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Are You Not Receiving Opportunities, or Are You Just Ignoring Them?

Jason at Live Real, Now wrote about some family members that are unemployed and aren’t looking to change since “it’s in God’s hands”.  Apparently, they have lived like this for as long as he’s known them.  It reminds me of this joke I heard in college:

There’s this huge flood one day, and an entire town looks like it’s going to be swallowed up by the waters. The Police and rescue organizations are running all over the place trying to get people to safety.

They send the rescue boat over to this house where a guy’s sitting on the roof with the water lapping around his ankles, and they say “Come on, quickly, there isn’t much time!”

To which he says “Nah, it’s ok, God will provide.”

About an hour later they’re zooming past in the boat again, and they notice the guy’s still there, only the water’s up to his waist.  “Quick” they say, “Get in the boat, it’s going to get worse before it gets better!”

“Nah, don’t worry – God will provide.”

An hour after that, a rescue helicopter flies over the area and notices the guy, who must be standing on the peak of the roof now, with only his head and shoulders out of the water. “GRAB THE ROPE!” they cry “IT’S YOUR ONLY HOPE!”

“Don’t worry,” he replies calmly, “God will provide.”

So he drowns as expected. When he gets to heaven, he’s confused and a little ticked off with God.  He expresses his concern saying “I had FAITH!  I BELIEVED in you!  And still you didn’t help me! Why?!”

“HELP YOU?!” God thunders, “What MORE did you want?! I sent you two boats and a helicopter!”


Excuses Suck

That pretty much sums up how I feel about a lot of opportunities that I see people pass up.  Phrases like “I don’t have any extra money to save” seem a bit silly when they are said while the person is smoking a $7 pack of cigarettes, or drinking a $5 beer at a bar, or eating a $3 gourmet cupcake.  I’ll suggest money-making side hustles that they could do with their free time like dog walking, scrap aluminum recycling, reselling on Ebay, flipping cars, or baby sitting.  Usually I get shot down completely because “they don’t have extra time” (then why are we talking?) or they humor me and blow it off later.

Then I will try to talk about the big expenses instead, and suggest things like moving into something more affordable or getting roommates.  I have gotten back “I can’t move, that would take forever” or “I won’t live with strangers and psychos”.  Because yes, I was totally suggesting that they put out a roommate ad requesting murderers and rapists *heavy sarcasm*.  Our best roommates have been friends or at least acquaintances first…

Be Real

I understand that some people don’t want to sacrifice anything at all.  They like their life the way it is enough to avoid all change, even good change.  And that is 100% great with me.  BUT, don’t say stupid stuff to try to justify the way you live.

I spend more money than I have to.  I know that my husband and I can spend less on food, splurges like lawn care, and we could cut cable.  We don’t because we are fine with saving what we save and spending what we spend.  That seems a little more realistic than saying that “we can’t cut cable” or “of course we need to eat out a few times a week”.

Just be honest with yourself.  Then figure out if you want to change or not.  But don’t blame God, fate, providence, etc. because you choose to pass up opportunities.  As Marie said earlier this week, wealth is a choice.  About 10% of you may honestly be in a crappy position right now that you have very little control over.  If so, this post is not intended for you.  This is for the majority of us that are perfectly capable of achieving our goals but make excuses instead.

What do you think?  Know anybody that either whines and does nothing or is just fine with leaving it to fate?

8 thoughts on “Are You Not Receiving Opportunities, or Are You Just Ignoring Them?”

  1. Money Beagle

    Some people make success look easy but if you look really in depth, chances are that they took some chances and made some moves that others did not.

  2. Ashley @ Money Talks

    I know sometimes I complain just to complain. I know the solution but I don’t want to put in the effort to do it. But that’s stage 1. You can’t live there. Eventually you have to either accept the situation as is or move your butt to do something about it.

    I hate the victim mentality. Boohoo the world is against me. The benefit is that it removes any responsibility away from the person. The drawback is that it totally takes away your power to change.

  3. Marie @ My Personal Finance Journey

    The story was funny, but it’s true,some people would only rely on their fate without even doing anything. I remember this beautiful rhyme, “God helps those who help themselves”, if we just only pray and do nothing then obviously we already the result.

  4. retired

    Hey, a pop up just occured, for your newsletter. It has an Utah address? Weird.

    We all pass on some opportunities. Some more than others. The flip side is that maybe its okay to be okay with whereever you are in life, without others judging. God gave us all the right to make choices. I know a lot of people who have lived off of others, with and without jobs. Some jobs are basically to rip other people off.
    I hope the $100 dye job came out and looked good. I paid that once and will never bother again. I like to do my own hair and know it will last and look good. It would not be worth any money to have someone else do it for me I have decided,that’s my choice.

    Personally, I have more of a problem with people judging and forming opinions about their friends and neighbors without actually bothering to look a little deeper. I am in constant pain, and have been for a while. No doctor has helped, so I just use over the counter pain killers, shower, relax, read books, and stuff when it gets bad. I suppose it looks like I am doing nothing and waiting for opportunities, but actually I am just trying to get by without hurting anyone else.
    Hope we all notice opportunities, take life up on its offers, and are able to meet life’s challenges. I always like to think that others who seem to be allowing life to pass them by make it possible for others to reap the rewards. Hopefully, sharing the rewards will encourage the others. No sweat if it doesn’t.
    If someone is leeching of of someone who cannot afford to have a money sucking parasite, then the host should show the parasite to the door. You have to allow the parasite access in most cases; in all cases, ousting them is legal. Using God or whatever as an excuse not to protect yourself and your own family is your problem. Leeches can find another host, that’s their problem.
    Stand up for your self. Own up to your mistakes. Instead of groaning about past mistakes, feel free to make some more. No success comes without a bit of failure.
    As far as wealth being a choice, that sounds a bit of a cliche. Simplistic, not helpful. I sort of noticed the overwhelming responses to that post, probably because the people who make bank statements and back them up with two old examples, generally want you to give them your wealth. Wealth building is work. Its trying and trying some more. Its perseverance, faith, and having a lot of stamina. And sometimes is just being driven to get the Almighty buck. Yes I saw the sentence or two about wealth might be just having a happy family. Sort of changes the meaning of wealth and starts sounding more like happiness is:….whatever.
    There is no one way to be happy, wealthy, rich, saintly, or reach any one goal. There’s a zillion ways, and they all start with action, not words.
    Last time I wrote this much, it ended out in the darkest reaches of the internet, because someone’s server couldn’t connect or something. Just as well. Not like I am saying anything new. Have a Good One!

  5. Crystal @ BFS

    @Money Beagle, yeah, I think so too.

    @Ashley, well said.

    @Jason, of course he did…

    @Marie, that’s why I like the story too.

    @retired, I agree that we should try not to judge. But if I’m going to do it anyway, I might as well judge the broke person that is complaining about being broke while smoking their way through $2400 a year. The money-minded simply don’t collide well with that. And yes, you know that I think people can only control their own actions, so it’s a personal responsibility to show leeches the door, but I still will wonder why the leeches don’t put in half as much effort into creating their own life as they do put into convincing others to let them sponge. “Wealth is a choice” is exactly what you said – building wealth is a long process, and it is a choice to put in the effort. I think we are saying nearly the same thing.

  6. Kim

    I know tons of people who use the “It’s in God’s Hand” line, many in my family. They also do that with their health after smoking, eating crap, and never getting any exercise other than going from the couch to the car. I’m not really religious, but I think we are given choices like some of the other comments said. It’s up to us what we do with that. If you want to be broke or weigh 500 pounds, that’s OK, but own it and stop using excuses.

  7. Free To Pursue

    Responsible adults may complain for a bit, but they always follow through with action. The best thing about doing things for yourself is it gets easier every time because it’s empowering and it plain feels good. And, the easier it gets, the bigger the goals get. Sure, not all actions turn out as well as one hopes, but it sure feels better to do something than nothing.

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