Article #6, January 22, 2003
Having More Than Enough
In order to have a stress-free, problem-free life, you need to have more than enough of everything you need. This is called having reserves. The list of reserves one could have is almost limitless, but I mainly focus on four – money, love, space and time.
Money probably gets the most attention. In our society, you must have a certain amount of money to eat and live! If you really want a problem-free life, however, you need to do more than just get by. If you’re just making enough each month to pay all your bills on time, that may seem like enough for you, and it is – for now. What happens if you lose your job – or get seriously hurt? What would you do?
The experts recommend that you keep at least six month’s of income in reserve at all times. That’s a pretty healthy chunk of change! Since there are very few people who can live comfortably on the maximum of $330 per week unemployment pays, this figure might actually be rather low. (Don’t forget – you’ll have to pay tax on unemployment!) I recommend 18 months of income in savings.
Having a reserve of cash is not only in case you lose your job, it is also there for you in case of any other emergency, and there FOR you if you just want something! If you have always wanted to take a cruise to the Caribbean, you can. If you find that you really want a new car, you have the money for it. Creating your money reserve can happen using two techniques – make more and/or spend less!!
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Having a reserve of love is a little more difficult to conceptualize, and is different for everyone. Your family is ‘supposed’ to love you, but for everyone else, it’s truly optional. To illustrate, let’s say you experience something that makes you sad. Do you have someone to talk to about it? Do you have someone to hug?
Having a reserve of love is different than having a reserve of money in that it requires involvement of your heart, not just your head. It’s personal and can cause you pain – it’s a different kind of risk. Not taking the risk assures your safety, but is your comfort and safety more important than love?
Getting a reserve of space may be the easiest to attain, but means more than just physical space. The acquisition of physical space is really the easiest as it only requires cleaning up, getting organized and getting rid of stuff. While this may be time-consuming, these tasks require very little strategic thought and very little emotional investment
To gain a reserve of space in you life for more of what you want requires a little more effort. For example, if you want more space in your life for new friends, you may need to identify people in your life you no longer want in your life, and let them go
Gaining a reserve of time is different for everyone, but having that reserve can feed your soul. Establishing a reserve of time is most similar to the process used to get a reserve of money. One needs to do an analysis of where all the time is being used, then make decisions – want vs. need. Having this reserve allows creative thought. Out of creative thought grows those things you most love – art, music, literature, learning, teaching, appreciating, etc.
There are many other types of reserves – health, trust, food – and everyone is different in ordering their importance, as well as their approach toward getting their reserves built up. During the process of building reserves, I recommend a needs assessment. Ask yourself “Am I getting my needs met?” and then “How can I get unmet needs met?” In answering these questions mid-stream instead of before you start, you have a better perspective. Then make any adjustments you want and keep going!