Reading: The Value of a Dollar

From Sam Walton, Made in America

Chapter 1: Learning to Value a Dollar

What sort of financial habits are we passing on to our children? Are we passing on appreciation for value? Or are we passing on a lifestyle of materialism?

I admire how he defines being rich based on what he truly personally enjoys, not what other social standards dictate.

My Own Scores

Note: More than just sharing my thoughts and providing a commentary on society, I will be writing more about what I’m doing in my own life. It’s not like I have a had a lot of success influencing others anyway. I’ll focus on impacting the one life I can impact most: my own. Maybe, it will make a significant enough difference in others as well.


It’s a very simple question we keep forgetting to ask deeply, despite the amount of times we’ve been reminded.


“Why am I living the way I’m living?” I asked myself recently.

“Why do I work the way I work?”

“Why do I act the way I act, eat the way I eat, sleep the way I sleep, pray the way I pray, worry the way I worry…”

I realized that many of my life’s “why’s” were not from my own deeply thoughtful decision making, but were somehow, almost unconsiously, adopted. I wanted to be successful. But I didn’t really know what successful meant – for me. If success is the achievement of one’s goals, and if my goals, the things I wanted to achieve were not really my own choosing, but the mere copying of society’s goals, then can I really call myself a success?

The answer, for me, was a very clear NO.

There’s no real greatness is achieving society’s unoriginal scores for man.

Greatness is found in having your own unique vision of the world, and relentlessly chasing that vision. The real greats aren’t the ones who score the most. They’re the ones who play for a greater score, and in the process change the game.

I recently wrote an article on the Bridge Blog, that the game should define the score. You don’t score golf the way you score basketball. In golf, the lower the score the better, which is very different from basketball. (You can read that article here: The Game Should Define the Score). In the same way, I’ve decided to pursue my own score. It’s important to have a score, a way of measuring the tangible impact of one’s life, but it’s also important to define for oneself what that score is going to be, and not simply taking on the default scores society puts on us (life fame, fortune, religious attendance, grades, etc.).

For me, the two scores I’m tracking is this: The Number of People Who Enjoy Level 1 Access and the Number of People Who Achieve Financial Escape Velocity. Level 1 Access is the most basic level we help the employees of our client companies achieve, which is a point where they are able to save consistently and partially secure themselves financially with accident insurance. From Level 1, we’re able to help workers towards Financial Escape Velocity – the point where financial laws work in our favor not against us. My team and I are busy definining what Financial Escape Velocity means for the diverse range of workers.

In my life, I’ve helped people get an education, have a home, get credit, and enjoy better careers, but these two scores for me are special. They are tangible metrics for weather I’m a success or failure. They are scores that go beyond one-time doleouts. They are scores, if achieved, truly frees people to live a life of Access. #DB

Embrace Less

The main reason I haven’t been posting articles on my blog is because I haven’t been able to finish any in the past couple of months. I have so many unfinished ideas waiting to be fleshed-out, but probably never will be. This is a bad indicator for me since I view writing as a clear-headed exercise. When I am not able to complete posts, it’s usually because my mind is overcrowded.

And my mind has been overcrowded.

This is why I’ve made a conscious effort to embrace less, to do less, to respond less, to connect less, to read less, to react less, to spend less, to want less, to eat less, and be around less. There really is wisdom in Christ’s practice of leaving for solitary places to pray, or how artists and writers hide away in a cabin, or how…

… I can see my notifications going off on my phone like a meteor just hit planet Earth. Despite Do Not Disturb mode, despite that I’m supposed to be on vacation, despite my Pomodoro timer, today’s busyness is on constant attack.

It’s really throwing off my writing.

I guess, all I really want to say is:

1. Go offline more
2. Read a real, physical, paper in your hands, book
3. Have a face-to-face, no phones on the table, conversation
4. Spend time outdoors, in nature, sitting on grass
5. Take tactile notes, feel the grit of the paper
6. Learn to draw and paint, not just take photos
7. Learn to remember not just record
8. See the world with your eyes, not just with a lens
9. Sometimes, many times, to enrich the physical, we must exit the virtual