In my books, The Wealth Cycle and Set-4-Life, there is a recurring theme about life stewardship. This is how I refer to how you manage the resources that are available to you. Most of the time when people hear the word ‘stewardship’, they think about money, but I see stewardship as a three-pronged concept. We are stewards of our time, talent and treasure.
Three Areas of Life Stewardship
You are a steward of your time because you can never get it back – in real life, there is no time travel into the past. So the decisions you make about how you spend every second of your life matters, because only you can make that decision. If you get better at focusing your time on the things that have the best impact, your outcomes improve.
You are a steward of your talent because you have unique gifts and capabilities that God made you with that are inseparable from your purpose in life. Only you have the unique mixture of personality, skills and passions that you have – and that combination is not random, but by design.
You are a steward of your treasure (your money), because what you decide to do with your money is a great indicator of what is important to you in your life. Investing financial resources into something is a tangible way that you indicate both to yourself and those around you what you believe matters. So if there is a disconnect between your stewardship of your treasure, and what you say is important, you may need to reconsider what you are doing.
Given that its important to be good stewards of these three areas, there are five things that I have observed over time that trip you up in the area of stewardship. And once you know the five things, its very easy to pinpoint why you might be stuck in a particular area of your life.
#1 – Limiting Beliefs
The number one reason people don’t achieve their goals is that they don’t believe they can. They have self-limiting beliefs that put a cap on what they think is possible. Sometimes, these beliefs are sub-conscious so you might be saying all the right things, but there is something in your past that is holding you back because it is that belief that truly drives your behavior.
#2 – Scarcity Mindset
Another area to watch for is your mindset about what is available. You will miss out on 100% of the opportunities you don’t pursue. If you think there is a limited set of options for your solution, you will only look at those options. Instead, allow your mind to operate in abundance, and acknowledge that what you know right now is not the full story. There could be a solution out there that you haven’t even considered. And you have a much better chance of being a good steward of your life.
#3 – Lack of Leverage
When you switch from a mindset of scarcity to one of abundance, you look at what you already have differently. Instead of looking at the limits imposed by what is available, you start to think about different ways that you could use the assets you already own. A great example of this is the people who rent out a room in their house on AirBnb. That room could sit around empty, or it could become something that they leverage to increase their cash flow.
You can use the same concept with your relationships. You never know who is willing to help you unless you ask. Sometimes your greatest abundance is in all the relationships you have generously invested in over time.
#4 – Focus on What’s Missing
This is probably the one that is most challenging for me to observe – when you spend so much time and energy on what is not there, you fail to see where you can take action. You pause your actions until somebody else does something . But what you are waiting for is a smokescreen for your fear or lack of belief. Focusing on what you don’t have puts you in a position of weakness because you see yourself as lacking instead of already equipped to accomplish what is in front of you.
#5 – Lack of Clear Goals
Your lack of clear goals is closely related to your focus on what’s missing. The best way to get out of that negative mindset is to set a target for yourself to work towards. When you don’t have clear goals, you are more susceptible to worrying and focusing on things that are not essential. The clearer your goals become, the easier it is for you to tell whether something is trivial or important.
So the next time you are feeling stuck, consider whether the issue is one of stewardship. Maybe you are letting one of these five things block you. You may be able to better use what is already available to you. And if you improve your stewardship of your time, talent and treasure – you just might get the breakthrough you are seeking.