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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

10. Lessons learned from Curious George

I know, I know… Curious George? Really? But hang in there with me for a minute.

So recently I watched an episode of Curious George with our toddler that has kind of stuck with me. The story was about George and the Man in the Yellow Hat participating in a maze out in the country. Everyone was given a map. Some of the other competitors included a lady who was going to run her way to the finish, a married couple who used a GPS (called TINA), and a young man who was going to use corn as markers to trace his steps.

What happened in the story:
The lady who was running everywhere had a lot of energy but no real strategy. She didn’t really get anywhere and in fact came in last place. The couple who used the GPS, which happened to die in the middle of the maze, were so used to relying completely on technology they didn’t have a clue as to how to navigate without it. They also didn’t do well in the race. The young man who used corn to trace his steps ended up going in circles as birds, or in particular a duck, began eating up the seeds he left behind.

George on the other hand, being of course a smart monkey, climbed up the pole in the middle of the maze to get a clearer picture of what was going on.  By taking note of the landmarks or the “big picture” George, along with following a cow who entered the maze, was able to find the exit and win the competition.

Lessons Learned:
Sometimes we put a lot of energy into things without really having a game plan (no budget or emergency fund) – running lady. 

Other times we rely so heavily on technology we forget to use our own common sense (sure is great but remember the old concept of spend less than you make) – couple with the GPS. 

Yet other times we have a plan that was unsound from the get go (having a budget but not including all expenses, taking on consumer debt without an emergency fund, etc.) – young man with the corn. 

Sometimes it is important to take note of what is going on around us or look at the “big picture” and make our plans accordingly – George. When life throws you curveballs, or in George’s case the cow ate his map, you do what makes sense even if others don’t get it – George. Keep living frugally, reducing debt, and helping others - even when to others it doesn't make sense. In the long run it will pay off. 

This episode of Curious George can be seen on Youtube here: 

When was the last time you looked at the “big picture” in your life? 

When was the last time you looked at the “big picture” in your finances? 

Have you looked at where you've been, where you are, and where you're going?

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