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I have often heard that to see what people truly value look at how they spend their time and money. People make time for what they value, and people find money to do what they love.

Making a proclamation is easy, but words alone are an empty reflection of what people think others want to hear.

Most people are surprised to learn that the highest-paid government employees are usually athletic coaches. A recent business publication just printed that in 39 of the 50 states, collegiate coaches are the highest-paid government employee.

It might also surprise people to learn that many of these coaches draw salaries in the millions of dollars. Here in California, the highest-paid government employee is UCLA football coach Chip Kelly. His current annual salary is more than $3 million.

If this upsets you Californians be glad, you don’t live in Alabama where college football ranks near breathing in importance. The storied Alabama program pays their coach, Nick Saban, nearly $8 million per year.

While some find this upsetting, others are just fine with it. After all, the revenue from many football and basketball programs helps fund the athletic needs of other sports.

What does this say about our society?

It means we place the value of athletics above other things. Many of us will proclaim that high-level coaches and professional athletes make obscene amounts of money.

But if we watch sports on TV, go to games and buy the merchandise, we are giving our blessing to the massive amounts of money that infiltrate sports.

If you were to take an honest moment to examine your bank statement, you would learn something about yourself. We tell ourselves and others what we think we value, but how we spend our money may be a more accurate measure.

Of course, how we spend our time can be equally revealing. Again, if we sat for a quiet moment of self-reflection to examine how we spend our time, what would we discover?

I think most people would consider themselves unselfish. Have you shown it?

I also think most people would say they value education and wisdom. Is there proof?

How we spend our time and money is a declaration of what we believe is important, but it will decide what we become.

People have said that we take on the qualities of those around us. I have heard that we are an average of the five people we spend most of our time with. This principle must also be true of the TV and other media we consume.

How we invest our time and money will have a lasting effect on who and what we become.

You can’t spend time watching drivel and expect to walk away unchanged. It is OK to have a guilty pleasure or two to unwind, but if all you consume is the Kardashians, it will end up consuming you.

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Tom and John Mills are registered investment advisers and certified financial planners. Reach them at 254-0155. MillsWealth.com. Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Strategic Wealth Advisors Group (SWAG), a registered investment adviser.

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