Live better through seven simple rules

I'm a high school drop out who married a college drop out who dropped out of college because we had our first child a little too early. I compounded our bad decisions multiple times in our early life, and we experienced poverty for much of those early years. We've slowly scaled from poverty to comfort and live now in relative comfort. That early baby is going to college this year, on scholarship. We're very blessed. Things look really good. I always knew things would work out. Here's the plan.

Don't get divorced. Divorce is tempting, especially when times and relationships are hard. But, divorce takes the number one wealth killer: government, and involves it in destroying the number one wealth creator: family. Family is now and always has been the single greatest source for personal wealth creation. Families share wealth with each other, help out when times are hard and give the right kind of moral and financial support in the right way to improve lives in a manner no government, agency or private patron ever can. Divorce ruins quality of life, destroys opportunity, paralyzes individual growth and makes simple daily tasks like scheduling work a nightmare. A family team is a beautiful and powerful thing.

Always learn. Leaving school doesn't mean you stop learning. Virtually everything I do today for money I learned past the age of 30. Much of what I will do today, which will generate the highest hourly income I've ever earned, will be done based on things I'll learned today. Science and technology catapult us into new and improved opportunity. If you want to improve your financial opportunity start with your knowledge. Find something you love to do and do it with all your might, spend time learning how to do it better and be a person of valuable skill.

Build a good name. This is one place I've failed to excel. But, my wife excels with honor. Her reputation and her discipline are known by anyone who spends time around her. She works hard to treat people well, tell the truth always and gives everyone who buys her services the best bargain they could buy: her personal best. Because of her good reputation, she is perpetually employed and valued. Her income continues to rise because she is trustworthy. And, trust is a thing of great value.

Work hard. Virtually everything I've ever lost is due to sloth. Virtually everything I've ever gained is due to hard work. Often, I benefit from the hard work of others. Working hard does two powerful and important things in your life. Hard work attracts others who work hard, and you benefit from their labors and it compounds your success. Working hard also achieves and overcomes many adversities.

Place faith first. Nothing is stable. Nothing is perfect. Setting your sites on the perfect, the beautiful, makes your path clear and bright in any situation. The faithful experience a life more abundantly because they experience a life with purpose.

Raise good children. Good men and women build promise and virtuous personal lives only to watch it destroyed by dishonorable children. No parent is perfect and no child is without risk of personal failure. But, good children are a wealth no man can buy. They support the family in difficult times, make personal sacrifices and bring good reputation and opportunity to one's home. All the wealth in the world won't overcome bad children. All the loss in the world is nothing compared to the wealth of one good child.

Live thankful. You neglect those things you don't appreciate. Neglect will cause you to lose them. Always appreciate and show appreciation for those things that are worthy of appreciation in your life. Focus on the good, and your life will be more abundant.