You Always Have Options

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Even if it doesn’t feel like it, you always have options.  Trust me.

Options are all around you

Right now some of you may be feeling as though you need a change.  Shoot, chances are you’re not even sure what that change should be.  Further yet, you may even be laboring over whether or not your strong feelings of wanting change are “okay”.  Don’t worry, in my experience this is all pretty normal.

That said, I have one question for you: do you feel this way because you are living a life out of line with your purpose?  Have you ever defined what your purpose is?  Are you actively working to do something to affect change, or are you just sitting around complaining about it?

Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself

Why do you think you are having these feelings?  Can you key in on some of the main sources of displeasure in your life?  If you haven’t yet, sit down and make a list of what you like and dislike about your situation.  About where you are and where you’d like to be.  About what went wrong, and what needs to go right from here forward.

Perhaps you feel as though you’re a poster child for the sin of discontentment.  Been there.

Maybe it’s worse.  Perhaps you feel abandoned, alone, misunderstood, over worked, under appreciated, under valued.  Sound familiar?  I’ve been there too.  Heck, in a lot of ways, I’m there now.  Sure, some things are good, and I should probably be focusing on those things rather than the things that exacerbate discontent… but, whatever… sometimes I just want to wallow in my own self pity for awhile.  And that’s okay too – as long as I don’t stay there.

To help ourselves out of places like this we need to analyze our situation unbiasedly, examine what went wrong, then humbly accept fault for past improper decisions, and forge ahead with purpose, strength of resolve, and character.

It is easy to become fearful at this point, to be afraid of the course we know to be right, to sink back into a corner and carry on with the daily routine that got us here in the first place.  But that’s not the right thing to do.

“Take care to get what you like or you will be forced to like what you get.”  – George Bernard Shaw

Be patient

Many times, overcoming an undesirable situation takes longer than we wished it would take.  Much longer.  This is okay, patiently working our way out of bad situations builds the character we’ll need as we move on to pursue future plans.

Just make sure you do something to affect change in your life.  Analyze, plan, then act… and do it all with patience.

Remember… you always have options.

This is worth repeating.

If you don’t like your debt, you can always make changes.  Save money, sell stuff, rent out your home and live in a mobile home.  Whatever you do, don’t be too proud to lower your standard of living as a way to free up resources. Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University is well worth the $100, perhaps you should enroll.

If you don’t like your job, you can always walk away from it.  You’re not an idiot, you can get a different job while putting your plan in place.  Better yet… stick it out a little longer while formulating your next moves.  Just be sure you do something.

You always have options… it’s just a matter of doing something to create change rather than wallowing in the piggy mud puddle of discontent while doing nothing to change it.

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33

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1 Carol@inthetrenches

Matt, I can feel that these challenges are the ones you have faced yourself and appreciate you candidly sharing the journey. I think that you are absolutely right that it is best to first identify your purpose before even attempting to work out the financial details of how to make it happen. A book I recently read that is along the lines of this discussion is Maximize The Moment by T.D. Jakes. Some of the parts I read over and over just because they were so good.

2 Matt Jabs

Yes, this is definitely written from a perspective of personal experience. I have learned that few things are more fulfilling than being openly candid and transparent with my experiences. It helps remind me of what I want and don’t want. It also thrills me to hope that others might benefit from reading it.

3 Jenna

This is a great blog post to send to my younger brother, he always waits until the last minute. “When you wait until the last minute, your options are always limited.”

4 Matt Jabs

Cool Jenna, I hope he finds it useful – I know it was good for me to write it out.

5 Mom

Hi Matt, great post! Remember when we talked the other night and I said something about what you do in life should be considered more of a mission than a job? A mission does not mean that you have to go to China and serve as a missionary. Your every day work will only be fulfilling and satisfying if you are doing it because you believe in it and not just doing it to get a paycheck every week. Just wanted to reiterate that point here. Sure am glad to be back on line so I can read Debt Free Adventure! It is one of the highlights of my day! Keep up the good work!

6 Matt Jabs

I love you mom. My life needs to be mission rather than employment, and contentment will elude me unless I give myself wholly to the concept of mission. Right now my employment is part of my mission, because my mission is to get out of debt. Once that is accomplished, my mission will change. I need to focus on defining that change so I can have confidence in my vision and begin forming it ASAP.

7 e-Fables

Those who start early on any project always more options than those who procrastinate. You know that, I know that, most people know that but it’s one thing to know and another to apply. Fear is really your worst enemy. It paralyzes you to a point where you no longer trust in your judgment and take your action. You know, I really like the way you track your financial progress openly and publicly like this. I especially like the “education loan” part, I think that’s the amount that I have to churn out if I want to get the advanced degree that I have been eying for the last 4 years.

8 Matt Jabs

Thank you, putting the information out there helps me to better realize my mission and reach my goals. I would encourage you to think long and hard before taking on new debt. I hope that you come away with the understanding that you should avoid paying later. If you want the education, save, work, and pay as you go. That way you value the education more because you are FULLY aware of how hard you are having to work to get it. Where as, if you get the education before paying for it, not only will you have to pay it back later at the expense of freedom of choice, but you run the risk of not valuing it as highly since you haven’t sacrificed for it yet.

9 Carol@inthetrenches

This comment in and of it self is worth a complete post as the idea you are expressing is so fundamental and insightful. Do we value less that which comes too easy?

10 nick

haha, i love it that you mom comments on your posts!! nice work! good luck in your quest!

11 Steve in W MA

Your post today reads like a prayer Matt. Thank you for the gift of your inspiring words and your support.

12 Billy

It is better to lower the expenses, and accept the lifestyle that can be affordable according to your present financial condition, rather than living in illusion that the things are going to improve automatically. You will have to save the money to repay your debts, or else have to increase your income to be able to be out of any complications in the future.

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