Sunday, January 6, 2008

On Paper, On Purpose

Imagine for a moment the picture you are seeing is your mind with all the competing thoughts and ideas slithering and striking out as the competion for place and recognition takes place.

Seriously, that's what happening when you keep all your thoughts, ideas, dates to be kept and tasks to be completed entirely in your mind.

I'm a serious student of Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover. The more I move through my work in this plan the more I begin to understand certain elements and actions that need to be taken, especially in the first few baby steps.

One phrase that is often heard from Dave is things such as budgets and purchases need to be on paper, on purpose. I even wrote earlier on what I called the Purpose Drive Budget. One of the main themes of that writing was.....on paper, on purpose.

I also like the way Jack Canfield goes about creating and setting goals guessed it, getting it written on paper. Now that's tough to say, considering I'm a guy and Canfield appeals to a largely female audience. But the fact is, what he proposes works for me. I'll thank my wife for turning me on to the guy.

I first heard of the snake example from a former plant manager. In describing people with cluttered minds, he would often say they had snakes for brains. It took a few times of him saying this phrase to realize what he was trying to relay in that metaphore. Never once did he talk about getting things on paper or using those thoughts to create goals. Coming from the old school, he simply realized that people became tangled in their thoughts when they kept trying to pack one additional "snake" in their cranial cavity. They never uncluttered their minds by getting rid of that tangled slimely mess and doing something that would allow you to deal with all of it systematically.

I now tell people to envision the snake scenes from Raiders of the Lost Ark when Indiana Jones and Sallah are exploring the the underground cellars around the dig that is going on looking for the Well of the Lost Souls. The snakes slither in piles on the floor and through the mouth and eye sockets of the skeletons and mummies. That's what I envisioned my plant manager was trying to describe when he spoke of people who had snakes for brains. Cluttered minds bring about the disorder of the snakes as their slimey bodies slither through ones mind.

To avoid this happening as you work on a budget or set your goals as the new year gets underway is to stop the snakes by putting your goals, priorities and things such as budgets on paper......and with and on purpose.

I'm sure this process will assist in putting an end to the ooozing and slithering that our gray matter turns into as we try to store all the competing information.

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