I still remember the first time I received Legos for Christmas. It was a huge plastic bucket filled with endless possibilities. The question wasn’t what was I going to make, but rather, what wasn’t I going to make? I dumped out the bucket and hundreds of different sized Legos spread across the floor. What to make first? How about an airplane? Unfortunately, my airplane didn’t look much like the one depicted on the box. Over time, my creations improved, but they rarely ever met my expectations – unless I was building a wall. That came out just as I expected. Ha Ha!
Fast forward to my mid-teen years when I got my first real job. I couldn’t wait for that first check to come in. Oh, the plans I had! I finally had an income that I was in control of, and nobody could tell me what to spend it on. If I wanted to eat out with friends – done! If I wanted to buy a certain brand of clothing that my family could never afford growing up – done! I worked hard for this money, and I was going to reward myself with whatever I wanted. Life “seemed” great. The problem came when my expectations never seemed to be met. There never seemed to be enough money, and I could never figure out how to make the dreams I had a reality.
What was keeping me from meeting my expectations in both cases, was something quite valuable – a plan. I found my greatest Lego masterpieces (I use that term loosely) came when I had step-by-step instructions on how to put them together. The same could be said about my early financial expectations. I lacked instructions, or more specifically, a financial plan with a budget. Of course, this realization came much later than I would have liked; but living in the past is futile and possibly fatal.
So often we have this grand plan in our head of the things we can accomplish, only to feel disappointed when our expectations aren’t met. Often, we end up giving up entirely on our dreams because they are seemingly unattainable. The truth is we can learn from the past, but we must move forward and apply the wisdom we have obtained. It may take quite a bit of time to turn the ship, but eventually we will be headed in the right direction.
“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” – Proverbs 24:3-4
I want to encourage you to not give up on your dreams and begin developing a plan at how you can accomplish them. You may be currently lacking the pieces needed to build the masterpiece you have in mind, but it doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Create a plan, slowly work at obtaining the pieces you need, get rid of the unnecessary pieces that you have gathered over the years, and begin working. It may take time, it may not even look exactly like you imagined, but it will most surely look more like what you envisioned.