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Get Out Of Debt


A Three Prong Financial Fork

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by Paul Kindzia in Personal Finance
May 11, 2018

Each day that we live our lives we get to see and feel new experiences.  How we absorb and process these experiences can have a large impact on our long term development.  The way we filter experiences influences our beliefs, our behaviors, our attitudes and then our habits.

I want you to imagine a scenario in your head that you would depict as “success.”  It can be anything you want your picture of success to be.  I want you to insert at least three things into this visual that you enjoy or make you happy.  Let me provide you with an example to help steer you in the right direction.

Let’s say you love the mountains, enjoy the guitar, and herbal teas make your heart go pitter-patter.  I want you to visualize a scene where you are looking at yourself on the back deck of a beautiful mountain retreat made of timbers and stone.  On that back deck you are playing the guitar while drinking your favorite tea.  The air is fresh, cool and clear.  You can see the mountains around you for miles in every direction.  You are wearing your most comfortable flannel shirt that is soft and comfy from years of wearing it.  You smell oak burning in the stone fireplace along with the scents of the herbal tea.  You feel incredibly relaxed because you slept like a rock the night before and you are at the start of a three week retreat at the cabin.  It’s clearly going to be an awesome three weeks of recharging the batteries while getting back to nature.

Now as pleasing as this visualization may be (or as pleasurable as your own scenario that you imagined is), we can run into a three prong financial fork when we see a picture of something very appealing to us but when it isn’t our own.

Go back to your visualization of awesomeness but rather than seeing yourself in the picture, it is somebody else.  Maybe you are seeing this visualization in a magazine article, a TV show or heaven forbid it is a picture of one of your co-workers or associates who is showing pictures of their latest and greatest vacation on Facebook.  How did it make you feel to see something that you would consider “very pleasant” but without you in the picture?  There are three likely feelings that you will experience when seeing something awesome that doesn’t have you in it;

  1. It can be incredibly positive and inspiring. You see that picture and you think, “I see how that person has obtained something very dear to my desires and since they have done it, I bet I could do it too.”  You then use their experience to model your own beliefs, behaviors and habits.  Your thought is, “If they can do it, I can too!”  With that positive mindset and belief system, you proceed to make your dream a reality which requires you to change your old routines and habits.
  2. It can be neutral. You see the picture and you think, “Boy that looks great. I can only imagine what it would be like to have those experiences.”  But the truth is, your senses don’t really get perked up one way or another looking/visualizing about something that could possibly make you very happy at some point.  You shrug your shoulders and move on to the next 10,000 thoughts that pop into your head during the remainder of the week.
  3. It can be negative. You see the picture and rather than being inspired or even neutral, you turn it into a negative.  You think, “I am jealous that I can’t have that right now.  I am frustrated with my life.  I am so far behind.  I can’t see myself ever experiencing that.  Why is it that good things only happen to others (and to people I dislike?)  My life is so hard.  I am being prevented from living my life of dreams because of…(make a list of the people that are holding you back)”  Rather than seeing the possibilities of goodness, you beat yourself up by believing, “Since that person is successful, that means I suck…”

Visualization exercises can be very powerful catalysts if we allow them to work their magic in our lives.  If you see somebody who has achieved something amazing, something beautiful, something inspiring, pay attention to how you react and feel.  What did they do to allow themselves to achieve those life experiences?  How would you be able to achieve some of those experiences with the resources that you have available within you?

You may also discover with some brainstorming and hard work, you can experience many amazing things without the money of Bill Gates or Warren Buffett.  Maybe you won’t end up owning a mountain chalet in the next 12 months but you could rent one for a week and recharge the batteries along with your own guitar and herbal teas.  Or you could learn to surf, participate in a local triathlon, or take a painting class over 10 weeks and be surrounded by fun people who have a passion for the arts (and coffee).

The possibilities are endless but we need to stay focused on the positive inspirations that are all around us in life.  We just need to open up our eyes, our minds, and our hearts and learn to believe that we can make positive improvements in our financial lives that can move us to a life that is worth living to us.  Our lives don’t have to be just endless repetitive days of doom and gloom, boredom, stress, and anxiety.  We can learn new skills and follow the lead of many people that have figured out how to break through to the other side.  Success is right there in front of you but it is never achieved when we default to the negative reaction to all of the good examples all around us.

Good habits lead to good behaviors.  Good behaviors lead to good decisions.  Good decisions lead to a good life.  Live by principles and choose wisely.

Nobody likes Mr. Crabby Pants – so don’t be him.  Be happy.

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