How Much is Enough?

how much is enough

When asked “How much would be enough?”, John D. Rockefeller reportedly answered “just a little bit more.”

That push for more has propelled people to accomplish some amazing things, but left unchecked and unexamined it can leave a wake of devastation—destroying lives, organizations, and resources.

Are there changes you need to make in the way you live or with your attitude towards money? Click To Tweet

When the push for more focuses on wealth, it is never satisfied. Seeking more can become an inescapable snare.

Many people live beyond their means. For them, they desire just a little bit more. They are, in fact, greedy.

A few people live at their means; they spend responsibly, not letting their reach exceed their grasp. But even these people are often one paycheck away from the collapse of their subsistence. They are living on the edge; financial disaster is knocking at their door.

It is rare for people to live beneath their means, to live more simply than they can afford, to save money and give money away. They are wise.

Whichever category we find ourselves in, we’ll do well to ask, how much is enough?

Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is magazine publisher by day and a writer by night. Visit peterdehaan.com to receive his newsletter, read his blog, or connect on social media.

Have a Happy Normal Day

With Christmas and New Years Behind Us, It Is Time to Get Things Back to Normal

normal day

It’s great to have time off from work for the holidays, wonderful to spend time with family, and enjoyable to feast upon holiday foods and delectable deserts. However, it is also good to return to a regular routine—for things to get back to normal.

For as wonderful as the holidays are, I like normal, too. Normal is how I keep disciplined and remain focused; it allows me to get important things done. Normal is how I keep disciplined and remain focused; it allows me to get important things done. Click To Tweet

But the transition from holiday mode to normal mode takes time for me. I think it does for others as well. The days after the holidays did not seem normal and I think many people shared my struggle to return to normal.

However, I think today was nearly normal and I suspect tomorrow will be completely normal. At least I hope so, because I have work to do!

Have a Happy Normal Day!

Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is magazine publisher by day and a writer by night. Visit peterdehaan.com to receive his newsletter, read his blog, or connect on social media.

4 Reasons to Set Goals

Set GoalsIt’s important to set goals, both for our work and for our self.

Goals move us forward: Without goals, it’s easy to drift from day to day, week to week, month to month, and year to year—and nothing really changes. One of my goals is to attend two writing conferences each year. This helps grow me as a writer and meet others in the industry.

Goals give us clarity: Goals reveal what’s important to us. Activities that aren’t relevant to our goals need to be given lower priority or even eliminated. One of my goals is to write every day.

Goals reflect our focus: Without goals we can easily go in four directions at once, never accomplishing anything. Another of my goals is to watch less TV. This gives more time to read, write reviews, and do other things to advance my career as a writer.

Goals facilitate success: I want to publish my books, but that won’t happen just because I wish it. I need to work at it. One critical step is to present my writing to agents and publishers, often in the form of a query.  Submitting a query will not guarantee success, but failing to do so will ensure failure.

Without goals, it's easy to drift from day to day, week to week, month to month, and year to year—and nothing really changes. Click To Tweet

What are some of your goals?

Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is magazine publisher by day and a writer by night. Visit peterdehaan.com to receive his newsletter, read his blog, or connect on social media.

Happy New Year: Making Resolutions

New YearRinging in the New Year often marks a time for making resolutions. Common New Year’s resolutions include losing weight, saving money, studying more, finding a better job, improving a relationship, being kinder or more generous, drinking less, and so on.

Usually these well-intentioned resolutions are short-lived. Aside from being vague and difficult to determine success, I think the problem is we set ourselves up for failure. Let’s assume I step on the scale in September and realize I need to lose weight. But I’ll wait and make a New Year’s resolution to drop the extra pounds. Since this idea lives in the future, I don’t need to worry about it now; I can continue eating as I always have. In four months I’ll focus on weight loss, but for now, don’t worry.

This gives me four months to further instill my bad habits. Additionally, knowing that in the future I’ll need to be more careful with what I eat, emboldens me to eat poorly now, while I still have the chance. This only makes the problem worse, resulting in more weight to lose later. A much better approach is to begin losing weight right away and not delay.Any day is a great day to start improving your life. Happy New Year!! Click To Tweet

Instead of waiting until January first to change a habit, introduce a new one, or remove a bad one, why not make changes as soon as the opportunity arises? Why accumulate a list of resolutions for the start of a new year? Instead, make incremental improvements throughout the year.

If you made a New Year’s resolution, I wish you success. And if you forgot, don’t wait until 2020. Begin making changes right away. Any day is a great day to start improving your life.

Happy New Year!

Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is a magazine publisher by day and a writer by night. Check back each week for updated content, and look for his upcoming book, Woodpecker Wars.

It’s That Time of Year…to Make Your Annual Budget

anuual budgetWith Thanksgiving behind me and Christmas cheer beckoning me forward, it’s hard to think about the new year and the task of making an annual budget. You do have an annual budget, don’t you? I do—and I encourage you to use one, too.

Although I’m an organized person with a penchant for planning, I don’t get too excited at the prospect of making my annual budget. But I know I must. After all, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” (Goodreads attributes this to Benjamin Franklin.) Having a budget is just the first step. The key to success is to follow it. Click To Tweet

I keep good records of my spending throughout the year, so developing next year’s budget only takes me about thirty minutes. For people without a good understanding of where they spent their money, planning for next year will take a bit more work. So invest some time in December to gather needed information to make a budget for the coming year. You’ll need most of this for your taxes anyway, so you need to do it at some point.

Here are some thoughts about budgets:

  • A budget is a guide, not a straightjacket.
  • A budget lets us know when we can indulge ourselves a bit and how much; it also alerts us when extra spending is a bad idea.
  • A budget reduces financial stress and removes a source of potential conflict.
  • A budget urges moderation now, allowing for more freedom later.
  • A budget is a plan that moves us towards financial contentment.
  • A budget helps us to live within our means, to be financially responsible, and to plan for future needs.
  • A budget is also biblical. See Luke 14:28-30.

To be of maximum use, our annual budgets need to be in place before the new year begins. For me, I usually I’ll wait until after Christmas to make my annual budget, and will be finished before New Year’s Day.

Of course having a budget is just the first step. The key to success is to follow it.

May you have a Merry Christmas, A Happy New Year…and a great budget to guide the way.

Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is a magazine publisher by day and a writer by night. Check back each week for updated content, and look for his upcoming book, Woodpecker Wars.

What if the Internet Were Unplugged

What if the Internet Were UnpluggedSeveral years ago, there was a time when I lost my Internet connection. Although I had a lot of work to do, I couldn’t think of anything I could accomplish without Internet access. It was about quarter to twelve, so I took an early lunch.

An hour later it still wasn’t working, so I made the dreaded call to my provider. I greatly dislike doing so because they have an attitude that the problem is my fault. It’s the technological world’s version of “guilty until proven innocence.” After enduring numerous automated prompts and punching in an inordinate number of digits, they preformed an automatic test of my line. They pronounced it good and—coincidently or not—my Internet connection started working shortly thereafter. It was a time to give serious thought to how I would conduct business if I were to lose Internet conductivity for a prolonged period of time. Click To Tweet

That prompted a renewed reminder of just how much I depend on the Internet to work.  It was time to give serious thought to how I would conduct business if I were to lose Internet access for a prolonged period of time.

Although it was easy to quickly dismiss such a worry as highly unlikely, I once read a report that a bill pending in the US Senate would give President Obama,  the power to turn off computer networks in the interest of national security. Yep, that’s right.  An Internet off switch in the White House.

The feeling was that in the event of a cyber attack, no Internet would be preferred to a crippled Internet.  I presumed that the course of action would be to shut the whole thing down, stop or counter the threat, and then bring it back up in a controlled and orderly manner.

That all made sense and seemed like a good course of action—until it actually happens and we can’t work.

Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is a magazine publisher by day and a writer by night. Check back each week for updated content, and look for his upcoming book, Woodpecker Wars.

Do You Need to Find Time to Slow Down?

Do You Need to Find Time to Slow DownRecently I had a birthday. Don’t feel bad if you missed it—I have everything I need and most of what I want—so it’s all good!

For a birthday, it is the time spent with family and friends—be it directly or indirectly—that are the most significant and the best remembered.

I now often say 'no' to good things so that I may have time for the best things. Click To Tweet

Not to be dismissed are the cards from service providers, such as insurance agents and financial advisers. This reminds me, from ten years ago, I was amused and then taken aback by the generic message in one such card that read:

“Wishing you time to slow down and enjoy your special day.”

What does that say about the pace at which we move in today’s society? Is being too busy so common that a wish to slow down has become a universal sentiment? I hope not, but I fear it is so.

Take Time to Slow Down

That’s not to imply that at times I don’t need to slow down, because sometimes I do. Sometimes my workload overwhelms me; sometimes I get frustrated by the commitments I have thoughtlessly made; and sometimes I say, “I’m too busy”—but not too often.

It took awhile, but I’ve learned the freedom of saying “no.” I now often say “no” to good things so that I may have time for the best things. And when I consistently do that, I don’t need to take time to slow down to enjoy the day—I’m already moving at the right pace, which allows me to enjoy just about every day that comes along.

Regardless of the speed of your day, I hope the same for you.

Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is a magazine publisher by day and a writer by night. Check back each week for updated content, and look for his upcoming book, Woodpecker Wars.

Book Release: 52 Churches: A Yearlong Journey Encountering God, His Church, and Our Common Faith

Book Release: 52 Churches: A Yearlong Journey Encountering God, His Church, and Our Common Faith

The Book 52 Churches is Now Available

52 Churches: A Yearlong Journey Encountering God, His Church, and Our Common FaithVisit fifty-two churches in a year?

Am I crazy? Maybe.

My wife and I spent a year visiting churches, a different Christian church every Sunday. This book is our story.

I’m sure we visited a church just like yours.

And wow, did we learn a lot. Things that will surprise you and make you cringe. And more than a few things that will inspire you.

In 52 Churches, you’ll:

  • Discover the shocking approaches that some churches use.
  • Learn the essential dos and don’ts when you have a visitor.
  • Make sure your church avoids the really creepy things I saw.
  • Uncover traditional church practices that no longer make sense.
  • See what’s not working, and what to replace it with.

You’ll Laugh, You’ll Cry, You’ll Wince.

But 52 Churches isn’t a rip at the modern church or a mean-spirited journalistic exposé. Instead it’s a gift that offers encouragement, hope, and ideas on how your church can thrive and be relevant in today’s culture.

52 Churches is ideal for church leaders, church members, and church outsiders. And if you’re still reading this, it’s perfect for you too.

Get your copy of 52 Churches today!

How Many Friends Do You Have?

How Many Friends Do You Have_How many friends do you have? For many, a quick answer resides in Facebook. In addition to Facebook friends, some might consider Twitter followers or LinkedIn connections. But for most, the number of online “friends” overstates the situation.

Try removing social media from consideration. For a revised answer, people may count the number of email addresses in their email account or the length of their phone directory in their cell phone. But that still overstates things.

Let’s remove all technology from consideration. How many friends do you actually see face to face on a weekly basis? The number of “friends” is shrinking. But is everyone in this group truly a friend?

For me, my true friends are those I could call for an emergency at 3 AM. It’s a short list. How about you?How many friends do you have? Click To Tweet

Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is a magazine publisher by day and a writer by night. Check back each week for updated content, and look for his upcoming book, Woodpecker Wars.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m thankful for family, friends, and faith.

I’m thankful for food, clothing, and shelter.

Everything else is a bonus—and I’m thankful for that too!

May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Take the time to reflect and appreciate everything you have. Click To Tweet

Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is a magazine publisher by day and a writer by night. Check back each week for updated content, and look for his upcoming book, Woodpecker Wars.

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