Happy April 15th! Happy April 15th? Unless you are an IRS agent or accountant, who would dare say such a thing? Surely, I am delusional. I can feel a few of you clenching your fists at me. At least one of you is thinking up ways to leave flaming bags of poo on my doorstep.
My wife and I paid a record amount in taxes this year. In fact, we paid more in taxes than most of my family has ever earned in one year.
At first, I was angry. I found myself saying things like, “I really hate the government” and “couldn’t we just flush this money down a toilet instead?” I became bitter at watching all of that money leave my hands and disappear into the vast wasteland that is the U.S. Treasury.
I even found myself slightly demotivated at hitting my income goals for this year. They are significantly higher than last year and I began to ask the question, “what is the point?”
So, what is the point?
As I mailed off our taxes, which resembled a collection of manuscripts (we have four to mail: state personal, state business, federal personal, and federal business), I realized something:
Whether the government gets more next year isn’t the point. The point is who I must become in order to hit my income goals this year.
The words of highly successful people like Jim Rohn hit me like a ton of bricks:
Become a millionaire, not for the money, but for who you must become to do so.
I’m with him so far. I am down with both sides of that equation.
You cannot base your life on what the government does or how your tax dollars are being spent. You’ve got to vote well, and then chart your own course; vote well, and then take charge of your own life.
This one is a little harder for me. I kind of like criticizing the government. I’d rather blame them for why we haven’t hit all of our goals. That’s much easier than taking a look in the mirror and pointing the finger at the face staring back at me.
Taxes are our way of feeding the goose that lays the golden eggs of freedom, democracy, and enterprise. Someone says, “Well, the goose eats too much.” That’s probably true. But better a fat goose than no goose at all!
OK, OK, Rohn. You have a point here.
“Kill the goose,” I think.
“But if not for me,” the goose says, “you’d live in anarchy.” Touché, goose, touché.
Be a happy taxpayer.
Woah, Rohn, you’ve gone too far! Happy? Happy!?!?
Blessed that I earned enough to pay that much. Blessed to still live in a great country, faults, weaknesses, warts, reality television, and all.
Is the government going to waste a lot of my money?
Would I like to have some of it back?
Are some gigantic, influential “fatcats” going to get rich off my tax money?
Am I still going cringe a little every time my business pays me and half the money is gone?
Is any of that going to stop me from continuing to produce and going after my goal?
Not on your life.
So Happy April 15th to all of you. It’s a day not unlike the other 364…a day to be awesome, a day to create something wonderful, a day that the Lord has made, so rejoice and be glad in it…yes, even if you are paying your taxes.
Are you choosing to be a happy taxpayer?
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