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Justify It

Just This Once

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by Paul Kindzia in Health, Personal Finance
March 8, 2019

A wise person lives by their own set of principles (hopefully principles that lead to happiness and success.)  These principles, once established, act as a guide or roadmap as we proceed through life.

But often, we don’t follow our own principles at the moments when it was most important that we do.

We break our principles when we justify it.  In the moment, we come up with a variety of reasons why “just this time” it really is smart to break our own principles.  This usually leads to poor long term outcomes.  Once the novelty or the immediate gratification is extracted in all its glory, we are left with the repercussions of our lapses in judgment with a follow up price to pay.

Example: my principles of health tell me to eat healthy.  Justify it – I’ll eat this candy or cake because I deserve it.  I had a; long day, tough break, emotional crisis, and we allow ourselves to cave to our immediate gratification mode and eat what leads us away from what we really want in the long term (our health).

Example: I want this (car, house, shirt, boat, big screen TV…..). It will make me so happy.

Justify it – I know it doesn’t follow my principles of living below my means, eliminating debt, saving adequately…. but just this once it is ok to break my principles because it is for my family or it’s a “once in a lifetime opportunity” (for the record, each passing moment of time in our lives is a once in a lifetime moment if you think about it.)

So what happens in hindsight is that we tend to have the most patience and discipline when it’s an easy stretch in our lives.  But when we need that patience and discipline the most, we don’t choose wisely and the way we do that is by justifying it with a good story that works on ourselves during times of weakness.

We often lose patience and discipline just before we absolutely need it the most.

I find it is helpful to have my principles in written form, clear as day.  I keep my list on my monitor since I spend most of my time in the office. So, when I’m trying to make big decisions I can refer to them as a checklist.  If I’m honest about the process, I’ll easily spot my own flawed logic as I attempt to justify an impending bad decision.

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.

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These are the EXACT same 5 steps I used to get out of DEBT permanently.

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These are the EXACT same steps I used to PERMANENTLY get rid of my mortgage, student loans, credit card debt, and auto loan debt.

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