Want A Better Life? Follow These 10 Rules And Thank Me Later

Man and Woman Money - OpinionatedMale.com
“So, you paying me back at the end of the month right”?

We as people experience and learn many things as we go through our childhood, enter our adolescent years, and journey into adulthood. Some things are more important than others as we take things and allow others to go in one ear and out the other. There are things that we keep with us and we use for the rest of our lives – mantras I call them. So ladies and gents, let’s chop it up as I share some of the lessons I’ve learned and would like to share.

1. Be an owner, not a loaner

Plain and simple everyone wants to have their own and cherish what they have through hard work – money especially. Own it, don’t loan it. There is nothing wrong with helping out a friend in need, but don’t get in the habit of giving handouts.

If you have your own house, you’re an owner (even if you’re not fortunate to buy it outright and still owe money to the bank, it’s yours). If you rent, you’re pretty much a loaner in a sense. You’re giving the landlord your hard-earned money to pay off his own debt just to live under his roof.

2. Trust in God

Or whomever you may believe in. I’m not here to preach to the masses but He is good all the time. When things are going well you must praise Him and thank Him for the blessings He’s given. And when you’re down, pray that He gives you the strength to deal with the things that you can’t deal with on your own. Remember, He may not be there when you call, but He’s always on time.

3. Believe half of what you see, none of what you hear

People talk all the time. Whether it’s the news you see on television, news on the radio or just plain gossip amongst people. Too many things go on in life especially among our young brothers and sisters engulfed in all the “he said, she said” garbage.  I feel like this: believe NONE of it.

We all know there’s always another side to the story, and we’re all familiar with the famous cliché’, “Misery loves company”. Make sure you find out all information before going on someone else s premise.

As far as seeing things,…well things aren’t always what they appear to be. If you see someone doing something they shouldn’t be doing, I guess it is what it is. However, in the end there’s always more than meets the eye.

4. Pay your bills on time

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This is pretty self-explanatory. When you get a bill in the mail, take care of it. I don’t care if you pay it online, in the mail, or over the phone. I don’t care if you use check, cash, or money order. No matter how high it is if you have the money just close your eyes and take care of it.

Paying your bills on time is extremely important based on the fact that your bills can double or triple, and you’ll have an even harder time paying it then. I won’t even get into the fact that it can wreak havoc on your credit, and debt collectors blow up your phone worse than a man/woman you meet for the first time.

Ladies, think of this, it could be like that thirsty gentleman you gave some cutty to for the first time and won’t leave you alone. *I had to put that in there

5. Practice what you preach

To borrow from the old saying, “Keep it real” is an understatement. I get none of us are perfect but, if I’m telling you not to do something, than I damn sure better not be doing it myself. They’re too many people out there – namely athletes, celebrities, and even religious folks – who are exposed as hypocrites. They say don’t do xyz, but get caught up in the same thing themselves.

Bill Cosby has preached the importance of family values for years, especially among Black people.  In 1997 he admitted to cheating on his wife of 33 years, not to mention the scandals that followed.

Steve Harvey preaches about being a man and the meaning behind being faithful. He calls himself empowering women and being a “man’s man”. And went as far as to write the book and be the driving force behind the movie “Think like a man”. However, he has fathered four children from three women and has divorced twice.

I was once privy to a story of a speaker from an anti-drug program actually buying marijuana from one of the students from the same school he spoke at.  I can imagine the embarrassment that came after. The bottom line is: Say what you mean and mean what you say.

6. Family comes first

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When you decide to give your life to a man or woman and start a family, things can and will change. A lot of brothas out there forget about this fact and think they’re still in college. Don’t get me wrong, having time with the fellas is a great thing. Hanging and catching up on old times is always cool. However, when you’re constantly out and about spending your money drinking, partying, or worse attempting to trick off, you’re being selfish and totally disregarding your family at home (not to mention disrespecting your woman).

It’s essential to be the provider and protector for your home. And ladies same for you; it’s cool to have ladies time but you don’t need to be out to the point where you know all the bouncers and bartenders. You’re acting like you’re still 21 or on spring break somewhere.  At the end of the day your family is what comes first and will have your back. And there isn’t anything that can beat or replace that.

7. 40 isn’t the new 30 and 30 isn’t the new 20

You already had your time to be young, wild, and free and whether or not you took advantage of it,…well that is on you. Two words: Grow Up.

8. Don’t try to drink champagne on a beer budget

I know of people who make $35 – 40k a year and live better than people who make $80k. It’s all about living within your means and not trying to keep up with the Jones’.  If you don’t have the money for it, don’t buy it. And there is nothing wrong with the clearance rack. A penny saved is a penny earned.

I totally understand the phrase,”‘work hard play hard” but there are times you gotta work hard and play easy, you simply have no choice. All in all, stay in your financial lane.

9. People always smile in your face and you’ll think everything is copacetic, but you’ll never know what’s truly in their heart.

This was said to me by a wise man. And these words couldn’t be any more true, no real need to explain here. Fake people are always the most dangerous.

10. “Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who YOU are”

Mind the company you keep. It’s important to be amongst people who are positive and will uplift and enrich you, your mind, body, and soul. Life is too short to waste it on people who really don’t care for or about you. In addition to that too many brothers and sisters have lost their lives inheriting their friends/acquaintance’s beef.  It’s a sad reality but a true one.

Look at the word ‘friend’. What are the last three letters  in friend?—“end”. That’s how long they should be there for, ’till the end. No man, woman,(of a sexual nature of course) money, or potential/supposed fame should come between you and them.

So readers you have taken a journey into my ideas of life’s rules, what are some of yours that you follow and/or have for others out there?  Do tell.

Peace and God Bless

—Cortonio

20 thoughts on “Want A Better Life? Follow These 10 Rules And Thank Me Later

  1. The family in the picture is adorable.

    Similar to you I have learned to believe what people do not what they say.

    Be honest, not brutally but tactfully, telling the whole truth.

    Make people respect you, they don’t have to like you.

    Be genuine

    I would say from your list number 9 is my favorite, it goes for everyone in your life. I truly question if people are sociopaths if they are extremely fake, because I don’t have it in me to act that way.

    Number 7, thank you for that because I am about tired of people asking me if I went out, and partied, I am 30 years old on my grown women, why am I going out and partying every weekend, that’s just not hot for me AND drinks add up lol. You can catch me at a seminar, a museum, dinner, movie, play, etc.

    Lastly, I know it feels good to own and I can’t wait, I just don’t want to own in the state that I am currently in, but definitely needed this eye opener today. You truly got me thinking.

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    1. Lyn first off, welcome to OM thank you very much for reading and I’m glad you enjoyed the article. And thanks for the suggestion, that may be something we’ll explore in the future.

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    2. @ Lyn

      We do have a charming OM ‘theme song’ you can listen to in the meantime. Its near the top right of the page under the logo captioned, “Listen To This. Click Play”.

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  2. Some of the items on this list are overly simplistic. First of all, everyone shouldn’t own a home. Sometimes renting is a more reasonably sound option to owning. Depending on the housing market, renting can be significantly less expensive. With respect to trusting in God, that does not lead to a better life any more than trusting in Santa Clause does. Praying and asking for help might be soothing, but it’s ultimately futile. You think the millions of men and women who lived as slaves didn’t spend their lives praying for freedom in vain ?
    Believe half of what you see ? give me a break. Better: believe what can be shown be true. Put your trust in reason. The remaining 6 are solid. Thanks for the advice and keep up the good work!

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    1. “Praying and asking for help might be soothing, but it’s ultimately futile. You think the millions of men and women who lived as slaves didn’t spend their lives praying for freedom in vain”?

      How does one go about proving that there is futility in prayer? Using your example I only ask because since slavery was actually abolished, the religious would argue that the slave’s prayers were indeed answered, no?

      Welcome to the OM.

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      1. One goes about proving that prayer is futile in the same way that one would go about showing that any other activity is futile. For example, let’s use flapping ones arms up and down as an eagle does its wings and expecting to fly. I’m sure you have a reasonably general understanding of how certain birds are able to take off and maintain flight. This understanding informs you of the futility of trying to use your arms in the same way that a bird would use its wings.
        Oh it’s very easy for the religious to say that the prayers were answered, but were they answered for those who actually prayed and wanted to be free ? Yes slavery was abolished in the US in the late 1800s yet millions of men, women and children were born slaves, lived as slaves and died as slaves. Think about what it must have been like for a baby born in the year 1800 and died in 1840, her entire life as the property of someone. What about those who lived and prayed the 1600s? or 1700s? or 1500s ?

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        1. That is hyperbole and it still doesn’t answer the question at hand.

          If time is your basis for measuring whether the occurrence of one event is the result of another, then science and the concept of evolution itself is futile per your position.

          The passage of time does not negate the effect of a presumed cause. In other words, the existence of slavery for 400 years prior to its abolition is not proof that prayer was useless.
          So again I’m curiously asking, how does one go about proving that prayer is futile?

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          1. What did I say that is hyperbole ? I answered your question : One goes about proving that prayer is futile in the same way that one would go about showing that any other activity is futile. For example, let’s use flapping ones arms up and down as an eagle does its wings and expecting to fly. I’m sure you have a reasonably general understanding of how certain birds are able to take off and maintain flight. This understanding informs you of the futility of trying to use your arms in the same way that a bird would use its wings.

            I’m at a loss as to what anything I said has to do with science or the *concept of evolution* (whatever that means) or the passage of time.

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            1. Your example of flailing arms in an attempt to fly like a bird is hyperbole because that is absolutely ridiculous. To say prayer is futile to the tune of man not being able to spring feathers and fly like a bird is a bit of an odd argument, don’t you think?
              I want to understand how to prove praying is a foolhardy endeavor. Because man cannot fly like eagles, that is proof that God doesn’t exist, so why pray. I’m really trying to understand this.
              Yes, I know you didn’t say that per say, but the principle of what you are saying is there. I’m just not following how that suffices as evidence that prayer is a waste of time.

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              1. No, I think you misunderstood me. My intent was not to exaggerate. What I am saying, in what I thought was in an unambiguous way, is that the act praying is futile because it can not be shown to work in the same sense that flapping ones arms up and down to fly can not be shown to work. That’s what futile means. Praying to God (or gods or Santa) and asking for strength or blessings or whatever is futile because it can not be shown to work.

                To be clear, I am not saying that God does not exist. That is not the principle of what I am saying. What you have done is drawn a false dichotomy.

                Perhaps I should have used another example. My intent was to show that it was futile to flap ones arms (without sprouting feathers) and achieve flight. Is it possible to prove that asking a lucky coin for help is a foolhardy endeavor ? Is it possible to prove that asking Ochun or Lazarus or Bethany or Ganesha for strength is futile ?
                I think so.

                Since my arm-flapping example was taken as hyperbole, a question I have for you is, what would such a proof look like. How would such a proof look, i.e. what would be the form of a satisfying proof that praying to Ochun/lucky coin/Lazarus is futile ? Mind you, I am not asking you to prove or disprove anything, I am asking *how would such a proof look?* I’m being redundant in an attempt to obviate my words being mischaracterized.

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                1. “No, I think you misunderstood me.”
                  Actually, I understood you quite well.

                  “…a question I have for you is, what would such a proof look like. How would such a proof look, i.e. what would be the form of a satisfying proof that praying to Ochun/lucky coin/Lazarus is futile?”

                  I believe this is the very question I have been asking you this entire time. Since you made the assertion that “praying is futile”, the onus is on you to provide such proof and explain why this is so. So again I ask, what is your methodology for measuring the effects or non effects of prayer to determine its futility?

                  “Praying to God (or gods or Santa) and asking for strength or blessings or whatever is futile because it can not be shown to work”

                  Incorrect. Not being able to show something actually works is not the same as it not working. It just simply means you cannot prove it works anymore than you can prove that it does not. But I’m extremely interested in hearing about the tools that are used to measure answered and/or unanswered prayers.

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                  1. My assertion was made in response to this blog that offers suggestions on how to achieve a better life. Number 2, titled Trust in God, talks about trusting and praying to God and goes so far as to say that he is always on time. Actually, the onus is not on me to provide proof that prayer doesn’t work, the onus is on the article’s author or anyone who suggests that prayer works. Had I said “Pray to Ochun for strength, she is always on time” the burden of proof would be on me. By saying that prayer is futile, I am challenging the author’s assertion about prayer.

                    The question I posed to you was not the very question you have been asking me. I asked you, redundantly, what *form* of a proof would be satisfying since you hadn’t understood my previous explanation. I have repeatedly explained why prayer is futile: Prayer is futile because it can not be shown to work. It’s that simple. We could build a controlled double blind study, but it’s not necessary for something so uncomplicated as prayer.

                    “Not being able to show something actually works is not the same as it not working.” Wow, Really ? I thought people proved things effective or not by demonstrating if they worked or not. They test them. Until prayer can be shown to work, it’s futile. No need to be “extremely interested” in hearing about “tools” for measuring prayers, you already have the tools. As I said above, it’s not difficult. Pray to God for something. Then pray to a lucky rabbit’s foot for something. Compare your results. Repeat. That’s it.

                    Here are some examples of other tests you can try:
                    Ask the God and the foot for an elephant. Ask the foot for a giraffe. Then ask God for rain, then the foot for snow, then a car, health, a website, money, oxygen, a pet fairy…etc

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  3. Giftedsoul2009 welcome to OM, and thanks for the feedback. I’m not saying everyone SHOULD own a home, but I feel that’s what one should strive to do. There are people (some I know personally) that pay ridiculous amounts just to rent, even paying more than an actual mortgage. For example why pay 1800.00+ to rent when you can pay a mortgage (for maybe less) and the house is yours. That’s all I am saying. As far as God that’s just my belief, but I understand not everyone shares it.

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    1. I thought that’s exactly what you were saying, that everyone SHOULD own a home. You are correct, people should not live beyond their means.

      My point is there are many factors to consider. There are people who pay high rent because they are unable to afford a home in the same neighborhood. Perhaps the services offered by a town where that person could get a mortgage for less than $1800 (to use your example) are sub-standard. Or perhaps they have children and are concerned about the school district. There is housing data for communities all over the US. Based on what I have seen of that data, by and large with other factors being equal, rent prices are below mortgage rates. Owning a home in a responsible way is almost always more financially difficult; it means having in liquid assets 6 months of mortgage payments.
      Another thing to consider is that renting is a much better position to be in should a family’s income become disrupted. Breaking a lease or being evicted is much better than going through a short-sale or foreclosure.

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      1. good points, but I just feel you would have more independence and say-so when you have your own. Some renters don’t want children, pets, smoking (i hate it too) etc. If you have your own you can do what you want when you want and don’t have to answer to anyone, furthermore if you want something fixed no need to depend on a landlord. In the end we’ll just agree to disagree on this part. However I do feel it all depends on your financial situation. I wouldn’t expect someone to buy a house straight out of college or anything. Gotta crawl before you walk…

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      2. i agree with you on this one.

        i think part of the reason for the housing crisis is people living outside of their means. thinking that being an adult means owning a home. it does not. and if you watch any housing show – people also have this sense of entitlement and feel like they deserve the ‘perfect’ home with open concept, granite, 1+ acre etc. they tack on an extra 5/10/15K onto their budget – for what? all it takes is the loss of 1 income and all that can go down the tubes.

        sure – the finances may not make sense to you – but it’s not about your opinion. it’s about each person/family income.

        if you aren’t sure about settling in that location for a lifetime, if you have student loans to pay off, if travelling is a passion, if you don’t want the responsibility of being a homeowner – there are plenty of completely valid reasons to choose to rent.

        this mentality (mama i made it! i bought a house!) is what is causing people to be so unhappy (aka housepoor). and since it’s a mortgage to a piece of property and technically not actually owning a home – it’s deceiving.

        i think making people think they aren’t solidified in life unless they own a home is a privileged statement. while it’s something some people would kill for – it’s just not realistic for all income brackets.

        it also doesn’t help that people with bad credit histories are treated like lepers and even with hard work, good jobs – may not be able to.

        great post though. 🙂

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  4. Great post and these are all good reminders, especially in regards to living within your means. I have to remind myself of that one over and over again. It’s easy to convince yourself that since you work hard for your money it’s okay to treat yourself to nice things, which is all fine and good, but not if you’re struggling to pay bills. That’s a no no.
    Anyways, great work on the site. I look forward to reading more posts from you gentlemen.

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