3 Things You & I Can Learn From The 2010 Lakers

27 04 2010


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?)…


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,


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Stimulate Me: The Greatest "Story" Ever Told!

12 03 2009

Photo Courtesy of kyle/thebookpolice

Growing up, I used to get in BIG trouble for calling someone a liar. Even if they actually were lying! Instead I was encouraged to say “So and so told a ‘story’.”

This never jived too well with me. A lie is a lie. And there’s a BIG LIE being told to you on a daily basis as far as the economy is concer– um excuse me…


“Only YOU can prevent this nation’s colapse!”

While I was driving home last night listening to talk radio, I heard a politician lay out the steps to strengthening the economy. Basically, he said it was all on YOUR shoulders to fix this. Yes YOU!

“Thank Heaven for the express line, I only have 7 items!”

YOU have to buy brand new American cars, and Flat screen tv’s. Oh and while you’re at it please prop up the restaurant industry by eating out more so that we can get back to being America the Beautiful… Um and since we’re on the subject you would do well to pick up a premium gym membership so that all that eating out doesnt ruin your perfect American figure. Mmmm but come to think of it either way you’re gonna need to buy a whole new wardrobe cause either you’re gonna lose weight from working out, or gain it from eating out… just a thought. – $igned : Capitol Hill, Wall Street, & The Media.

P.S.: You can’t save money and save the country from financial ruin at the same time so dont even try the first one. We’re counting on you to do what’s right for your fellow Americans…

Emancipation from Stimulation…

I’m hearing more and more about people who want to do the right thing for the ‘economy’ so they are foregoing paying down their personal debt, and spending more of their income to ‘help’ troubled industries such as dining, travel and retail.

C’mon guys, please dont compromise your responsibilities to your family by taking on any part of this ‘national burden’ that’s being sold to you on the airwaves. THAT IS NOT YOUR JOB!!

If you DO still have a job, it is to provide for your family and manage your personal situation to the best of your means.

Unless you are an elected official, or an economic adviser by profession, this nation’s economy woes are NOT your responsibility.

The 4 Walls: The frame of your financial house.

In times like this – no scratch that –at all times you have 4 main responsibilities, or what Dave Ramsey calls the 4 Walls: Food, Shelter, Clothing, and Transportation.

When things are tight, keep those 4 things going, and only those 4 things. Not the 401k, not the greens fees at the country club, not the Costco membership, and not the standing order sent to you monthly from Omaha Steaks or the 12 different magazine subscriptions you currently recive.

While the nation is expecting you to take care of it, I’m expecting you to take care of you.

So what’s it gonna be?


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A Look Inside Our Weekly Budget Meeting

1 07 2008

Photo courtesy of rubymatt

My wife came up with this great idea for a post: a brief walkthru of our weekly budget meeting.

I’m sure some of you out there who are just starting out have experienced the ‘thrill’ of the 2 hour budget meeting, but I assure you it will get better. The more consistently you meet, the faster the meetings will go in the future. You will soon find that both you and your spouse are improving the way you both approach and communicate about finances.

I remember back in October when we first started having meetings…. pure disaster! It would take forever for us to get through it, and just the thought of how our finances looked at the time caused a great deal of tension. Many nights we didn’t even want to sit down and look at the budget because we just KNEW it was going to end in silence, or frustration, or that defeated feeling when you know you’ve got more ‘month than you do money’.


You have to consider the first few meetings like Training Camp. When the team gets together to shake off the rust of the off season and learn what direction the team wants to grow for the season. You learn your routes, learn to read your teammates, and learn how to respond to game time pressure. This is where you solidify your financial chemistry with your spouse which is extremely important because…

How you arrive at decisions about your money is just as important as paying down the debt.

If you are married, this must be a team effort and you both need to have equal say. If you both can’t agree how to proceed, Husband it’s your call. God made you the head of the household for a reason and this is one of those times when it counts. BUT it usually doesn’t even have to come to this point because there is almost always a mutually agreeable solution… or at least there should be. However if it does come to this point, I urge you husbands to make your decision in a way that will best serve your family, not just to ‘have your way’ or make a point. Sometimes the wisest decision a husband can make is to listen to what his wife says and act on it.

Time is of the essence…

Your weekly meeting should not be a long drawn out event. In fact the shorter the amount of time you take, the better as long as you cover the basics of your meeting. The meeting should be viewed as a tool to keep you motivated and informed of your progress from week to week. I cant stress enough that the first few weeks wont look or even feel good, but soon after you will see the progress, the preparation, and the peace that comes from being on the same page with your spouse.

To help you increase the impact and efficiency of your budget meeting, I’ve broken this post down into a few sections.

– Establishing an agreeable meeting time.
– Finding a place outside of the home where you can meet.
– The tools you should have handy.
– The Objectives you should meet at every meeting, NO EXCEPTIONS.
– Goals to set for the next meeting.

Times that you should NOT be meeting:

-Late at night – It can RUIN you sleep for the night…

-Early in the morning – It can RUIN the day ahead…

-When either of you are sleepy, cranky, hungry or watching ‘the game’ or Iron Chef. lol

Any time other than the three I mentioned is highly recommended.

Rendezvous Point:

Where you meet helps determine how effective you meeting will be. I don’t recommend doing them at home because you can easily be distracted, or tempted to multi-task other things at the same time. Instead, I recommend meeting at a coffee shop, restaurant of public library (my personal favorite). It’s good to find a relaxing environment, but not a cozy one. Or if the weather is decent you can meet outside, the fresh air will help you concentrate.

Tools of the trade:

-Prayer, always start with it!

-An agenda of the items you want to focus on.

2 copies of the budget. *You will both need your own copy for note taking, doodling, and editing, because your budget NEVER stays as it was first drafted.


-Paper to take notes. *Trust me by the 2nd day you’ll have forgotten everything if it isn’t down on paper. This saves you from recapping all of last weeks’ meeting this week! lol

-Resource materials such as The Total Money Makeover, or the book/program you may be following. *This is optional, but helpful to have at the ready. Don’t try to do it all yourself, there is plenty of help out there available to you, most of it free.

Prime Objectives: (If nothing else gets discussed, these are a MUST…)

Naturally there are topics that you should strive to discuss every time you meet. Here are a few, but your list depends on how you both approach things.

-“The 4 Walls”: Food, Clothing, Shelter, Transportation.

-Know your next payday.

-Know what dates each expense/payment is next due.

-Know who does what: who’s calling the creditor, writing the check, withdrawing the cash, dropping off the payment, addressing the envelope, putting the stamp on it, purchasing the stamps if you don’t have any, and who’s placing the envelope in the mailbox. *The ‘who’ does not and should NOT have to be one person. This is a team effort!

-Know when each of the prior items should be done by.

Close with a look ahead to the next meeting:

-Have tangible goals you would like to see completed by the time you next meet.

-Discuss payments, conflicts, possible problems you foresee on the horizon.

-Propose changes in strategy or format. *This can be helpful because your partner wont feel like a suggested change has been ‘sprung’ upon them. It gives them enough time to think and digest the suggestion in time for the next meeting. It’s both a considerate and fair way to voice your objections if you don’t like how something is going. And it also means your not just ‘complaining’ about the process, your bringing a solution to the table.

Well that’s about all there is to it! If you take some of these things into consideration going forward, I’m sure it will help smooth parts of the process out for you. And as always if you have any suggestions of how you and your family do something differently, please let us know in the comments section!

Till we ‘meet’ again… get it? lol


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