Obedience or Devotion

February 23, 2023

As most of you know, my sweet dog Maple is one of the best parts of my life. We love adventuring together in local parks and when it’s safe to do so, I let her off her leash to explore. I was listening to a presentation on dog training earlier this week and they discussed how to best train your dog to hike off leash. As I always worry about Maple when I give her room to roam, I was all ears!

The #1 tip was seek your dog’s devotion, not just their obedience. His message was that if you continually shower your dog with love, attention, and comfort and show them how much you adore them, they will want to be with you above all else – no matter what the competing distractions. Said another way, they will become devoted to you. So – if they chase the squirrel or sprint after a deer, they’ll soon realize they aren’t near you and come running back to find you. Devotion. Not just obedience.

Devotion is defined as loyalty or enthusiasm for a person, activity, or cause

Obedience is defined as compliance with an order, request, or law or submission to another’s authority

Which one sounds more natural? Which one sounds more comforting? Which one sounds more repeatable? Which one sounds more fulfilling? Devotion. Hands down. (Side note: Looks like I need to keep spoiling Maple (tip #2 is right in line with it – bring lots of treats with you on your hike!))

While this lesson will prove helpful in my off-leash hikes with my little sidekick, it also occurred to me that this shift in perspective could just as easily apply to how we think about our financial lives.

It’s pretty common for people to view their financial lives thru an obedience lens. It can be thought of as an endless list of to-do’s/should-do’s that require compliance. “Save $x, invest those savings, obtain insurance, complete estate planning, prepare your taxes, seek a raise, refinance debt, etc”…the list goes on and on and creates countless orders we feel compelled to obey. This dynamic can lead to a relationship with wealth that is lacking in fulfillment, commitment, and motivation.

What if we could focus on building a devotion mindset instead?

What if we weren’t focused on obeying a list of action items and instead we found ways to build enthusiasm and loyalty surrounding our financial journeys?

How could you achieve this? Consider focusing on the possible outcomes of a financial life well lived (instead of the to-do list). Try to envision yourself being excited about reaching financial security or elated to secure a key financial milestone for our family. Establish small rewards for yourself as you achieve key steps. Form a community of supportive advisors or friends that can serve as sounding boards and advocates. Remind yourself why you started. Never forget where your going. Focus on small steps and slight changes, all of which will hopefully shape an undeniable loyalty to and underlying enthusiasm for your financial well-being.

Can you see the difference? Which camp do you reside in now? Which one suits you best moving forward? See if this slight change in mindset can benefit your relationship with finances. I know I’ll personally be focused on a devotion mindset (with Maple and with my financial journey)

Onward we go,

Leave a note

  1. tom says:

    nicely done. in the marriage too. forget the honor and obey. it’s all about devotion. it includes devotion to the other’s financial well being

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