Margin Is Not Just For You!

Josh in Hawaii


I want to share with you one of the most essential concepts when it comes to improving your life.  Let’s talk about margin.

First of all, what is margin?

“Margin is the space between our load and our limits,” says author Richard Swenson in his book, Margin.

In simple terms, margin is having room to breathe.  It is what happens when we have sufficient time and resources to maneuver.  With margin we find we have options and can more easily make our desirable choices possible.

Margin is getting a score on a final exam of 110 percent.  It is having money at the end of the month after paying all of the bills.  It is arriving at the next meeting 10 minutes early.  Margin is being able to park in the garage without banging the door against stuff when you exit.

So, if margin is so great, how do we get it?

We either create margin, or we create a lack of margin.  It is all about planning ahead and following through.  Ahh, is that all?  Yes, it is that simple and at times,  that hard.

Planning and completion are two of the hardest skills often never learned in life.  A deficiency in these skills is why so many folks, me included, have struggled with margin for so long.  I am a great one to be writing this post, because I am the one who can tell you first hand about what it feels like NOT to have margin, to almost always have fewer choices, to almost always be a day late and a dollar short.  I still do not have enough margin in my life, but I am working on it, because over the past few years I have come to understand for the first time what it means for me, for my wife, for my family, and for others around me.


Margin is for the people you love.  Creating more margin in your life is the secret to fulfilling our basic human desire to help others, to give our time, our energy, and our resources, to those we love, and to those we wish to help.  Without margin, we always come up short, never quite able to be there for others, unable to offer our thoughtful insight – given our own overloaded circumstances, never quite able to find enough energy to go the final lap, or to offer resources to help someone in need.

So, stop letting circumstances, or the environment, discourage you.  Recognize that you are  in control.  Again, either you have created margin, or you have created lack of margin.


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