“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.” ~Will Smith
When attempting to live a frugal lifestyle there is one truth that we must accept…in order to stop useless spending, we have to stop trying to impress other people. From clothing to cars, neighborhoods and schools, gadgets and gifts, the pressure to impress others is there.
The problem is it’s often difficult to pin down exactly what it is that will impress someone. In our current society, fashions change so quickly, trends are in and out, and it’s quite possible that by the time you purchase that new gadget the next generation’s on the shelf a few days later. Now, because of this, if we’re not careful, we end up living our lives constantly disappointed. All the while, useless spending, debt, and jealously begin to take over.
And the saddest reality is, everyone else is trying just as hard to impress you that they don’t even notice all that you’re doing to impress them.
It’s a vicious cycle, isn’t it!
What truly impresses you about someone?
No doubt there are those people in your life that you are totally impressed by. But are you impressed by their material possessions or is it their creativity, character, and values that caught your eye?
If it is the unseen qualities of our lives that impress people the most, then what do we already have in our possession that we can use to make an impact without spending a dime? Here are a few suggestions to get you thinking:
- Give freely of your time and energy. There’s probably no better way to impress someone than to give of your precious time and energy without expecting anything in return.
- Prioritize family. When we prioritize our spouse and our children other people take notice and are genuinely impressed by our devotion. Spend time together, do things everyone enjoys, and invest in each others lives.
- Discover and develop you gifts. Do you know what impresses me? When people live out their passions. When they have discovered their God-given gifts and are working hard to develop them. We often refer to this as authentic living…I just call it “being you.” You are a very special, unique, one-of-a-kind individual, embrace it.
- Put off consumerism. Stop trying to live like everyone else. Turn off the TV, reduce shopping trips, learn to do it yourself. Start talking about the homemade laundry soap you just made and the people around you will be impressed.
- Speak encouraging words. There are already so many negative and violent people in the world. Be different. Use every encounter you have with someone else to speak a word of positive encouragement into their life. Yes…even if you don’t really like him/her…find something nice to say.
- Find time to listen to others. I’m always impressed by those who listen. Just like all of you impress me everyday by listening to my crazy thoughts and ideas! No really…in our world where the ability to multi-task is king, find time to stop and listen. Put down the cell phone, turn off the TV and listen.
- Inspire. What if we cared more about inspiring others to greatness than we did impressing them? What then? How could that change our society? Let’s not try to impress others…let’s inspire them!
Now It’s Your Turn
Daily Goal: Write down ways in which you can stop spending money trying to impress others.
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