A killer bandana and an awesome karate teacher: Daniel’son had these two things I wanted so bad as a kid.
The Karate Kid was one of my most favorite movies to catch on HBO as a very lucky 8-10 year old boy. Of course, the wise sensei Mr. Miyagi came to mind when I was recently thinking about the mindset of the wealthy.
There is a behavior, a thought pattern and a practice that can bring wealth and is imperative to keeping it long term.
“I could, but I won’t.”
Mr. Miyagi was the epitamy of that phrase. He had all the skills and training of a lifetime of martial arts. At his age he could have easily out-punched, out-kicked and out-smarted anyone that He Chose to battle. And he didn’t do it very often.
The little man won every fight he did enter, and he only engaged physically when all other options were off the table. Especially, at the end of the first movie – he has the bad guy in his clutches, perfect chance to take him out and instead, he decides to “Honk” his nose. He Could Have Beaten him to a Pulp, but he Didn’t.
We think the spending part of being rich is the sign of wealth. Truth is, it is the Not Spending part, that brings wealth.
While reading The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley, I had some realizations. I found out that the those who Really have money, in the Real world (a place we all live; Not TV land or a fairytale) are people who learned to Not Spend, even though They Could.
They worked hard and lived below-their-means for years, creating Leftovers that they put to good use. Instead of trading their leftover money for Things that drop to zero value now; they Saved, Invested and turned their money into more money, then LATER they could afford any-Thing they wanted…
It is like when Mr. Miyagi had Danny waxing-on and waxing-off, then paint-the-fence and sand-the-floor… well, that was all practice. No-fun, hard-work, practice. Then… Later… After all that, he was Very Skilled in blocking attacks and other martial arts moves that a 10 year old kid thinks are Radical, Dude!
Movie memories aside, I recently heard a first-hand account of a volunteer who was among those helping the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. I had tears running down my cheeks as the man recounted how a U.S.A. helicopter full of supplies landed in a snowy region. Then people without proper clothing, who had lost their homes and friends and family members appear out of the white background. Slowly they picked through the boxes of medical aid, clothing and food. They each carefully pack the smallest amount that will sustain them and say “Thank You, Please take the rest to the next village, they need it more than we do.” Again… “I could, but I won’t.”
Seriously folks, there is something deep to learn from this culture…
So, three takeaways from today’s blog –
Mr. Miyagi was AWESOME
YOU can win with money by saying “I could, but I won’t.”
The human spirit is capable of grace, integrity and honor even in the most devastating of circumstances.
Overall think the recent economic downturn, will prove to enlighten our culture. I hope we’ve learned that the last 20 years of “I can, so I will” were unwise to say the least.