In 2005, when I was 38 years old I had a heart attack. In the month or so leading up to the heart attack, I was starting to exhibit the classic symptoms – pain radiating down the shoulders, achiness in my jaw and between my shoulder blades. But I didn’t know what they were.
On the night of the heart attack, I felt instantly sick to my stomach. I could tell that something wasn’t right. It wasn’t just the stomach flu or food poisoning. I remember being curled up on the floor of the bathroom wondering if this was it – if this was the end of me.
I remember being afraid and then angry. I was too young. There were supposed to be a lot of years left for me to live. In that single instant my values shifted drastically. I wasn’t at all disappointed that I hadn’t gone to the Bahamas. I couldn’t care less what was going to happen next on the TV series LOST.
What I’ve learned is that when you face a very real possibility that you might be at the end of your life, you will ask these two questions:
- Did I love people well?
- Did I make a different in the world – did I matter?
I’ve heard that others who have faced a similar situation also asked if they lived fully, but for me if I answered my two questions well, I would be living fully.
These two questions were burned into my mind. During the months of my recovery, I was confused because these two questions seemed at odds with each other. How was I supposed to spend my time?
Sometimes I’m a pretty slow learner. It has taken me several years of reflection and mulling before I’ve come to realize that both questions are intertwined with each other. You can’t separate them. You can’t make a significant ripple in the world if you don’t love people. The impact you will try to make will be meaningless. Both questions are ultimately about loving people – people close and people far.
It has also taken a while for me to figure out how to realign my life around my passions, dreams, and my message. Now I am helping others to join me in positively influencing the world. My passion is to get everyone to take hold of my two fundamental questions and to act on them.
At Steam Engine Financial Coaching, we are passionate about helping people lead a life of significance. However, broke people can’t afford to be very generous and are often too stressed out living month to month or paycheck to paycheck to even consider what mark they’d like to leave on the world. We want to help you make money an enabling agent in your life rather than a limiting factor.
We have not only learned about finances and financial counseling, but we have worked the principles we teach into our own lives. Because we have applied these principles: We have become debt free except for our house; We have an emergency fund to cover life’s events; The kids’ college is funded; We have savings in retirement; And most importantly, we have greater unity in our marriage over money.
The Steam Engine Financial Coaching team has attended and completed Dave Ramsey’s Counselor Training *.
Our Top Posts
If you are new here, you might want to start with our more popular posts. Here are our top 10 posts plus a link to John’s story which is a little more in depth:
- 20 Tips to Kissing Your Money Fights Good-bye (pt 1)
- Going Broke Saving Money
- The Reality of Financial Stress
- The Real Cost of Ownership: A Car
- The Real Cost of Ownership: An iPhone 4
- Kicking the Plastic Habit
- Actively Flabby and Vicariously Thrilled
- When I Really Understood Our Budget
- 20 Ways to Get Some Extra Money
- Do You Weigh Your Bananas?
- My Story
John Bonesio has worked as a software engineer for almost 20 years. He is a teacher at heart and is passionate about leading. He can deftly sift through complex problems to determine the best path to the ultimate goal. In your coaching, John will keep you focused and on-track to help you reach your goals.
Rena Bonesio has a master’s degree in social work. Overcoming obstacles and putting things right brings Rena intrinsic satisfaction. She is compassionate, yet can be pointedtly honest. In your coaching Rena will offer practical support and encouragement on your financial journey.
* Completion of Dave Ramsey’s Counselor Training does not create an employment or an agency relationship, or give any counselor the right to speak for or bind Dave Ramsey or his company, the Lampo Group, Inc., nor does it constitute an endorsement or recommendation by Dave Ramsey.