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I just returned from the airport. I was interested to note the amounts of stuff that people carry on to the plane, one person had a box of pizza, drinks, a pillow and I-pad, and I phone as well as a roller bag and a duffel bag. I guess the two articles rule doesnít apply to food, pillows, electronics, etc.
I do understand that part of this is because of the fact that there is no food on the plane and no pillows. I also remember once bringing a Muffellata for dinner and being told by my seat mates that the smell was totally unacceptable on a long flight, but it did seem a bit difficult for the over burdened traveler to navigate through the airport. By contrast another traveler had only a small bag. He moved easily and didnít seem particularly stressed.
There is an advantage to traveling light. It is quicker and easier. It is even more important to travel light when you have to use your own power such as when biking or hiking. The experienced hiker carries the absolute minimum of weight because they know by experience that every extra pound will reduce their ability to travel long distances.
The financial point is that sometimes our customers are really burdened by things that are hard to carry and make life more of a struggle. The first example is too many toys. For adultís toys can be boats, motorcycles, skis, tools, fishing gear, cars or trailers. These can be expensive to maintain and insure.
Do you have a jet ski, set of golf clubs or set of weights that you havenít used in the last year? If so consider selling them or giving them to your favorite charity. The extra cash can go to debt repayment or to savings.
Anything that you havenít used in the past year should be on the block for possible sale or gift. The space that you create at home will help to clear your house and your mind.
We donít only carry possessions, we also carry obligations. Review your calendar; are you involved in the activities that matter? Or, are you in a rut just doing what you always did. Reorganize so that you invest your time with the same sort of planning that you use for your money. Spend time wisely on things that matter, eliminate the obligations that donít meet a real life need. As you do this, include some time to simply reflect and think. Thinking is hard work. Most of us stay really busy so that we wonít have to sit and think about why we are here and how we are using our lives. This time of contemplation is valuable and important; donít neglect spending time with yourself.
We often carry things that should be left behind; we all have regrets and disappointments. Once you consider your past problems, learn the lesson they teach, correct any wrong that you can, and then move on. Continuing to carry past problems doesnít make the problem go away but it does affect your ability to enjoy life. In the Bible it says not to worry about the future. This is not just good advice, it is transforming. Plan and work to make the future better, then let it go. You have done your part. Worry will not make the future better but it will make the present worse.
Finally, live within your means. No matter what you make, spend a little less. This will allow room for savings and will keep you out of financial trouble. The nations in Europe are in financial crisis because they failed to follow this simple plan. For many years they lived on borrowed money. Now no one wants to lend to them and they donít want to reduce spending. Well, what a surprise, no one wants to reduce spending. If you donít live beyond your means you can avoid that problem.
So, lighten the load. If you carry fewer possessions, less debt and less worry, you will find the trip is lot more pleasant. Why not enjoy the ride.
Guy T. Willams
President
 
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