In this episode, Jonathan reflects on his conversation with Aaron Everett about mindset toward money. He emphasizes the importance of principle-based decision-making and gaining clarity on the person you want to be. Jonathan encourages listeners to think about their values and principles in different areas of life and to be growth-conscious rather than goal-conscious. By making decisions that align with their vision and principles, listeners can live a life of significance and intentionality.


  • Gain clarity on the person you want to be and the legacy you want to leave behind.
  • Establish values and principles that align with your vision.
  • Be growth-conscious rather than goal-conscious.
  • Make decisions that are in alignment with your principles and long-term vision.
  • Live a life of significance and intentionality.



Hello and welcome back to the show. So glad you're here and just excited to be with you today. I hope this episode finds you at just the right time and that you're encouraged today. And I'm proud of you for taking time out of the day to invest in your personal growth and to grow in your desire to live an intentional life. I'm fired up today. I'm excited to share some of my thoughts about my conversation with Aaron Everett last week. Aaron and I discussed mindset toward money and he gave some amazing thoughts, tips, and tools for us. I know I was greatly impacted by the conversation, and I believe there's something in there for everyone, so definitely listen to it when you get a chance. I opened the episode by asking Aaron the question. I asked him, "What is your mindset toward money?" And Aaron knew right away what his answer was, the purpose of money in his life. He had total clarity on the kind of person that he wanted to be in relation to his finances.

He knew exactly how he wanted to be remembered and the kind of legacy that he wanted to pass down to his children and on to his grandchildren. And he proceeded to give example after example of ways that this mindset has dictated his decision-making process over the years. When he's confronted with a financial decision that he has to make, he falls back on his answer to that question. And this kind of got me thinking and it leads to what I want to talk about today, and that's principle-based decision-making. So let me ask you the question here up front. How do you typically make your decisions? Do you make them based on your feelings at the time? Do you make them based on what other people tell you to do? Are they mostly emotional decisions? Are they based out of fear, motivated by just instant gratification in the moment?

I think we all have our defaults for making decisions, and we rarely even think about kind of how we go about it. And you're faced with hundreds of decisions on a daily basis, but have you ever stopped to think about how you make those decisions or the mindset behind those decisions? Have you taken the time to think about some of your values or beliefs that may be influencing those decisions? And the fact is, if you don't have clarity on your mindset and your principles, and if you don't have clarity on the person that you want to be, you're most likely going to make decisions based on fear, on your emotions at the time, or just what's going to make you feel best in the moment. I know that's how I oftentimes make my decisions.

So, step number one in making sure you are making smart decisions for your life is to gain clarity. Gain clarity on the person that you want to be. Gain clarity on the influence that you want to have. Gain clarity on the legacy that you want to leave behind. Gain clarity on the principles that will drive your life. Aaron knew that he wanted to be remembered as a generous person and somebody who used money as a tool to serve his fellow man. That's what he said. He had a lot of clarity on exactly who he wanted to be in regards to his finances. So when he would be confronted with a decision, he would ask himself, "Will this financial decision have a positive impact on other people? Does this decision line up with the person that I want to be?" And he said because he gained clarity on who he wants to be with money and what its purpose is in his life, he's able to make decisions way easier. And if you have no clue what money is to you or how you want to use it in your life, it's going to be difficult to make good financial decisions on a consistent basis, or you're going to get to the end of your life and you're going to realize that you didn't use your finances in the way that you should have.

So don't start with the question "How much money do I want to make?" Start with the questions like "Who do I want to be in regard to money? What is money to me? What is the purpose of money to me?" Start with those questions. Once you gain clarity on those kinds of questions, then you're set up to use it in a way that is congruent to the person that you want to be. And the same can be said for any other area of life. So, like in your relationships, ask yourself, "Who do I want to be? How do I want to be remembered? What are my principles when it comes to being a great friend, or a great husband, or a great father?" And if you know that honesty is important in building trust in your relationship, then when you're faced with the decision to be honest or not, you'll know already that's a principle that you have. And it makes the decision a lot easier because you're just making decisions based on the principle that you've already set in place for your life.

When you're faced with a decision to put money or your business over your most important relationships, if you already have clarity that family is the most important thing in your life, it's going to make that decision easier, even if your emotions in that moment are telling you otherwise. You get what I'm saying? So don't let your emotions drive your decisions. Don't let instant gratification dictate your decisions. Have the long-term vision of your life dictate your decisions. And this can only happen if you gain clarity beforehand on what those principles are and what the kind of person that you want to be is. And this is going to take some time, it'll take some effort, but it's definitely worth it. So don't go on your week, you know, after listening to this podcast without taking some time to reflect on the principles that you want to live by. So here's my challenge to you.

Take these major areas of your life, so it can be relationships, faith, finances, health, career, etc. Take some of the main areas and ask yourself the following questions for each. Ask yourself first, "What kind of person do I want to be when it comes to blank? What kind of person do I want to be when it comes to my finances? When it comes to my relationships? When it comes to my health?" Brainstorm this for a while and then write down that vision statement. Get really clear on the person that you want to be and the person that you want to become in each of the main areas of your life. So once you have that vision for who you want to be, ask yourself, "What values and principles would I need to live by in order to be that kind of person?" So at first you're setting the vision of who I want to be, who I want to become, then ask yourself, "What principles do I need to live by to become that kind of person?" And if this is a hard question to answer, think about some of the people in your life that you admire.

Think about some of the people in your life who are living a life that you want to be like. And think about some of their qualities, some of the principles that they have. Ask them the principles that they live by. Gain clarity on exactly what those values are. And if you're like me, you might be a very goal-oriented person and would rather spend your time thinking about the weight that you want to reach or that promotion that you want to get. It's easy to think in terms of goals and I think goals are great but if you don't have clarity on the person that you want to be and the principles that you want to live by, it's going to be very hard to reach those goals first of all or if you do reach them it's going to be hard to sustain that success or in the process you might steamroll everyone in your path in pursuit of those goals and end up hurting people in the process or you might make poor financial decisions on the way or forsake your health in the process.

Like if you don't actually establish clarity on who you want to be and what's important and just make the goal what's important, it's really easy to get lost in that mix and forget who you are actually wanting to be in the process. So that's why I think it's so important to think more about the person that you want to be instead of just what you want to achieve. And once you have great clarity on your values and principles, then you can set goals and you'll make decisions along the way that align with those principles and help you become the person that you want to be.

And John Maxwell often talks about being growth-conscious instead of being goal-conscious and he absolutely believes that setting goals are important and can be a great tool for your life but he talks about the difference between growth-conscious people and goal-conscious people. And if you're only goal-conscious then everything is just about the destination like if I can just hit this number or get this new position or this new car, then I've succeeded. That's what a goal-conscious person a lot of times is thinking about. But if you're only goal-conscious, then you will do anything just to hit that goal, just to hit that number.

You might ruin relationships in the process. You might make short-term decisions to hit the goal that don't end up being good long-term decisions. You may behave in a way that's not congruent with who you want to be just because you're so focused on the goal and so focused on the journey. Growth-conscious people are more concerned with becoming the person that they want to be over just hitting the next number.

It's extremely hard to be a growth-conscious person if you don't have clarity on who you want to be and how you want to live. It's extremely hard to make consistent good decisions if you don't have principles to fall back on. So I would encourage you to take some time to reflect on your principles in the different areas of life and to get a vision for who you want to be. Once you have that, focus on consistently making decisions that are in alignment with that, rather than making decisions that might make you just feel good in the moment. So that's what I mean by principle-based decision-making.

I'd encourage you to go work through that exercise, think through some of these things, get clarity on the person that you want to be, get clarity on the values you want to live by, and think how can I be a growth-conscious person instead of just a goal-conscious person. So I hope this episode was encouraging, gave you some good things to think about. I'm glad you're here, I'm thankful for you and that you took the time to join the show today. I know there's a lot of other great podcasts out there so thanks for tuning into this one. If this episode was helpful for you please share it with somebody else who might need it and thanks again for being here and live a life of significance by living intentionally and we'll see you next time.

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