One day, many years ago, I was driving from St. Louis to Kansas City.
I had a performance that night. I was tired. My rental car didn’t have cruise control. And I was grumpy.
Plus, my car needed gas.
I checked out the gas prices at the coming exit.
$1.77 per gallon.
“$1.77 a gallon? Are you freakin’ kidding me? It was only $1.63 a few exits ago!”
So, I drove a few more exits, waiting for a better price.
Instead, the next exit was $1.87.
So, I did the logical thing.
I got off at that exit, and I drove back to the other exit to get my gas.
I saved exactly $1.20.
Now, I’m not sure exactly WHEN I woke up to the fact that my sense of economy was totally skewed at that moment. But I did. After all, as a performer, my first priority needs to be my well-being. When I drove around trying to save $1.20 for gas, I was ultimately saying three things to the Universe and to my subconscious:
- My indignant posturing about the price of gas is more important than my well-being.
- One dollar and twenty cents is more important than arriving 20-minutes earlier at my hotel room for some quiet time.
- My time and value as a Creative and as a performer are not worth much.
Most of us think that we’ll wait until we “arrive” before we’ll start to honor our value, set boundaries or invest in ourselves.
But, here’s the truth that very few people understand:
It’s the other way around.
You have to decide to honor your value FIRST! And you do that by honoring your time, your space, and your priorities. Most of us, however, blow off our valuable time by “majoring in minor things.” Worrying about the little itty-bitty things – like a dollar and twenty cents!
I have a word for this.
I call it Lack-tions.
Lack-tions are Actions based in Lack Mentality. They are habits designed to distract us from what’s truly important to us.
If you want to increase your success and productivity levels, start observing how much of your time gets burnt up performing Lack-tions. ESPECIALLY if you find yourself constantly complaining that you don’t have time to do the things you really want to do. After that, stop wasting time on Lack-tions!
Very soon after my Missouri trip, I started a new habit of filling my gas tank when it was half-empty. (As opposed to waiting til the low-gas light came on.) I also started playing a game of not even looking at the gas prices and simply choosing whichever gas station looked the “happiest.” (Yes, I’m serious.)
I didn’t go broke. In fact, I started to do better and make more money.
What you define as a Lack-tion will change over time. As you uplevel your life, or your self-care, or your business, you’ll have less tolerance for these habits of lack that appear out of nowhere and try to distract you with their anxieties. It can be downright fun to let go of them.
These days, I challenge myself to stop a Lack-tion even before the idea for one can occur! And I have since taken the practice a step further: I invest in myself. I invest in my growth. The return on that investment is so much higher than if I had thought only in terms of the number and how much I could save if I held on tight!
So, what happens when you ditch the well-worn practice of Lack-tions and thinking of money ONLY in terms of a number?
Well, you begin to experience TRUE wealth. That’s because you become the CREATOR, someone who defines the path of your cash. And you no longer live as a REACTOR – someone who lets cash tell you how to behave.
So, if true wealth appeals to you, start by asking yourself where you burn up energy with Lack-tions.
Then ask yourself, how can you change this behavior and start taking ACTIONS?