Lucky Man

A lucky man is in a desirable position, everyone wants what he has, right? He is successful and is an example to many, a kind of a role model, right? Today we look at Chapter 10, “The Luckiest Man in Babylon”, in the book, The Richest Man in Babylon.

It’s good to have a dream, to want something better or to want the best for yourself. However, at times, we are too eager to experience the end result and we do not take the correct steps to get there. We sometimes look for short-cuts and refuse to look too closely, because if we do we are fearful we will not experience the destination.

The Parable in chapter 10, is of a man by the name of Shurra Nada, the luckiest man in Babylon. Now if ever there was a hustler – the go getter kind thank you very much – then it would be Shurra. He was able to squeeze the last drops of luck out of every meager opportunity that came his way. His pickings were slim to none because he became a slave in Babylon. Captured and made a slave, he worked overtime to not only gain his freedom but he was able to drop a gem stone of wisdom that had been entrusted to him: work is the best friend he will ever know. You want to get something, well, you have to work for it, it is not going to find you waiting on a couch or in bed.

As a slave he was advised to make work his best friend but to what end? So that his master could get richer and he poorer? No, in order to get out of his situation and while he was a slave it did not mean he could not use the little opportunities there were to get out of that situation, no matter how impossible it seemed. He did not work to be recognized as a loyal worker or to get worker of the month, every month, but to be independent of his master some day to “cling no longer to thy master”.

But misfortune befell him, and his plans were derailed. sounds familiar to anyone? While his situation moved from impossible to beyond impossible, he still worked, waited and looked for any opportunity. Like many of us do, he asked himself this question, “was I to work the rest of my life, without gain of my desires, without happiness or success?” Like many of us he was at the end of the line ready to wallow, and he would have been within his rights to do so. But he did not, he worked towards the same goal, his freedom. But when he lest expected, his good deed in passing on the knowledge to a fellow slave to make work your best friend paid off. That same friend having gained both his freedom and eventual wealth, because of that advice, came back to free him!

His luck did not come from his working and saving and dreaming. Neither did his master look at his efforts and rewarded him with his freedom. His luck came in the guise of a fellow slave who had remembered his work ethics, his profitable advice and decided that he would help him when he could to return the favor. He received a return on his investment – that advice, all he had, was enough to get him out of a bad situation to have his mountain top experience.

What treasures do you have within in you that bring you luck? Be a lucky man.

Good Luck Quotes - Best of Luck Wishes - Irish Quotes - Lucky Sayings

The Plan

Chapter 9 from, The Richest Man in Babylon, is different from the others. The chapter is entitled, The Clay Tablets from Babylon and takes place in 1939. The focus is on some clay tablets that seem valueless – old relics – and the message they contain, gems that are invaluable to those who take the time to look closer…

The clay tablets contain nothing new, nothing to see here! Just kidding! What we see unfolding before our eyes as we read it is the importance of having a plan AND executing it. I am good at having a plan BUT I am not consistent, which can be devastating in all areas of your life. Dabasir, the camel trader of Babylon that we met in chapter 8 has left the legacy of planning and budgeting as a means to realizing wealth. Over the years financial experts talk about tracking your spending, budgeting and planning ahead. To think you can get this advice free of cost, if you have a chance to read the contents of this book. All you have to do is download it or listen to it on YouTube. But seriously, the chapter gives a detailed account of Dabasir’s determination to repay his debts, rebuild his life and thrive. Once a slave, he rose to become a prominent member of his society. All those years a slave, but in his mind, though his body was captive, he was never one.

We can take heart at Dabasir’s action, for even in the toughest battles when everything point to our defeat, if in our minds we are always victorious, we can never be defeated.

“Yet it is the plan that hath made my success…for I am convinced that if I follow it further it will make me rich among men”.

Those clay tablets had survived for centuries, to one day help those who needed the wisdom they contain the most. Dabasir’s legacy survived through the actions of those who followed the tablets instruction, a formula that made him one of the richest men in Babylon. Do you have a plan and if you do, have you started to work on it or are you still waiting, thinking and talking?

Impregnable Walls and Hunger.

Yes my friend we are at it again, looking for more gems in, The Richest Man in Babylon. I have rolled Chapters 7 and 8 together not because they do not on their own have may gems but simply because they go together.

Now, in Chapter 7, “The walls of Babylon“, there is much excitement amiss. Chaos and near apocalyptic images ensue, Babylon in under attack! What does money have to do with this? Well let’s see. So Babylon is under attack, their enemies want to pillage and destroy but the Babylonians want to preserve their lives and livelihood. The only thing that separates them and the enemy is a wall made hundreds of years ago. The wall must stand! However, the enemy is relentless and fear grows like a monster devouring the weak. But the chapter is not about defeat are carnage. It is a lesson on making sure that you are prepared for days of unrelenting attack by building a strong wall to defend you and your assets. When it comes to your defenses make sure you have one for your wealth – tangible or not. For when those sudden winds if change that can tear a part your sails to leave you shipwrecked come you will need that wall of protection. The gem dropped here: “…behind the impregnable walls of insurance, savings accounts and dependable investments we can guard ourselves against the unexpected tragedies that may enter any door and seat themselves before our fireside”.

How strong is your financial wall? Well, I need to go build one!

Chapter 8, “The Camel Trader of Babylon“, a different perspective but one much needed as a reminder from time to time. The chapter begins, “The hungrier one becomes the clearer ones mind works”. So, this is about food? No, it is not about food! However, it is about having a strong conviction. In the story we are told of Dabasir, who has quite some ill-advised adventure – he ended being a highway robber – and is eventually sold as a slave. His dilemma, will he remain one? He hears one simple truth that pushes him to change his situation, “If a man has within him the soul of a slave will he not become one no matter what his birth, even as water seeks its level?” Now for me it is a matter of perception. How you perceive yourself is how you will behave. What you tell yourself you are or you are not is what you act upon. Change your defeatist mindset and you change how you behave, when you stop acting defeated you can never be conquered by man or beast. Your defenses will never go weak and cause you to be breeched and destroyed. The wealth that you can grow can never be outstripped, if you remain determine to make the best of those opportunities that come your way. When Dabasir had the chance to leave the slave lifestyle and mentality behind he did and became The Camel Trader of Babylon. What slavish mentality will you leave behind? How determined are you to break those chains and live like someone truly free? “Where the determination is the way can be found”.

#Caution over Regret

I know that need, that anxiety. That compelling need to help each and everyone who comes to you for help – al least some of you. This is a mistake.

Today we look at chapter 6, “The Gold Lender of Babylon”, from The Richest Man in Babylon, which deals with this issue of offering your money, your help, your advice, your time and some how ending up the loser.

The parable told in this chapter is the tale of a donkey and a cow. The cow comes with a sappy story of how hard his work is and how much he suffers because of it, fair enough. The donkey being an expert at avoiding hard labour and being a good friend, tells him his secret of escaping hard work – it is one many of us have used in our own jobs- he pretended to be sick. Unfortunately for them both the farmer, who could understand the animals, overheard. Now the next day the cow does as the donkey advised and presto! He escapes work for that day. However, the donkey is made to take his place by the farmer who already knows the trick! Suffice it to say the donkey by the end regrets his part in the whole ordeal and with much passion and disgust tells the lazy cow to do his job in the future or risk a trip to the butcher!

What does this mean for us? What is the lesson here?

The story of the donkey and the cow was told because a very perplexed Roden the spear maker had been awarded 50 pieces of gold by the king for a job well done. His sister when she heard wanted him to lend her husband, a merchant down on his luck, the money so he could become successful. So he goes to the gold lender for advice. Now the spear maker was able to safe 3 pieces of gold over 3 years from his job, knowing how precious this windfall was he was reluctant to see it disappear in unreliable hands- even if it was family, maybe especially because it was family. Now, how often have you been faced with this dilemma? Well the gold lender gave him some solid advice: “If you desire to help thy friend, do so in a way that will not bring thy friends burdens upon thyslef”. When I read this I felt attacked. Is it ever too late to learn a lesson like this I wonder. The more I thought about it, I decided that it was never too late. While many of us have experiences of lending money only to lose it to unreliable friends or family, we all or most of us will agree that such a tragedy happens to us more than once before we learn the lesson and some never learn. We are blinded by the need to help, the love that we have for that person and keeping our relationships intact by being yes men and women. What ends up happening to too may persons is that they part with their money, on a hope and a prayer and when it is not returned, they experience, heartache, heartbreak and sometimes a breakdown – depending on how much they parted with.

In the same breath, the gold lender had another word of wisdom: ” The safest loans, my token box tells me are to those whose possessions are of more value than the one they desire. They own lands, or jewels, or camels, or other things which could be sold to repay the loan”. Now you do with this bit of advice what you will, but let me just say that Roden did not trust not entrusted his brother in law with his 50 pieces of gold!

Now, another gem dropped by the gold lender is this:” …be not swayed by foolish sentiments of obligation to trust thy treasure to any one person”, mic drop. Well, mic drop because I am so guilty of this, are you? Well the good news is we all learn this lesson, whether the easy or hard way, but wouldn’t it be lovely to avoid the hard way by paying close attention to this lesson and act based on it? I think this is most definitely food for thought.

So, until next time when we try to find more diamonds in the rough, think on this, “Better a little caution than great regret”.

Wisdom or Gold, Which do You Need?

Wisdom or money, which would you prefer?

So, we are here again looking now at chapter 5 of the Richest Man in Babylon, by George S Clason. CHapter 5 is entitled, “The Five Laws of Gold” and the question above is really what the chapter focuses on. What would be more valuable to you in the long run? I think about my 20s and I know if I know then what I know now I would have made better decisions. If I had really looked at somethings around me and learned from them I would be in a better position that I am now. Therefore, wisdom is indeed invaluable from my vantage point.

…had I but sought wisdom first, my gold would not have been lost to me. Many of us have regrets when we get older about things we could have done better in the past. However, at this point no matter our age we still need to know this truth, you do not have to wait on old age to gather years of experience and wisdom to yourself. Just like the clay tablet with the five laws of gold carved on it that Arkad gave his son Nomasir, we too can rely on the wisdom and experience of others to help navigate through the landmines and pitfalls of life. We can also learn from our mistakes as we go along and not wait years later when we are sitting in a rocking chair, somewhere, to reflect on all those mistakes and try to give an account of them.

Now, the five laws of gold are this, in my own words based on the chapter of course:

  1. Money will come to those who are wise enough to save it
  2. Use your money wisely and it will work for you
  3. Be wise with your money and who you allow to advice you about it.
  4. Educate yourself and avoid risky investments that will fail by seeking the counsel of those who have more knowledge on such matters.
  5. Do not be deceived by unrealistic investment schemes formulated by “tricksters and schemers”

These are all things that we need to be aware of. They are things that seems simple but require a level head and a willingness to do the work to achieve a desired result. Now there are some gems dropped in the chapter that I want to highlight below:

  1. “…there is no chain of disaster that will not come to an end” – This is a reminder that the tide is always changing and it is for us to be ready when they do and make the most of what we can when they change in our favor. This not only goes for money but anything we want to achieve in life – tough times don’t last, tough people do.

I think the second quote I will be using from the chapter answers the question of which is the prize, gold or wisdom.

2. “Without wisdom, gold is quickly lost by those who have it, but with wisdom, gold can be secured by those who have it not.” – my take away is that you don’t need a lot of money or opportunities but you need the wisdom to maneuver either. What is your take away from this piece of wisdom?

The final quote is something that we need to remember from time to time. The race of life is not for the swift but those who can endure till the end.

3. “Wealth that comes quickly goes the same way. Wealth that stayeth to give enjoyment and satisfaction to its owner comes gradually, because it is a child born of knowledge and persistent in purpose” – Anything worth fighting for is never easy but it will be worth it in the end – at least this is what I believe. Some things that you seem to have to struggle for end up being the best thing you will acquire and that is based on my own experience. There is a quote by Amelia Hutchins that I came across that reinforces this idea and it says: “Nothing worth fighting for ever comes easy … If it’s too easy to grasp, then one should never reach for it.”

Now I leave you consider and examine the gem we have unearthed today until next time!

The Secret of the Lucky Gem?

Are you luck? DO things just happen your way all the time? Well I think that you are a rarity. For many a mortals lady luck has not been so kind. However today we look at what Clason relates in chapter 4 of his work, The Richest Man in Babylon. The oozes with the idea of luck and is entitled, Meet the Goddess of Luck.

Talking about luck, I always remember this one time in high school – I must of been 14 or 15, walking from school to get a taxi home I realized along the way that I lost my money – my fare and all! SO my friend and I turned back and began a man hunt for the lost funds. We scored the area time and time again to no avail. Ultimately, we accepted defeat, my money was gone, never to be recovered. My friend, Devasha tried to console me by offering to give me my fair, and while I was grateful I was still bitterly disappointed that I lost my money, unlucky me.

While we walked on tired and me greatly defeated -if you are a student dependent on your parents for money then you know how any lost money was trauma of the highest order. As we walked I saw the school security walking by with a man and as they walked by I heard their conversation. Apparently, this security had just found the same sum of money I had lost in the same area I had lost it in! What luck – well according to him. And what did he do with his newly acquired bounty? Well you guessed it – or not – he bought a lotto ticket – in Jamaica we call it cashpot. My treasured lunch money had become his “lucky” ticket to play a game of chance and possibly strike it rich! No risk with the possibility of a reward! He was the lucky man of the day! I heard him gleefully relate his luck, in finding my money. Let me just say there was no way it could have been anyone else’s money, the evidence was just too great. So it stood to reason that on that day I was the unlucky one. But what made him lucky and me unlucky? What had I done to deserve that fate? Did he deserve to get that money and I deserved to lose it?

A Tale of Two Lucky

The chapter begins with a question, “Is there a way to attract good luck?” Many persons have tried and many will say they do but is this true? According to the Cambridge online dictionary luck is “the force that causes things especially good things to happen to you by chance and not as a result of your efforts or ability”, while google dictionary defines it as “success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through ones own action.” Two things here concerning those definitions, there is good and bad luck, also as many people see it luck has nothing to do with works but chance or possibility not a guarantee. So even though the security had found the money and he felt finding it was a sign that the tides were turning in his favor, it was not a guarantee that he would win anything or that this good fortune would continue and spill over into all areas of his life. However, many of us are sucked into this cycle of seeing on unprovoked good event as a sign of better things to come, a mind a mindset that encourages inaction. So, when you say you I guess I was just luck, it means that good fortune just came your way and stayed without any effort on your part. However, according Clason that is not good luck, but if we depend on that it is a sure fire way to failure. Instead what the chapter emphasizes is that luck is not dependent on inaction but action: “I have learned to attract good luck to oneself, it is necessary to take advantage of opportunities”.

Removing Chance with Action

Here we are not talking about any old action but the action based on reasonable opportunities. From experience I have had many opportunities that I never pursued and I regret that. Those hesitation were based on fear, the fear of failure or the failure to truly believe in my abilities or that I truly deserved to have those opportunities. I had defeated myself before I had even tried. I would put things off, out of fear of being rejected, a nasty habit that we all should ditch. So we are advised that “opportunity, she will not wait for such slow fellow”, those poor overly cautious should like me we find it hard to make a decision either way. Another gem dropped is the idea of conquering procrastination and you know what Norman Vincent Peale said about procrastination – No?. Well, He said and I quote, “If you put off everything till you’re sure of it, you’ll never get anything done”. It is not that some persons are ore lucky than others is what Clason is saying but that some are more discerning and fearless than others as he notes, “opportunities come to all these men. Some grasped theirs and moved steadily to the gratification of their deepest desires, but the majority hesitate, faltered and fell behind”. If that is true of you admit it, and it does not have to be a plethora of opportunities but even one that could have made a difference will be enough.

So, the chapter really made me rethink how I viewed the idea of luck – even though for a while now I had stop hoping to become lucky, it was just not working out for me. As Clason writes: “Action will lead thee forward to the success thou dost desire”, just keep going and never quit!

Gems about Your Skinny Pockets

Day Two of The Richest Man in Babylon

Well I find this book very interesting and an important read. So until you read it yourself here are some more gems.

So we are back at The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason with some new thoughts. Reading a how-to-book like this makes it painfully clear how easy it is to fall into a trap that gets you no where – when it comes to your financial competency that is. For me this book provides the push to do better when it comes to financial literacy – it is never too late.

So, here we go…

Today we look at chapter 3: “Seven Cures for a Lean Purse”. Sounds promising right? According to chapter 3, if you want to achieve financial stability their are seven cures that you need to become comfortable with taking.

Truth is always simple! Well this is not exactly the crux of the cures but something for us all to keep in mind in any situation. Well let’s get into them.

  1. “Hold back a part of your portion and make do” – this one is easier said than done -at least for me. However, is it impossible to do? I do not believe it is. This one will take some practice if you take some pleasure in shopping. Also, we have to learn how to BUGET. This can be a nightmare for those who have no patience and who are undisciplined when it comes to spending what they earn.
  2. “Control they expenditure” – Better yet stop spending like there is no tomorrow or like that pay check is a sturdy bridge to next month. Do you know that some (I have definitely done this) spend because it brings them pleasure – they spend for the sake of spending, buying things that will end up at the bottom of a pile, sometimes with the price tags never removed. This has got to stop. When there are so many thing that tempt us to but them we have to be disciplined and keep our goals -make sure you have some – in mind.
  3. “Putting your treasure to labour” – What a novel thought, can you picture it? Your money working for you! What an interesting thought. Maybe it’s me but I think that is a very interesting way to think about investments. I have been taught from an early age the importance of saving. I think I have had a bank account from the age of 8! Sadly this has not led to a stash of a nest egg, more like an empty vault! A gem that I want to deposit here for your consideration is this: a man’s wealth is not in the coins he carries in his purse, it is the income he buildeth… So relying on a pay check each mother will not get the job done, neither will counting the coins in your pocket.
  4. Now for cure four there were many truths here so I will just be highlighting some profound words. This section begins with a very profound truth: misfortune loves a shining mark, so don’t be an easy target: Study carefully before parting with thy treasure each assurance that it may be safely reclaimed. Before thou loan it to any man assure thyself of his ability to repay – I wish I learned this cure earlier in life, ouch – and his reputation for doing so that thou mayest not unwittingly be making him a present of thy hard-earned treasure. Many learn to late and are still sucking their sorrows where this is concerned.
  5. Now the next sure to a lean purse is to own your own… I recommend that every man own the roof that sheltereth him and his. Now has been a struggle for many and we see more and more homeless persons, unfortunately in the streets. However we have to make the push when we can to make this happen for, “when the house be built thou canst pay the moneylender with the same regularity as though didst pay the landlord – no one can quick you out of your home once you pay for it, no matter the state it is in.
  6. Here we are people the crooks of all else when it comes to building wealth, invest invest invest! On this matter Clason notes, “No man can afford not to insure a treasure for his old age…no matter how prosperous his business and his investments may be”. So not just invest like crazy actually, but ensuring that investments can take you into your golden years and help not only you but loved ones.
  7. The last cure is one that can work in any areas of your life, always work on yourself. “cultivate thy own powers – do not rely on others to save you are make a way for you is my understanding here – to study and become wiser, to become more skillful, to so act as to respect thyself”. The last part for me speaks to the need to improve on the skills you have so that when people see you they will respect you for the reputation you create of yourself over time. It speaks to me, of the need not to be content with what you have now or complain about it but make the necessary changes that will get you what you deserve. What we think we deserve can be relative but your skills, talents and potentials have value. Through constant revision and work we can realize the fruits of that value in our lives.