If you haven’t read Dave Ramsey’s “The Total Money Makeover”, do yourself a favor and grab a copy soon. Today soon.
In “The Total Money Makeover”, Dave has a recurring theme in his book to be “gazelle intense” and to work to get out of debt with “focused intensity”. Think about those two ideas for a moment. When a gazelle is running away from a predator, it can have speeds bursting to 60mph. They can run at a sustained pace of 30mph, and their agility in escape usually leaves their predator hungry.
There was a point in college where I had no money – literally. It wasn’t an issue of making money – I had a job. It was an issue of keeping money. What you don’t spend you don’t lose.
It came about that around Christmas time, I was home for the holidays. I had gotten a gift of some money and had heard someone talk about Dave’s book on handling and managing money. I decided to use that money to purchase his book, “The Total Money Makeover”, and absolutely devoured it over the next 2 days. I never read books, so to read one fully (and this book isn’t short) in a couple of days was a pretty big deal to me.
It had an immediate effect. I got gazelle intense over the next 8 months. I stopped going out to eat, paid off my one credit card and was able to save up enough money for a down payment on my wife’s engagement ring.
Fast-foward to today. That was three years ago, and boy do we forget lessons learned in a heartbeat! I got caught up in having nice things after we got married. I think all of the nice wedding gifts spoiled me, but regardless, we started spending a lot. We bought a new car, new furniture, new everything.
We didn’t go into debt for anything except for the new car, but the habits that we created about spending were terrifying. Living life on that road is stressful. You get the privilege of walking around with golden shackles. Who really wants that privilege?
About two weeks ago, I caught Dave’s book out of the corner of my eye on the bookshelf and decided to sit down a read a little bit of it. With 4 years gone by, a marriage, a job running my own company and a new house, everything in the book had a completely different light than when I was in college. It was like I had never read the book before.
Like the previous time, it had an immediate effect. We cut up every one of our credit cards and drafted a budget (truly) for the first time since we had gotten married. We got gazelle intense.
We are in a period of being gazelle intense. We will be debt-free minus the house come January of next year. That’s a great feeling. It’s certainly better than the feeling of having lots of stuff that you don’t really need.
But gazelle intensity doesn’t just have to be about finances. Gazelle intensity can permeate any area of your life, including your work. What would it look like for you to be gazelle intense for 1 week, 2 weeks, 2 months in your work?
We are gazelle intense and about to get out of debt, and once we get the that place, we have vowed never to go back there again. I don’t want to be a slave to whoever has loaned me money for things I couldn’t afford nor truly needed.
I am working on taking this gazelle intensity straight into work. What would it look like for me to be gazelle intense for 4 hours, 6 hours, 8 hours, 3 days? What incredible things could I build, create and sell if I worked with gazelle intensity?
I guarantee you incredible things can and will happen when you become gazelle intense about whatever you do. Get gazelle intense.