How many times have you written out goals or tackled a large project and failed to reach the goal because of a lack of planning in the beginning? I’m sure everyone has had that experience. We all want to go further in life whether it is personally, professionally, physically, spiritually, etc. Striving for more is what keeps us going and motivated to do awesome things here on earth. But what happens when we don’t reach our goals and we look back at what we wish we’d done? Obviously nothing can change the past, but with proper planning ahead of time you can definitely change your future. One of the keys to achieving any goal; be it financial, physical, professional, personal, etc. is to sit down and weigh what needs to be done before you get started. This may take a lot of research depending on the situation, but wisdom and knowledge are worth all the effort needed to gain it. This critical step may keep you on the path to reaching levels never before achieved because you know more of what to expect and you have check-in points all along the way. What I am suggesting is that you count the cost… For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.- Luke 14:28-30 KJV
This passage of scripture describes the person who does not sit down and understand what is involved in an endeavor before he proceeds. We don’t use the word “counteth” so I will use the word calculate. To calculate means to reckon by exercise of practical judgment or to plan purposefully. Failing to complete this step can cost your reputation, money, time, etc depending on the gravity of the project. Budgeting is counting the cost on an everyday basis so that you can live beneath your means and reach your financial goals. Performing mortgage calculations and estimates is counting the cost when purchasing or renting a home.
Counting the cost can be useful in many other ways such as determining:
- How long it will take to get out of debt.
- The affordability of moving up in home.
- How long it will take to retire.
- How much to save for your children’s education.
Sometimes these goals are not financial. You may need to count the cost of beginning an exercise program so that you know how much time and energy is needed to reach your goal. Counting the cost may involve writing down the pros and cons of staying on a job or moving on to a new position. Counting the cost is simply being thorough in your approach to a new situation so that you increase your chances of success. In the passage above, the man didn’t even get past the foundation before he realized it was too much. In what ways do you need to count the cost?