(The following is an abbreviated transcription from a video Linda & I. Please excuse any typos or errors.)
Today we’re going to talk about something that not everyone needs to hear.
So this is a tricky one because some people do not need to hear this and shouldn’t hear it.
Some people need to hear the opposite message, but we’ll just go with this and you need to use your own wisdom on whether or not it was this for you.
Or, if you need to share it with someone who this maybe for them.
But the gist of it is I want to help. I want to share something with you that has helped me.
Linda and I recorded our discussion of what has helped us, that you can listen to on our Podcast, or you read the full transcription below:
Bob: I want to talk about why it might be beneficial to stop trying so hard. And what could result from that? A much more stress-free life!
Linda: I would like to maybe suggest that everyone does actually need this message. It just depends on the area where they need it, because I don’t need this in every area, but I do need it in some.
Bob: Yeah. Fair enough… All right.
Working Hard For Maximum Benefit
Bob: So I want to start with a story.
So I watched this video, and I’ll put a link to this in the description, of a guy named Derek Sivers who I read. I don’t know if I have it nearby. One of his books. I read, he actually, if anybody’s in the music industry, he founded CD baby. He was the guy who started that, sold it off a few years ago, but super interesting guy. I’ve really liked the way he thinks about some things.
So he tells a story of how he lived down in currently live in Santa Monica. He was going on a bike ride and was doing this as exercise. And so he would go on this bike ride and would just really push himself to get through this bike ride and get his exercise as fast as possible.
And he would do this trip multiple times a week and every single time it took him 43 minutes. Or just about 43 minutes to finish. He would work so hard, it’d be sweat and huffing and puffing and blah, blah, blah.
Linda: And he could never improve his time. It wasn’t like he was getting better. It was the same, every time.
Bob: Yeah. It wasn’t getting better. He just plateaued at this 43 minute mark and just couldn’t get ahead of that.
Loss Of Enjoyment
Bob: But he was working super, super hard every single time. And he got to the point where he realized “I’m just not enjoying this exercise anymore. I’m not enjoying it because I’m straining and striving so hard. It’s just not fun.”
And as a result, he started drifting to just not wanting to work out at all and not wanting to do the bike ride at all. And you know, anybody who has worked out, you know, we know that that’s a really scary thing when you really start being like, I just don’t want to go to the gym today, you know?
That’s when you start getting in trouble.
Taking An Alternative Approach
Bob: And so anyway, so he decided, all right, I’m going to take an alternative approach. I’m going to go on a really slow bike ride. It might be half the speed or whatever. I’m just going to take a nice leisurely bike ride, the same path I normally do. And just see what happens and just enjoy myself, enjoy the ride.
And so he did, and he found himself looking around, looking at the plants and the animals and everything. And just had a really nice, enjoyable ride that he said he loved. Then he got back to the end of the trip, because he did a round trip with it, and he looked at his watch and it was 45 minutes.
His previous time of 43 minutes with all this straining, all this stress. And then he just did a super relaxed, leisurely ride that he thought might take like 70, 80 minutes. And it was 45 minutes. It was two minutes longer and he thoroughly enjoyed it.
Linda: He was still getting almost the same amount of exercise.
Bob: Yeah, pretty much.
Linda: It’s just that all of a sudden he was enjoying it.
Bob: Yeah, he had eliminated the stress, all the straining. And he said it was a profound moment for him that changed how he lived his life, where he realized there’s so many areas like this, where we’re straining and stressing over this thing.
Just to get two minutes more advantage where if we just relax just a little bit,
Linda: We’ll still get most of the results.
Bob: Which we can enjoy.
Linda: While enjoying it instead of stressing ourselves out.
Bob: So I thought this was really interesting.
Recognizing The Need To Relax
Linda: I do too. I mean, I definitely have experienced things like this where I’m like, but if I can just, if I can just, if I can just, and really it’s for me, my, my biggest experience with this has been in motherhood, or like when we’ll go on a trip, I get really wound up before we.
That’s putting it kindly. I get it really wound up before we get on a trip. And every time he’s says, can you just relax? And I’m like, don’t you tell me to relax!? I get so mad. Oh, no, I don’t though, because we have a perfect marriage, I forgot.
Bob: We forgot we got to keep this facade.
Linda: But, so he’ll say can you please just relax?
And I’m like I cannot, I will not relax until we leave. Can you just help me get this done? And at one point I thought, what if I did relax? It took me a while to be like, what if I did relax? And it was really hard getting over. It was all a mental block and everything still got done.
And even still I’ll kind of slip back into those patterns and I’ll be like, okay, let’s dial it back. Is it not going to happen if I am not so intense about it? Or is it just going to take me an extra minute or two to get this done? You know, and thinking about it that way really helps. I think.
Debt Elimination: Enjoying The Journey
Bob: Yeah. And I think one of the areas that we discovered this (in which I’m really glad we did) when we were paying off our debt, we realized this and I didn’t think about it in these terms, but I knew because I knew you that the only way we were going to reach the finish line of our goal of paying off our debt was, if I could get you on board and be excited about it.
And the way that I had to do that was by not stressing and straining and trying to do all this, it was that I had to find ways to create celebrations and victories and milestones and breaks along the journey. And that was the thing that helped us sustain it.
Linda: Well we had to fit things in the budget that needed to be in there. We couldn’t cut everything. We had to fit some things in there. No matter if they were important to him or not, if they were important to me, they had to be in there. Yeah.
Bob: Yeah. And I think this is where, you know, and this is the point of all this I think is with our financial lives, with our financial journey and our financial goals that we might have at any given moment.
Multiple Smaller Journeys Taken
Bob: I think we can apply this same idea to that. You know, if I look back at our journey to pay off our debt and what that looked like. Initially, we paid off all of our non-mortgage debt. And so this was all of our credit cards and student loans and car loans. Those are our big three. And when we’re paying off that, that was one journey.
We then had a separate journey to pay off our house. But that first journey of all the consumer debt and student loan step that journey, it felt like had we just taken my approach… My natural inclination would have been like what Derek’s was to go to the 43 minutes and just huff and puff and work really hard.
There would have been no doing anything fun. Every single dollar was going to pay down our debt. Had we done that, I don’t know that we would have reached the finish line because I think I would have lost Linda. And on top of that, it wouldn’t have been much faster. We would’ve saved a month or two.
Linda: And I think it would have caused a lot of conflict in there.
Milestones And Celebrations
Bob: There definitely would not have been the peace. And there wouldn’t have been the enjoyment. Instead, we put milestones in place. And so we pay off a credit card and then we would go out to a nice dinner to celebrate. And there’s part of me, that’s like, we’re going backwards by spending a hundred dollars on a nice dinner or something.
But I knew that those were the things that were going to help sustain us and enjoy our process. And it made it so much more fun with every victory that we got to enjoy. Right.
Linda: Yeah. So what ended up happening is we actually got to the finish line. We didn’t quit halfway between because and, you know, work as hard as we could to get halfway there.
We took little celebration breaks to enjoy it. And then it got us to the finish line.
Crystal Paine Paid Cash For Their First House
Bob: Yeah. And we did a podcast with Crystal Paine who she…
Linda: I love that one! If you haven’t listened to it, go back and listen (episode #90).
Bob: Yeah. And it was great because we talked to her about how she paid off, what no, not paid off our house. She bought her house with cash!
Linda: Their first house, they bought with cash.
Bob: With cash, saved up enough money to do it. And so we were talking to her about it and I was really fascinated. I thought this is just so cool. I want to hear how she did this.
Hindsight: They Pushed Themselves Too Hard
Bob: And one of the things that came out in this conversation is she basically said, if she had to do it over again, she wouldn’t have done it that way.
She said, you know, we pushed ourselves too hard and we just didn’t enjoy a lot of that season because we were pushing ourselves too hard.
That was fascinating, such a cool milestone to be able to say that you bought your first house with cash.
Linda: Yeah, cause when she told us we were both a little bit envious, in a good way. We were like, oh man, that’s so awesome!
Bob: Well that doesn’t matter now because we don’t have a mortgage. I’m thankful for that. But but yeah, I guess just a, such a cool thing. I wasn’t expecting her to say yeah, if we had to do it over again, we probably would have done it a good bit different and taking your time and relaxed a little bit.
We’ve gone 45 minutes and still at 43, you know?
Financial Goals And Walking In God’s Grace
Bob: So anyway, so my question for you, I think the question for you today is. What does this look like for your financial goals to walk in God’s grace with this? Cause this is a whole other component of this, of not depending on our own strength, doing what we can do. But trusting in his strength because one second of God putting his grace on the thing we’re doing is better than 10 years of us striving and straining, you know? And and I’m reminded of that verse. I have it written here. Matthew, where did it go? Matthew 11:28. So Jesus says this,
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, I’ll give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Learn from me for, I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
That’s cool to me just connecting these dots that when we do things God’s way and when we are following Jesus and walking in it, we have the opportunity to have a light yoke and a light burden that we don’t have to carry.
Linda: The other thing I’m hearing that I’d never really put together on this is that I am learning, come and learn for me. I am gentle and humble in heart.
How many times is it that we’re working so hard? Because we think, oh if I can just do this. Or, if I can get this done, if I can only… that’s my thing, if I can just make sure that this doesn’t happen, then there’s all this other stuff will go good.
Letting Go And Letting God
And it’s like, can we just let it go? Breathe a sigh of relief, be gentle. Because a lot of times when we’re in a hurry and when we’re in that striving mode we’re mean to everybody around us or at least I am.
Linda: But that’s something I feel like I need to meditate on for a little while to get all the goodness out of that, because that is really interesting. Don’t you think?
What Does This Look Like In Your Life?
So this is a question for today: What does this look like in your life? What are the financial goals? And take it outside of the financial realm. We’re talking about finances, but I think this can apply to so many areas of our lives.
So yeah. Keep that in mind as you go through your day today. Hang on to that.
Prayers For Finances
One thing I want to let you know about. We’ve created a PDF printable, I don’t know probably a year or two ago. And we’ve had a whole bunch of people download it. It’s basically financial prayers that we put on one sheet for you.
So we just call it our Prayers for Finances Sheet.
Linda: And you can print it off right?
Bob: You can print it off. Looks nice. And it has a couple of prayers that we wrote out about inviting God into your financial situation. Whether you’re doing great, or whether you’re not doing great. I believe that God wants to be part of our financial situation.
Bob: So go grab that PDF. If you haven’t already gotten it, it’s completely free. It’s Seedtime.com/prayer, you can go get it right there.
But that is all we have for today. So, we appreciate you, love you. Be blessed. Be a blessing. We’ll see you soon.