The 14 Focal Points of Personal Growth: #6 Obedience
edited: Monday, January 14, 2008
By Jeff Brown
Rated "PG" by the Author.
Posted: Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Become a Fan
Obedience to the laws of succes are essential to not only succeeding but in overcoming the self for greater self-actualization.
To Americans, obedience sounds like a four letter word. In this land of freedom, first amendment rights, a general open society, it is difficult for people to take the word "obedience" into their hearts and cradle it like an adorable and cuddly newborn. After all, just look at what people put on their bumper stickers: The Closer You Get, the Slower I Drive; If You Can Read This You're too Damn Close!; Watch Out for the Moron Behind Me; Warning: I Break Whenever I Feel Like It: Bitch on Board; Diva Mobile; No Fear; Keep Honking While I Reload .
So it isn't too difficult to imagine these people having a problem with this concept. Nevertheless, why is obedience important? Well, consider the fact that if everyone did as they desired on the roadways (and I should qualify that, more than they do already-what I call, creative driving) then there would be a greater number of accidents and chaos. Same with obeying any and all laws . Unfortunately, we do have a problem with obedience so there are a lot of laws. But let's move on to how obedience is personally helpful to you.
When the word obedience is invoked, most have a picture of a school marm leveling a ruler at an unruly student. Or Sister Watch-it-mister about to give the boy who can't keep quiet a good dusting, and then some. But that is not what is being spoken to here. Obedience is an essential element to those who are successful or wiling and able to grow. If you are going to be successful, there is a dire need for obedience to your own laws. Of course, these laws are pretty general, but you accept them, modify them, and make them your own. Without obedience to your personal laws of success, if I may, then there is no success. What do I mean?
Well, in order to be successful, you have to have goals: short, medium and long term. You have to focus on them on a regular basis, keep them fresh in your mind and modify them as you see fit. If we are talking success, most likely you are in business for yourself. There are those who have a job and climb the corporate latter to success (at least I think people still do this); however, because of the instability of the current economic environment, more and more people are going into business for themselves. This is happening because some people see the get-a-job-and-find-the-American-dream matrix for what it is. As I've stated previously, more and more people are falling out of the middle class-most, unfortunately, falling down. It is becoming more and more expensive and almost impossible to make ends meet. Here's some interesting information for you, a testament as to why obedience is imperative. I'll explain in a moment. Bear with me.
By 2004, the family budget looks very different. As noted earlier, although a man is making nearly $800 less than his counterpart a generation ago, his wife's paycheck brings the family to a combined income that is $73,770-a 75 percent increase. But higher expenses have more than eroded that apparent financial advantage. Their annual mortgage payments are more than $10,500. If they have a child in elementary school who goes to daycare after school and in the summers, the family will spend $5,660. If their second child is a pre-schooler, the cost is even higher-$6,920 a year. With both people in the workforce, the family spends more than $8,000 a year on its two vehicles. Health insurance costs the family $1,970, and taxes now take 30 percent ( today, it's actually 42 to 50%) of its money. The bottom line: today's median-earning, median-spending middle-class family sends two people into the workforce, but at the end of the day they have about $1,500 less for discretionary spending than their one-income counterparts of a generation ago. (Elizabeth Warren, Harvard Magazine, "The Middle Class on the Precipice", Jan. / Feb 2006)
In the early 2000s, the median income for the majority of families (dual income families) was $73,000, of which $55,600 was for fixed costs (mortgage, child care, health care, car, taxes) while $18,110 was allotted as discretionary income. Not much of a buffer, is it? Most of this money being spent on cloths, food, credit cards, cable / satellite TV, entertainment and so on. Even though the families combined income is a 75% higher than in the 70s, the cost of living adjustment has almost negated any gain. So many are now seeing having a business as the only way to go, where you get great tax breaks not great taxation.
So why is obedience important? Why has obedience to your own principles taken on such great importance? Well, because of downsizing, corporate outsourcing, and mostly because of cost of living, there is a greater and greater need for an alternative to the grind-it-out, let-the-tax-man-take-40%-before-you-even-see-it, climb-the-career-latter mode of operation. It is an outmoded and unsafe way to live, living on the edge, or as Warren says above, the "precipice." The belief that an education and hard work is going to help you make ends meet is a myth and a fantasy. You can certainly make more money with mom and dad both at work with college degrees but it just doesn't cut it like it used to.
I know couples who are making $80,000 and are struggling. In my father's day that was enough money to live comfortably, and we did, but now it's a pipe dream, and even dual incomes can't blow out the pipes. So bottom line, if you are not obedient to a constant vigilance of the economic and political environment (national and international), and an observance of emotion based success principles (many people are smart, creative and insightful but shoot themselves in the foot with sloppy, lazy, downright improper thinking habits) in order to make the money needed to live comfortably and with less damn-those-stinking-bills stress, you, my friend, are in trouble. It is time to wake from the matrices you live in, smell the true economic environment and get going.
Before I close, consider these other issues in regards to obedience:
Obedience to truth. Who wants to work with, associate with, be around someone who isn't obedient here?
Obedience to our spouses and children's welfare.
Obedience to our need to support them.
Obedience to choosing leaders we feel would do the best job in government.
Obedience to knowing on a consistent basis where the money's going, how much you have and where you can get more if you need to.
For more articles by the author, see the Search Warp link below.