CHANGE the rules, dictate what matters most

Everything is negotiable; always ask, never accept.

I spent 5 years at Palm Beach Atlantic University in the business school.

Here is the most important thing that I learned:

“You can follow the rules and become a millionaire, but to become a billionaire you have to change the rules.” — Scott Spell

He was the professor of Introduction to Business and said that in the first few weeks of class. It stuck.

Playing Monopoly, I LEARN the rules so that I know where they flex.

We have house rules every single game that we play and sometimes, those rules are leveraged to my advantage — I play to win.

It is not uncommon in the game of Monopoly for me to give up the first monopoly of the game. I play the long game and I’ll sell a property that gives someone else a monopoly while they thirst for cash. This means they cannot build on their monopoly effectively while I play the odds and leverage the variety of properties that I have. Basically, I give a little to get a lot in return. That’s totally in the rules but people don’t play like that. They want the monopoly for themselves — so I play right into that and flip it for my advantage.

Now, Monopoly is a LOT different than real life but I use some of the concepts throughout this life. People around us all are hungry and even greedy for what they think is important. Not me. I know that everything God is leading me to is on HIS time if it is HIS will. I need to spend my time in prayer and reflection and in the Bible so that I can strive to earn clarity of vision and direction. Without understanding and having faith and confidence in the timing of God, I would undoubtedly become impatient and frustrated with where I am currently at.

I know a number of people who:

  • Have more rewarding social lives than me
  • Make more money than me
  • Live in a higher class place than me
  • Drive a better car than me
  • Have more hobbies than me
  • Travel to more exciting places than me

But I’m not in a rush. There are many avenues that I am exploring and different things that I’m extensively and intentionally studying at a deep level.

It’s great to be totally engaged in a fantasy football league but Sunday’s are great days for opportunity. We can get a lot done on those days but many people don’t.

Remember, as I’ve said like 1,000 times in these various writings, we are all unique and all have different God-given purposes and goals. But, without improvement, without intentional growth, how can we be entrusted with anything?

That’s like someone who studied accounting being hired as the CFO of Google after graduating. They have not done anything to improve at that level. At that point in time, they have done what is required and have followed the rules. That’s great — but it will not bring them to that elite level of a CFO of a trillion-dollar company.

Our potential:

“Everyone has different goals so it would not be fair to myself if I were to compare myself to someone else. Competing — in their mind — might look totally different than competing in my mind.” — Harrison Wendland
“I have enormous goals and desires — but if they’re not aligned with God’s vision for my life, they’re meaningless and a waste.” — Harrison Wendland

What is truly important? How do you become everything that you were created for?

“All I can be is me; I cannot be whomever I want to be. Who the Creator made us to be is who we are, that’s who we can be. God is an intentional craftsman, we were meticulously designed by God.” — Jordan Raynor

This is who WE are, who WE were designed to be… the sad thing is that the following is true for far too many people:

“You can play it safe. But my gut is you want more than that. I choose different. I am a faith-filled, bet-the-farm risk-taker. I will never insult God with small thinking or safe living. If there are blessings on the other side of brokenness, then break me.” — Craig Groeschel
“People don’t get kept up at night by their dreams, they fall asleep and dream about them.” — Harrison Wendland

It’s really quite sad. The amount of people who squander their opportunities for whatever reason. Maybe it’s something that imposed a limit on that — somebody who told them they’d never amount to them, being fired from their job, a spouse who walked out on them — there could be so many things.

But as people say, “it’s not how hard you get knocked down, it’s how you get back up.”

Here is a short sidenote:

“God loved you enough to create you, regardless of what you amount to.” — Dee-1

So no matter what we do and no matter what we become on earth, God is going to love us.

We have free will so we can determine much of our outcome and our future but God can say no to anything if He wants to. The fact that people underestimate is that the devil has the ability to roam about the earth and bring people down with him. We need to be aware of what we are truly working towards. God is always going to love us… but the worst thing would be to approach the gates of heaven and be sent to hell and hear, “away from me, I never knew you.” That’s eternal.

Success on this earth is one thing but it is all for naught if we are locked out of heaven and denied entry to an eternity of celebration… that means we will be forever banished to ruthless pain and suffering.

Please understand I will never have all the answers to any questions but I can do my best. I spend time in the Word and with God because I have numerous questions of my own.

If you’re curious about some of that, here are a few pieces where I’ve expanded upon this topic of Christianity and eternal life:

Earth & Labor

Heaven is something I am incredibly excited about experiencing but that is not the focus of this piece.

This piece is about earth.

On earth we will face numerous obstacles, that’s a given.

On earth we will have to toil over our goals, that’s a given.

On earth we will have to exert effort, that’s a given.

Remember that quote I shared at the beginning of this piece?

“You can follow the rules and become a millionaire, but to become a billionaire you have to change the rules.” — Scott Spell

EVERYTHING is negotiable in life.

We have free will, we have control of our personal environment, and we have control of our actions.

That means that if we don’t like someone we technically don’t need to give them any attention or energy. Obviously, there are always going to be repercussions and ripples based on the actions that we take… but we have the CHOICE.

If someone wants to hire you, you can negotiate the salary or the benefits or whatever else you’d like. If they decide not to accept your negotiation, so be it. If you don’t want to accept their position, so be it.

Just realize: everything is negotiable.
Literally everything.

If you don’t think you can negotiate it in your current state then maybe you need to elevate yourself. It’s a lot easier to negotiate the pricing at a major retail store when you’re the person who owns that location than someone who shops there.

So what’s important to you?

Maybe there are things that are important to you that you’ve never taken the time to pursue, why not? Maybe a variety of reasons. But realize, everything is negotiable.

Action increases influence.

There is another misconception that I need to quickly address.

“It’s not what you know but who you know that matters.”
That is FALSE.
“It’s not who you know that matters but who knows YOU.”

This is the truth and here is why:

Say you know a top realtor in your city who has the best information about the latest opportunities and listings. If they don’t know that you are a multi-family investor… it doesn’t matter how well you know them, they will NEVER share the best opportunities with you… they do NOT know you and what you do.

We need to place ourselves in a position that shines the spotlight on us sometimes because that’s where we are most visible. If people don’t know us, they can’t grow us.

Here’s the truth:

People WANT to help others, I say you should put yourself in a position so that you can be the one being helped. It’s a win win. They get to help someone and you get to benefit from their help.

Never forget your most powerful question. WHY

“This house is selling for $400,000.”

“Why? Why is it not selling for $350,000?”

That is a $50,000 difference that you will not know about if you don’t ask. Negotiate. EVERYTHING is negotiable.

Maybe there is not a good answer to that question. But without asking, you could potentially spend an extra $50,000. And that’s HUGE, no matter who you are or what you’re worth.

You should be in charge of what matters most to you and remember that you have so much control over the decisions that you make.

Obviously we cannot control other people, but we can influence them and we can always ASK.

Dictate what you really want and then go get it. Change the rules, don’t just follow everything laid out in front of you. Make it happen.

“My happiness is not tied to anyone or anything. My happiness exists within my own soul and I CHOOSE not to give away that power.” — Joe Duncan
“It has always been a mystery to me why people spend so much time deliberately fooling themselves by creating alibis to cover their weaknesses. If used differently, this same time would be sufficient to cure the weakness, then no alibis would be needed.” — Elbert Hubbard

We have the ability to determine the direction of our lives… but with that in mind, God will sway us, move us, push us, and speak to us. We must listen. He knows what He created us for and will reveal that as we seek more of Him.

“If you seek answers you won’t find them, but if you seek God, the answers will find you.” — Mark Batterson

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