Green Stamps and Low-Hanging Fruit

S&H stamps
S&H stamps

Does anyone remember Green Stamps?

Mom used to collect those faithfully, and save up to buy “extra” stuff she wanted. She bought her first camera with green stamps. Yes, it took years, and she probably could have paid for the camera a lot more easily and quickly some other way. But she enjoyed the feeling of “earning” that award over time.

She was able to use her down-time, when the kids were napping and the house was quiet, and she could watch whatever was on TV to sort and place and shop and dream about what she could get “for free.” She’s bought and given away several cameras over the years since then, but guess which one she remembers the most fondly? Yep, that little Brownie Hawkeye.

Sometimes it’s not a bad idea to grab the low-hanging fruit. The opportunities that other people might see as a waste of time.

Maybe you woke up this morning, and realized that absolutely nothing in your closet fits anymore. And, actually most of the stuff hasn’t been comfortable for a while. Well, you can run the credit cards up buying larger clothes like I’ve done lots of times, or you can grab the low-hanging fruit (and vegetables), and start making some small changes that will pay off big dividends in the long run. Cut out one thing, like high fructose corn syrup. I did this a few years ago, and dropped several pounds without even trying. I didn’t even cut out sugar at first – just the high fructose corn syrup. (Did I mention that before I did that, I was drinking Coca-Cola instead of water?) Maybe you have a different vice, but each tiny habit you change is like collecting a green stamp, and putting it in a book.

Maybe you’re out of work right now, and you’re feeling a little out-of-the-game. Check out some of the microworking opportunities available to freelancers. It’s true that you probably aren’t going to get rich doing this type of work. Although some people manage to make a pretty good living doing this type of work, most are simply earning a little extra coin while sharpening their skills, learning a new trade, or exploring a new industry. Those are good things – and worthwhile. Just put those green stamps in the book, already!

Maybe you’re recovering from a serious illness, or a divorce, and you are having a hard time getting back in the game. Often once you’ve gone through a major life change, you tend to lose interest in some of the things that you were passionate about before. That’s OK, as long as those old passions are eventually replaced with new ones. But that interim time can be very lonely and isolating. Baby step to the internet…baby step to a Facebook group or discussion forum…baby step you’re back in the game, Bob Wiley! Just take a look through that green stamp book, and see what you would like to have. Set a goal, then work for it.

Your goal doesn’t have to be a big one. It can be a baby step. Grab that low-hanging fruit, and you just might find that when you’re ready to set your next goal, you’ll have the confidence and courage you need to aim higher.

BTW, if you’re cleaning out an old closet and come across some of those Green Stamps, you can apparently redeem them for the online version – Green Points.

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