"Several people have asked me to share this... I said I would... So... Here goes.

"I remember a time not so long ago... My wife and I were making our daily trek to the bakery deli that my mother managed. This wasn't a trip to get a nice cake or to put in a catering order. No... This was how we were feeding ourselves. Each day we would go to the deli and my mother would give us any "accidental" food that the kitchen had made by mistake. For us, a sandwich with the wrong condiment... Meant lunch.

"That story was always very embarrassing for me, but it was only recently that I actually realized why. It's not because we didn't have any money... Lots of people don't have money. No, for me it was embarrassing because we didn't really care to do any better. We were content. We had each other. We had the kids. Why would we need anything more out of life?

"And thats when it hit me... We were POOR.

"I think we, as a society, need to grasp the concept that "Poor" doesn't mean you don't have money... We have a different word for that in English... It's BROKE.

"The difference is simple. Poor is a state of mind... Broke is a temporary state of being low or out of funds. Nothing more. Nothing less. I have known many rich people who were currently broke... Yet they always recover because broke gets beaten back by the will of a wealthy mindset.

"Poor, on the other hand, owns people. Poor breaks down their will and makes them believe that they have all they really need. Poor makes people believe that they only have one option... To just continue to live the same life they live now... Everyday... Forever.

"And you know what... Being poor is selfish.

"If you don't agree, you are probably poor. That might sting a little, but remember, poor has NOTHING to do with the balance your bank account. Poor is your own reflection in the mirror of your mind.

"Let me explain... Poor people who are just barely getting by think about themselves a lot. They have to out of necessity. They have to think about feeding their family. Keeping the lights on. Making the rent. Now, I know those are all noble things... We all must provide for our families... But when a person is poor, the thoughts tend to stop there. How can I help me and mine?

"Selfish.

"A broke person changes that mindset. They think: How can I help others? What value can I provide to my community? What value can I add to someone else's life? It doesn't take money... It takes caring, understanding, helping, stepping up and being the person someone else needed you to be. When that happens... When you take that step... You stop being poor and move over into just being broke.

"Broke people give of themselves. They give so much that they become of great value to others. And that value grows even more because they are willing to learn and be mentored. They leave their ego at the door, find someone to follow, and then watch that person's every move and listen to every word.

"I recently had a phrase kind of just fall out of my mouth... And it really hit home with me. It goes like this:

"Make a decision... Don't just choose.

"It just means to actually put thought, time, and effort into the decisions you make each day and not just choose on a whim. Think about it like this... Let's say you were to go to a restaurant that you have never been to before.... You have heard the food is amazing! Are you going to just go in and order a burger? Or are you going to take the time to go over the menu? Look at each of the options? Check out the ingredients and how it's prepared?

"You aren't going to 'just choose'... You are going to make a decision.

"Treat your life the same way. People just choose to be poor because they don't look at all the options that are available to them. Their friends are poor. Their coworkers are poor. It must be ok.

"It's not ok.

"You must DECIDE that you are not poor. You have to DECIDE that you have value to provide to those around you.

"Then... The hard part. Give.

"Give until it hurts and then give some more. If you don't have money... That's ok. Agree to help a friend with something difficult that you know how to do. Even maybe just offer a ride to the airport the next time a colleague needs to go out of town. These things do not go unnoticed. Eventually it will just be part of who you are. You will realize and believe that you are valuable and when you believe it... others when then believe it as well.

"Make a decision... Don't just choose."

- Eric Counts

(Copied from Facebook and Posted here with his permission.)