I’ve probably purchased bags of ice five times in the past 38 years.

The first four times were for other people (birthday parties, graduation parties, and maybe a neighbor’s barbecue.) Truth is, it’s happened so few times I can’t even recall when.

To me, paying for ice was stupid. I mean, it’s frozen water! I’m going to hand over my money for frozen water?

When was the fifth time? Actually, it was only a few weeks ago. I’d been playing basketball and I felt this sudden, sharp burning sensation go up the arch of my foot.

Not good.

So on my way back home, I picked up a bag of ice to put under my foot and help it start healing.

I know of a mixed martial arts fighter that, each times after he trains, he submerges his whole body into a tub of ice.

I don’t know HOW that guy does it! As for me, I had put the bag under my foot for about 5 minutes and I’d had my fill. I guess you won’t be seeing me in “the octagon” with him any time soon.

I’ve probably used this bag of ice 30 times and I’m still not quite to the bottom of it yet. In fact, I have a cold drink beside me during this hot night as I write my article to you.

This bag of ice has had me thinking about the choices we make in life and why we make them. Are they based upon a sound success process? Or are they perhaps based on inconsistent definitions and irrational conclusions?

I’m starting to wonder…

Have you ever heard the saying, “there are lies…damn lies…and then statistics?”

What’s being suggested is that statistics are not reliable because they can be manipulated.

Seems to me that our decision-making process might also be under a lot of manipulation as well.

Manipulation by our present perception of reality.

Let me explain some more here with personal, more ‘concrete’ examples…

A year ago, I wouldn’t have paid $1500 a month for an apartment or home.
I found a place for $1200 that met my needs and kept me happy.

Later on, when I was trying to save my family and relationship, I was willing to pay several thousand dollars a month toward a mortgage.

Recently, in preparing for my move to Atlanta, Georgia, I was offered use of a ‘Carriage House’ for only $500 a month. My immediate thought was, “ok, it’s small but I can do this because there’s a chance the person who has the house might bail and then I’ll take it over.”

And my answer was ‘Yes, let‘s do it.’

Then I found out that pets weren’t allowed and I might not be moving in at all.

So I started looking at other houses in the area to see if maybe I’d buy one outright instead of waiting to shop around later.

By the time I revisited the home for $1500 a month, I’d realized that I would feel much better moving in for $1400 a month since it’s closer to the $1200 I’d been paying the past year.

But then I stopped everything, sat back, and replayed the viewpoints I’d taken on with all this house stuff. The first thing that hit me was how eager I was to take over the house when at first I couldn’t. I remember the feeling: it was like, “if I had this house, though it’s not my dream house, I’d definitely be happy and ready to move forward with it.”

One week later the house was suddenly available. Someone called me on that one, eh?

Then, tonight, I flashed back again to just a short couple of months ago when I was ready and willing to pay DOUBLE that amount on a house I didn’t want – just to hold my family together.

This article is about ‘valuation’ and how we relate one instance to another. It’s about how YOU value people, places and things.

Ponder me this: with all the dates you’ll have to go on and drinks you’ll need to buy in order to find someone you can love and who can love you back, doesn’t it make sense to just treat your partner or spouse better right NOW rather than end up losing them later because you held back and didn’t value them appropriately?

Less headache, less heartache, and you won’t have to keep swapping photo albums in the future. You can focus your time, energy and money on creating a brighter tomorrow with someone who cares about how your day went.

Most of my choices made perfect sense at the time. I bet yours did too.

But here’s the thing: we place a specific value on a person, place or thing in relation to other ‘stuff.’ What that ‘stuff’ is isn’t really the important thing to look at here. It’s the fact that we are creating values based on relationships of one to another.

Call it perspective, proportion, or propensity. You might even say we’re discussing ‘framing’ here (an NLP term). I don’t mind what we call it as long as we take a closer look at ‘what relates to what’…and why.

When I was 13, a girl I’d known for 5 years starting showing me she liked me.

‘Do you like me? Check YES or NO.’ And I thought those were the hard days of dating!

We played together and grew closer. One day, a friend of mine said, “You don’t really like Natalie, do you? Because that’s what some of the guys are saying.”

My heart said, “Yes, I do!” but instead came out, “Oh, no! you kidding me? No way! We’re just friends.”

My ‘liking Natalie’ had become tied to how my friends would see me.

We make choices, sometimes very important choices in our lives, based on how we relate things to one another and the value we place on them.

The value of what my friends thought of me outweighed the value of how I felt about my ‘could-be’ girlfriend. Fortunately, even at 13, I wasn’t THAT confused about the dynamics of life. I soon after went back and ‘fessed up’. Then everyone went back to throwing the ball around like we always did.

Valuations…

What value do you place on:

Your relationships?

Your career?

Your family?

Your religion?

Your environment?

Your appearance?

Your health?

Your own freedom?

Some people finally discover the need to place better valuations on all of the above only after they get older…because their time here shortens and they suddenly realize, “Hey, I want to play my cards differently! Deal me more cards!”

Oh, we all get more cards…but it’s a new hand in a new game.

I am discovering the importance of placing more accurate values on everyone and everything in my life and I warmly invite you to do the same. I think you’ll find the quality of living becomes higher and more refined once you do. And you will undoubtedly live a deeper, more fulfilling life the rest of your stay here because of it.

Accelerating Your Success,

Keith Matthew

P.S. – I’m headed to the freezer to grab a few more ice cubes from the bag of ice that started this article. When the bag is done, I may buy another – or I may not.

But at least I now know what it’s really worth to me. Be well…

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