenge (at least for me) of finding the motivation to come up with a price list, take pictures, and then post a compelling ad on Craigslist and the local want ads and the other various channels (church bulletins, ect)

But alas the time has come to put add a notch to our belt of Gazelle Intensity. We could use the proceeds to pad our Emergency Fund at this time since I’m still unemployed.

And as an added benefit my mother is preparing to move to Florida next month and she’s already offering for us to post anything she’s not taking down there with her AND we get to keep those proceeds as well!

In truth maybe this won’t be so bad. And besides we know this is only temporary. So if you’re in the market for a bunch of gently used stuff (we take really good care of our things, which is a blessing.) hit me up lol! I’ve got a leather office chair, L-shaped glass desk, high-powered telescope, set of 2 grey video chairs, printer-copier-scanner, stainless-steel mini-fridge (perfect for a man cave), Full-sized bed frame/mattress/box-spring, 27-inch tv, M&F mountain bikes, and a whole lot more that’s getting ready to be posted.

The 2009 Invincible Living Firesale… get it while it’s HOTT!! Lol

Live Invincibly,

@W

Photo courtesy of mad_airbrush





The Case for an Invincible Life

9 09 2009

Invincible life

“I’ve seen God do so much with so little for so long I now believe he can do anything with nothing… including me.”

– E.E. Cleveland

Edward Earl Cleveland was an ordinary man, but he submitted so fully to the cause of Christ that he was and is the greatest example of an Invincible Life many will ever witness.

If it’s stats that you want, he’d be considered All-World: 16 books published, nearly 60 years of ministry, over 13,000 baptized by his hand, Thousands of men and women taught and trained by that same hand, tens of thousands more left with the indelible mark of his conviction and love for the Lord.

But the true measure of his service is that nearly anyone who has known his name, also knows of a particular shared moment with this giant among men.

The following is my most cherished of the many I had with this man:

In the Spring of 2007 Elders E.E. Cleveland and T.M. Kelly came to our church for a weekend of restoration. After the Sabbath service for which he preached and Elder Kelly sang, dinner was provided back at the church for them.

As the meal had ended, they were both preparing to leave the room as I walked up. I always knew the ‘code word’ we exchanged each time we met, and was always so happy to say it to him. “Strannie Bell Wright” I said to him, and instantly his eyes would light up. Strannie was my late grandmother, and also a long-time bible worker for him. As the eyes lit up, he grabbed my arm and said “Good to see ya my boy”.

I knew he was on his way out, and I didn’t want to hold him but there was something else I had to do. With that, I lifted the hand of the woman was beside me. “Elder Cleveland”, I said, ” I want you to meet my fiance!”

He took her hand, and said “Oh, your finance?” I stammered back, “N-no sir, my fi-an-ce…” a little slower and louder.  He looked at me slowly, “No son, you heard me right, your finance!” And then I understood…

Leaving me to absorb the moment I was just catching up to, He turned to Kenay and she introduced herself. As she finished he turned back to me, extended his famous two-fingered point back at her and said “She’ll do.”

Getting a “She’ll do.” from E.E. was not a passive statement, but a declarative one instead. See, he wasn’t saying that she was ‘just ok’ or that I could do better. He was saying in no uncertain terms that I was marrying a worker for Christ. She will DO!

This whole exchange took all of 45 seconds but obviously has meant a great deal to me to this day.

Again, the stats are one thing, but the moments that we shared with this man such as the one I just shared are where he was most effective.

Edward Earl Cleveland was the greatest man I’ve ever known. I’m also pretty sure he was the greatest man my father ever knew since both he and I got our middle names from him. He without a doubt lived out a life with a thirst to one day…

Live Invincibly,

@W: Adrian EARL Wright





I Think We Need A Change…

29 07 2009


Photo courtesy of Forgotten memory

As you know if you’ve been around us for even 5 minutes, we’ve been at this for almost 2 full years now! September 13th – which also happens to be my birthday – will make it official.

Within those 2 years we’ve picked up a lot of personal insight and we’ve also tweaked a number of techniques to find a more ‘custom’ fit than most of the major programs provide. We took all of the info and then applied our personal filter to it based on our beleif system, our financial situation at the time, and our decisions based on just how aggressive we wanted to be at the outset. Once we got the hang of it we essentially just let it run it’s course without much change. Sure there was a streamlining process that we had to go thru but it mostly happened as a result of our weekly budget meetings and in very small increments.

But now I’m coming to a place where I feel we need a change in strategy. And I’d prefer for it to be a MAJOR change! At times I question if we are somehow too ‘comfortable’ with the pace we’ve settled into lately. Quite honestly there are times where I dont feel very “Gazelle Intense” at all about what we’re doing.

And then when you couple with that the fact that we are quickly becoming role models through the ever-extending reach of this blog, Facebook and Twitter it becomes a challenge sometimes to manage a balance between what we’re doing as a household vs. what we want to empower you to do as a person/family.

The bottom line is that I feel the need to possibly change the way we are approaching our debt. I’m looking for a way to make it ‘fresh’ again to us in spite of the fact that we’ve accomplished so much and are now at our virtual halfway point in the journey.

I’d love to hear ideas from any of you who have felt this same way and done something about it! Please leave me a comment below or hit me up on Twitter with your suggestions!

See ya next time,

@W

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How I would save GM… The Great Auto Lotto of 2009!

2 06 2009


Photo courtesy of jhoweaa

GM is a car company right? So how would I save a car company? I would sell it’s cars! Put on your thinking caps boys and girls, it’s time to do some math!

Our Government has committed roughly $50 billion to bail out this automaker. So let’s say the average GM car cost $26k…

($50,000,000,000 divided by $26,000 = 1,923,076 brand new cars)

Let’s keep the math neat by rounding the figure to 1.9 million… that’s a lot of cars right? So then the question becomes, “Who would those cars go to?” And I would answer that question easily, “The GOVERNMENT… duh!”

In my scenario essentially, the government just contracted out GM to operate their entire fleet of vehicles. Everything from FBI cruisers, surveillance vehicles, even the *motorcades of Diplomats and elected officials can be covered by this $50b ‘contract’. (*President Obama already has a stable of tricked out limos produced by Cadillac, a GM brand, so there ya go!)

Next question: “What if the government doesn’t need all 1.9 million vehicles for it’s own use?” Answer: They raffle off the excess vehicles to the public… after all WE did pay for this bail out with our own money right? Any US citizen with the means could essentially enter a lottery to get a crack at the leftover inventory of vehicles. They could buy as many tickets as they like to increase their chances of getting a brand new vehicle for a DIRT CHEAP price.

For example if the government used 1 million of the vehicles to replenish/upgrade it’s stock of fleet vehicles, 900k would be left. Again, to keep the math clean, let’s say that 300k have a price range of $0 – $10,000. They would be raffled off at $100 per vehicle. That would equal $30 million instantly pouring back into the economy. Then let’s say that 300k have a price range of $10,000 – $30,000. These would be raffled off at $500 per vehicle. The proceeds would equal $150 million for this group of vehicles! Then lastly, we have a final group of 300k vehicles with a price range of $30,000 to $50,000. The raffle price for these would be $1000 per vehicle because of the premium/luxury nature of the lines offered at this price. This group would bring in $300 million.

Now keep in mind this is just a basic experiment and it only takes into account one raffle ticket sold per vehicle… but as I said earlier, the buyers could buy as many tickets as they like. The total revenue from the scenario we just did comes out to $480 million, and THAT does not take into account taxes, tags, and freight charges on the vehicles themselves – which again goes back to the government. I would also add a stipulation for any raffle winner that they could sell their current vehicle for no more than equal value of the raffle ticket they purchased! This would again, instantly create a secondary car market and most likely DOUBLE the figures I just gave at the very least.

And what’s more, GM isn’t the only auto company in need of this type of “bailout”. This would serve as the perfect catalyst to reinvent both the US auto market and the overall rules of engagement for the consumer they sell to.

Now, I’m sure some one reading this is going to ask, “What’s the point of the Government spending $50 billion on this example just to make back a minimum of $480 million?!” But to that I ask this question: “What’s the point of the Government bailing out GM with $50 billion and having no plan other than to ‘keep it afloat’ operationally while the company still slowly bleeds to death in this economy?!”

GM is a car company… and something needs to be done with the cars right? I don’t care how much you say you don’t like American made cars… if you could get a brand new one for $100 to $1000 you’d be down for it!

What would you do?
@W

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