In an Over-Communicated, Intrusive World, Simple is Better

Clason’s “The Richest Man in Babylon” Part 2 – The 7 Cures for a Lean Wallet and The 5 Laws of Money

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

Part 1 of this 2 Part series ends the synopsis of George Clason’s book “The Richest Man in Babylon,” but Clason raises an important question: Why should
so few men be able to acquire so much gold?

The answer is because they know how.

One may not condemn a man for succeeding because he knows how. Neither may one with justice take away from a man what he has fairly earned, to give to men of less ability.

And so it was that the good king of Babylon sought out the richest man in Babylon to teach to others in his kingdom the secrets of his success.

This is a synopsis of what the richest man taught to the people
of Babylon:

The Seven Cures for a Lean Wallet

1) Start your wallet to fattening. Save one-tenth of all you earn. Remember that a part
of all I earn is mine to keep. Do this faithfully. Do not let the simplicity of this escape you.

When I ceased to pay out more than nine-tenths of my earnings,
I got along just as well.
I was not shorter than before, and, money came to me more easily than before.

2) Control your expenses. How is it that all do not earn the same yet all have lean wallets? Here is the truth: That which each of us calls our “necessary expenses” will always grow to equal our incomes unless we protest to
the contrary.

Confuse not necessary expenses with desires. We all have more desires than our earnings can gratify. Examine which of the accepted expenses of living can be reduced or eliminated. Let your motto be 100% of appreciated value demanded for every dollar spent.

Budget your expenses so that your actual necessities are met without spending more than nine-tenths of your earnings.

3) Make your money multiply. Protect your growing treasure by putting it to labor and increasing. Money in your wallet earns nothing. Money that we earn from our money is but a start; it is the earnings generating earnings that builds fortunes.

When the richest man in Babylon loaned money to the shield maker to buy bronze, he said this: “Each time I loaned money to the shield maker, I loaned back also the rental he had paid me. Therefore not only did my capital increase, but its earnings likewise increased.”

4) Guard your money from loss. Everyone has an idea of how to make quick money; few, however, have the evidence of making money to justify their idea, scheme or offer of quick riches. The first sound principle of investment is security for your principal.

Before you loan your money to any man assure yourself of his ability to repay your loan, and of his reputation to do so. Make no one a present of your hard-earned treasure.

Consult the wisdom of those experienced in handling money for profit. Such advice is often freely given for
the asking, and may possess more value than the amount you
are about to invest.

5) Make your home a profitable investment. When you can set aside only nine-tenths of what you earn to live, and can use a part of that nine-tenths to improve the investment in your housing, do it; owning your own home is also an investment that grows with your wealth.

Your family deserves a home they can enjoy and call their own. It builds a sense of stability and well-being.

6) Ensure a future income. Build income-producing assets that do not require you to work forever. We will all grow old and die.

You should prepare a suitable income for the days to come when you are no longer younger and cannot work as hard, and to make preparations for your family should you no longer be with them to comfort and support them. Provide in advance for the needs of your growing age, and the protection of your family.

7) Increase your
ability to earn.
Desire precedes accomplishment, and the desire must be strong and definite. When you have backed your desire for saving $1,000 with the strength and purpose to secure it, you can then save $2,000.

Desires must be simple and definite. Desires defeat their own purpose when they are too many, too confusing, or too difficult to accomplish. Cultivate your own powers to study and become wiser, more skillful, and more productive.

Here is more sage advice from Clason’s masterpiece on financial matters:

The 5 Laws of Money

If you had to choose, would you choose tons of money or wisdom? Most men would take the money, ignore the wisdom, and waste the money. Here is the wisdom:

1) Money comes gladly and in increasing quantities to any man who will put aside not less than one-tenth of his earnings to create an estate for his future and the future of his family.

2) Money labors diligently and contently for the wise owner who finds for it profitable employment, multiplying unto itself in infinity if kept working diligently. Money multiplies itself in surprising fashion.

3) Money clings to
the protection of the cautious owner who invests it with the advice of men wise
in its handling.

4) Money slips away from the man who invests it in businesses or purposes that he is not familiar with, or which are not approved by those skilled in its keep. The inexperienced handler of money who trusts his own judgment, and puts his money in investments which he is not familiar, always pays with his money for his experience.

5) Money flees the man who would force it to impossible earnings, or who follows the alluring advice of tricksters and schemers, or who
trusts it to his own inexperience and romantic desires in investment.

Here is the hard lesson of the 5 Laws of Money: You cannot measure the value of wisdom in bags of money. Without wisdom, those who have it quickly lose money, but with wisdom, money can be secured by those who have it not.

This ends the condensation.

Copyright 2012 by Ed Bagley

I am an average Joe in many ways, but I draw a very quick and distinct line in the sand when it comes to issues of integrity.

When I see someone lying, cheating and stealing, then acting like they are helping me when in fact they are relieving me of my money while lining their pockets, I take umbrage.

There are no excuses for wrongdoing. I could care less whether your friends, corporate fat cats or even your grandmother is doing it. To justify wrongdoing is saying that everyone else is killing people they do not like so it must be OK for me to kill people too.

I have zero interest in becoming a millionaire at the expense of others. I do not want to be sitting in my mansion counting all of my gold coins alone because I am such a despicable person that no one wants to be around me.

I have spent a good portion of my life studying self-improvement so I can become a better person than I already am. It is as Alexander Pope has said, “Know then thyself, presume not God to scan, The proper study of mankind is man.” If there is one person I want to be honest with, it is myself.

When I train at the YMCA on the treadmill I take with me my binder filled with personal quotes that are important to me and my growth.

Many people experience professional growth by earning degrees, attending seminars and training, and reading professional journals. I have had some professional growth, but I am more interested in personal growth, the kind of growth that challenges my thought process and belief system to encourage change for the better.

Here are some of my personal favorite quotes that help me to accommodate change.
Perhaps they may be of interest to you as well:

On Advice:

Seek advice from those who are competent through
their own experience and success to give it.
George Clason

On Belief:

At any given place on any given day at any given time,
something magical can happen.
It is called “belief”.

On Change:

If you lack the will for change, there is no one
who can show you the way.

When you blame others, you give up your power to change.

On Character:

Just as we can learn from our mistakes,
we can gain character from our disappointments.
Robert Kiyosaki

On Dreaming:

A dream is a gift you give yourself.

On Failing:

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close
they were to success when they gave up.
Tomas Edison

On Fatigue:

Fear and fatigue block the mind.
Confront both, and courage and confidence will flow into you.

On Imagination:

A mind once stretched by a new idea moves beyond its
old constraints, never returning to its former, limited dimensions.
It is called “imagination”.

On Integrity:

Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.

On Kindness:

You cannot do a kindness too soon,
for you never know how soon it will be too late.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

On Luck:

Luck has a peculiar habit of favoring
those who do not depend on it.
George Clason

Good luck waits to come to those who accept opportunity.
George Clason

On Money:

Money is like a sixth sense without which we
cannot make a complete use of the other five.
W. Somerset Maugham

One may not condemn a man for succeeding financially because
he knows how. Neither may one with justice take away for a man
what he has fairly earned, to give to men of less ability.
George Clason

A part of all I earn is mine to keep.
George Clason

Earning money has a way of increasing financial intelligence quickly.
Robert Kiyosaki

Self-discipline is the No. 1 delineating factor between
the rich, the middle class and the poor.
Robert Kiyosaki

On Preparedness:

It was apparent that no one could do for the scribe
what the scribe had done for himself.
George Clason

Each man has to work out his own understanding of what
needs to be done, and then prepare himself to take advantage
of the opportunity to succeed in a big way.
George Clason

On Running:

When aerobic running becomes a daily habit,
Strength and confidence follow.
Arthur Lydiard

On Schooling:

I never let schooling interfere with my education.
Mark Twain

On Self-Control:

Yoga taught me “impulse control”, the ability
to feel an urge and delay acting on it.

On Self-Image:

What you think of me is none of my business.
What is most important is what I think of myself.
Robert Kiyosaki

Always remember that no matter what anyone is saying to you
from the outside, the most important conversation is the one
you are having with yourself on the inside.
Robert Kiyosaki

On Soul:

When the mind is controlled and still, what remains is the soul.

On Stability:

When stability becomes a habit, maturity and clarity follow.

On Success:

Success is not the key to happiness.
Happiness is the key to success.
Albert Schweitzer

On Thinking:

The hardest thing in the world to do is to think,
and that is why people do so little of it.
Henry Ford

Your mind, more than your actions, determines your net worth.
Robert Kiyosaki

Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion
without the discomfort of thought.
John F. Kennedy

Keep your thoughts positive, because thoughts become your words.
Keep your words positive, because words become your behavior.
Keep your behavior positive, because behavior becomes your habits.
Keep your habits positive, because habits become your values.
Keep your values positive, because values become your destiny.
Mahatma Gahdhi
(with editing by Ed Bagley)
(Postscript: remember t-w-b-h-v-d to remember

My own thoughts and feelings are the cause of all of my problems,
not the world or the people in it.

I have struggled by using my own negative thoughts and feelings
to negatively influence my productive thoughts and actions.

I let go of all negative thoughts and feelings by releasing them
from my subconscious mind and into oblivion.
I embrace all positive thoughts and feelings.

My conscious mind and subconscious mind are now
clear and positive. I am happy and free.
Ed Bagley

On Timing:

This time, like all times, is a very good one,
when we know what to do with it.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

On Training:

My most frequent admonition to athletes
and coaches is: train, do not strain.
Arthur Lydiard

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Financial Thoughts on Investing by Warren Buffett

(Ed’s Note: The following condensation is from The Tao of Warren Buffett, written by Mary Buffett and David Clark and available for sale at Amazon and bookstores nationwide. I am always impressed by what Warren Buffett has to say and am doing this condensation to help promote their book.)

On Investing: I made my first investment at age 11. I was wasting my life up until then.
(Ed’s Note: The first lesson of investing is patience. Start early and sit on your investment until it has time to hatch, it may take 20 or 30 years to hatch, but if you are in the right investment you will do very well. Do not keep moving your money into and out of different investments—all that does is make your broker rich at your expense.)

(Ed’s Note: For more of Warren Buffet’s advice go to the menu bar above and click on Financial Thoughts.)

“A Man for All Seasons” Demonstrates What Integrity Should Be in the Middle Ages and Now


A Man for All Seasons – 4 Stars (Excellent)

“A Man for All Seasons” poses the question: What would a man sacrifice for his principles?

When King Henry VIII (Robert Shaw) seeks approval to divorce his aging wife Catherine of Aragon who could not bear him a son, and marry his mistress Anne Boleyn,
the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church stand
in his way.

Henry VIII’s new Chancellor of England and Cardinal–
Sir Thomas More (Paul Scofield)—stands in his way as well. Henry VIII wants Sir Thomas More’s blessing in his action but does not
get it as Sir Thomas More, a good Catholic and Cardinal, will not go
along with such heresy.

More resigns as chancellor, seeking to live out his life as a private citizen, but Henry VIII will settle for nothing less than More’s public approval of his headstrong course. Sir Thomas refuses to either endorse or denounce the King’s action, and remains a man of principle.

Great effort is made to convince More to change his stance on Henry VIII’s action. One of More’s rivals, Thomas Cromwell (Leo McKern); another religious, Cardinal Wolsey (Orson Welles); and The Duke of Norfolk (Nigel Davenport)
all take their turns at More.

One example is when More testifies before an inquiry committee and Norfolk attempts to persuade him to sign an oath of allegiance:

Norfolk: “Look, I’m not a scholar, and frankly I don’t know whether the marriage was lawful or not—but Thomas, look at these names! You know these men! Can’t you do as I did and come along with us for fellowship?”

More: “And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Heaven for doing according to your conscience, and I am sent to hell for not doing according to mine, will you come along with me—for fellowship?”

There are several lines by More that merit mention but there is not enough space to do so. Here is one of the best: “I think that when statesmen forsake their own private conscience for the sake of their public duties, they lead their country by
a short route to chaos.”

Sir Thomas More was a very smart and savvy—as well as principled—man.

Henry VIII gets every person of any consequence in England to sign his oath (the Act of Supremacy), endorsing his action, except Sir Thomas who will not sign, and remains silent as to the reason why he will not sign.

Cromwell is an English statesman and the chief minister to King Henry VIII. It is Cromwell who presides over King Henry’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon in 1533 and Henry’s subsequent break with the Roman Catholic Church.

When More proves himself to be loyal to King Henry VIII by not speaking out against him and also shows himself to be a loyal subject by not inciting rebellion, Cromwell appears to prosecute Sir Thomas out of personal spite.

In the end, Sir Thomas is the only person in England who will die for his principles, and commit himself to God for judgment. He is betrayed by an ambitious, lower level appointed attorney general, Richard (John Hurt), whose outright lie condemns Sir Thomas to be beheaded.

Sir Thomas More loses his head (no pun intended) but most importantly, not his soul. Sir Thomas is later canonized as Saint Thomas More by the Roman Catholic Church.

Henry VIII subsequently dies of syphilis, and the evil Thomas Cromwell who orchestrates Sir Thomas More’s tragic demise is himself judged a traitor to England 5 years later and is also beheaded. And what was the FINAL fate of More’s adversaries — Thomas Cromwell, Cardinal Wolsey and The Duke of Norfolk? Only God knows.

The riff subsequently leads to England’s split from the Roman Catholic Church and the creation of the Anglican Church, the Church of England.

A Man for All Seasons does not deviate from the truth of Sir Thomas More’s stance, and as such provides a role model for acting with right thinking and right motives, even at the cost of one’s life.

What makes A Man for All Seasons even more impressive is that the plot for the movie is based on the true story of Sir Thomas More. Sir Thomas More was a scholar and statesman who became the leading humanist of the Renaissance Era.

A Man for All Seasons is
a story about everything that is right in England and life (Sir Thomas More’s integrity to his principles) and everything that is wrong in England and life (greed, avarice, lust, lying, cheating, stealing, the corruption of power, and the corruption of religious leaders).

A Man for All Seasons was writer Robert Bolt’s greatest success, first as a play and then as the screenplay for its 1966 movie release following a successful Broadway run. Bolt’s 16th Century period piece has exacting details of the era.

A Man for All Seasons would win 6 Oscars at the 1967 Academy Awards: Best Picture (Fred Zinnemann), Best Director (Fred Zinnemann), Best Writing (Robert Bolt), Best Actor (Paul Scofield), Best Cinematography (Ted Moore) and Best Costume Design (Elizabeth Haffenden and Joan Bridge).

The film also received Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actor (Robert Shaw) and Best Supporting Actress (Wendy Hiller as Sir Thomas More’s wife Alice).

In addition the movie garnered another 27 wins and 5 nominations, including Golden Globe wins for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Actor and a nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Interestingly, Charlton Heston lobbied heavily for the role of Sir Thomas More, but was not seriously considered. Richard Burton was offered the part and turned it down.

The producers originally wanted Laurence Olivier as Thomas More and Alec Guinness as Wosley, but Director Fred Zinnemann insisted on Paul Scofield and Orson Welles in the roles. The rest is history. Zinnemann obviously knew how to direct a great film and create a huge box office success.