As sponsors of the First Responders Recognition and Awards Breakfast here in Independence, this past Thursday I was blessed to get to be in attendance as the Chamber of Commerce honored some of its very bravest public servants, including officer Cody Allen who was tragically killed in the line of duty a little under a month ago. At the event, IFD Chaplain Jeremy Kenyon, told an amazing story I felt I must share with you today.

A young man was applying for a position as a farm hand. The Farmer asked “what are your qualifications”? He replied “I can sleep through a storm” Although the farmer was puzzled by the answer he decided to hire the boy anyway.

A few days later a violent storm arose. Jumping out of bed, the Farmer ran to wake his newly hired employee. As promised the young man remained sleeping. Not wanting to waste another second trying to wake him, the farmer ran to secure the equipment and found everything was put away and protected. He then hurried to the field only to find all of the hay had been bailed and put in the barn away from the elements. The animals too were locked safely in their pens with plenty of food and water. Extra wood had even been brought in for the fireplace of the farmer’s home. There was literally nothing that needed to be done.

It was at that moment that the farmer understood what the young man meant by being able to sleep through a storm. The worker’s ability to rest easy came not from apathy or indifference, but from the knowledge that everything is taken care of and there is no need for concern.

Can you say you sleep well during the storms of life? If not, what is keeping you awake? If you are like most Americans, money concerns may be the thing causing your insomnia. According to a brand-new Mind over Money poll by Capital One and The Decision Lab, more than three of four Americans find themselves anxious about their finances. More than half report difficulty controlling these money related worries.

In this way, I think a lesson can be learned from this story of the young farmhand. Being prepared and having a plan are the keys to obtaining peace of mind. This is especially true when it comes to money worries. Whether it be having enough for retirement, managing debt levels or, keeping up with rising the cost of living, without a feeling of control, anxiety and fear become the alternative.

I jokingly say often that I am constantly worried about money so I never have to be worried about money. To a large part this statement is actually true. I keep a close eye on my spending, I try to keep enough in reserves to handle any emergency, and do all that I can to grow what I have efficiently.

If there are financial matters keeping you up at night the first step you need to take is to put your worry to good use by turning it into motivation for action. For some of you this may mean scheduling an appointment with your financial advisor, or hiring one if none exists. For others of you it may mean doing a full diagnostic exam of your financial situation yourself to see what money you have, and where it is going.

Regardless of where you personally find yourself financially at the moment, I can guarantee you a storm is coming. It may be tomorrow; it may be not come for quite some time. Regardless, one thing is certain, at some point the winds will pick up, the lightning will crash, and the rains will fall. Now is the time to make the arrangements necessary to ensure you sleep soundly when it arrives.

(Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The advice is general in nature and not intended for specific situations)