Invest, spend time wisely

By Gerry Lewis | Published Saturday, October 13, 2018

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Today I want to talk about your investment portfolio.

Some of you are saying, “What investment portfolio? I’m just trying to survive one day at a time!”

What if I told you that your daily spending habits provide you with the greatest return on investment? What if I told you that how much money you make is 100 percent irrelevant to this conversation?

That’s because I’m not talking about your spending habits with money. I’m talking about how you spend your energy – physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual energy.

Think of each of these in terms of a bank account. If all you ever do is spend from your account and never depositing, you will soon be overdrawn.

What if there was a way to insure that those accounts are investment accounts that are drawing interest and consistently depositing more than you can spend?

I think that way exists, but it requires understanding life circles.

My concept of life circles is inspired by the work of Dr. Stephen R. Covey, but I have unpacked it beyond the scope of what he asserted in “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.”

Envision three concentric circles – a small one at the center, one slightly larger behind it, and one considerably larger behind those two. These are the circles where we will either spend or invest our energy.

The largest of these three circles is what Covey calls the Circle of Concern. I call it the Circle of Concern/Offense. These are the issues of life that concerns, worries or offends us, but we have no real influence or voice in them. For the majority of us, this includes almost everything that is reported on our news outlet of choice.

The middle circle is what Covey calls the Circle of Influence. I call it the Circle of Influence/Opportunity. These are the issues that we have the opportunity to influence and impact because they are close to where we live. We don’t have total control, but we have a voice and a platform to allow our voice to be heard. Think of where you work, live and play as your Circle of Influence/Opportunity.

Covey has two circles. I have added the small circle in the middle. I call it the Circle of Control/Option. Most people grossly underestimate their Circle of Control/Option. In this circle, we choose our responses, attitudes, and actions. We also choose the circles in which we will invest our energy.

This post doesn’t allow the time and space to completely unpack this, so let me bottom-line it for you.

Spending energy in the circle of Concern/Offense is an expense and rarely an investment. If we give the majority of our energy to it, we will overdraw and lose many of the opportunities we have in the Circle of Influence/Opportunity.

Spending in the circle of Influence/Opportunity has the potential to create greater influence and more opportunities if we have chosen wisely our responses, attitudes and actions. These expenditures are investments. They do not simply build our personal portfolios, but build into the lives of others where we work, live and play.

Our lives matter to God. What we do with our energy resources matters. Will we simply spend or will we invest?

Be amazing, my friends.

Dr. Gerry Lewis, author, blogger, church consultant and leadership coach, serves as executive director of the Harvest Baptist Association in Decatur.

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