Have you ever said these things to yourself?

If I had more money… life would get better.  …I could do what I really wanted to do. …I would change.   …I would not be mad at the world anymore. …People would finally respect me.  …People would love me.  …I could impress people.  …People would think I was smart.  Or have you ever found yourself saying: If I won the lottery I’d tell my boss to stick this job.  I could finally give some money to charity. The list can go on and on…I can hear you having that lame conversation in your head right now!

Being Honest

If we are honest, we have all had that same conversation! It is easy to think if we just had some more money we could really start living life. However, there is only one problem with that mindset. Whether you’ve got money or not, you’re still living life. In fact, money is like perfume that attracts prey. Make a mistake and money can cover it up. Live recklessly and money can bring order out of chaos. Get arrested and buy your way out of it. Rich people do it all the time, don’t they?

Money is like a magnifying glass. It distorts the image and blows it up so you can see all the small details of the object you’re examining. More money shows the world all the small details of who you really are. Where and how you spend is an expression of what’s important to you. Money can be an excuse we use to live lives of mediocrity.  Once we get some money we will live our dreams. No matter how much money we’ve got, we’re living our dream right now. If we aren’t happy with what we’re dreaming, we’ve messed up somewhere in this equation.

Making Excuses

We, too often, use the lack of money as an excuse. And the hamster on the treadmill marches on. Self-Invented Restless Dissatisfaction: Are you suffering from Self-Invented Restless Dissatisfaction? First, let’s give credit where it is due for this interesting “condition” I am exploring.  Joshua & Ryan use this term in their latest blog post Eschewing Advertising in Favor of Authentic Marketing.

So, what exactly is Self-Invented Restless Dissatisfaction? It means if we can’t seem to get our satisfaction and keep searching for it, it’s our own fault. We’ve invented our own unhappiness! And there are a lot of advertisers who would love to talk to us about it. Because they want to sell the instant solution to our mysterious problem. Sounds depressing, doesn’t it? There’s good news. Becoming aware you are the creator of your discontent solves 50% of the problem. Doing something about it is the other 50%, the solution.  So what I’m saying is this: 1) You are responsible for your unhappiness. 2) You can change it. 3) You cannot buy the solution. 4) It’s gonna take work. 5) You are 100% in control of your life.

Stop Self-Sacrificing

Advertising serves a purpose. If you’re buying something you need to know if/where it’s available. Just ask yourself, “What am I buying and what problem am I trying to solve?” Always remember you cannot buy eternal life, skinny, rich, or instant happy. You are already eternal. Skinny requires sweat. Rich requires sweat. And happiness is within. Just take an honest inventory and ask why do I need so much? Stuff will not fill the hole in your heart. Only love of self, followed by a love of others will.

Stop with all the self-sacrifice. If you cannot take care of yourself first, you cannot take care of anyone. Serve others, yes, but not to the detriment of your own well-being. It Is Never Too Late: Do not wait until you’re behind on your house, car, or credit card payments to reach out and ask for help. It does not have to get that bad. It is never too late to stop what you are doing and change direction. Too often we do not ask for help with our finances because of fear, ignorance, or embarrassment.

Talking about our personal finances is still taboo in America. Why? Because how/where we spend our money reveals to the world exactly what is important to us. If you are telling the world one thing is important and your spending says otherwise, it is time for a checkup from the neck up. It is never too late to ask for help. Just remember, a bankruptcy is not a magic pill. After the smoke clears you still have to learn to pay your bills on time and make wiser financial decisions. And, no, a foreclosure is not a pleasant experience. AND it is not the end of your life.

After a foreclosure, you have to live somewhere. If that means renting for a while, then so be it. Help is out there. You have to make the first move. If there’s a funny sound coming from under the hood of your car, ignoring it isn’t going to fix it. Your money is no different. Whistling in the dark is not going to keep you safe. Reach out and turn on the light switch to your freedom.  You deserve to be happy.  You can do it.

Copyright 2012 – Debt Shepherd – All Rights Reserved

Greg Whitaker teaches financial freedom and is an untiring ambassador for financial literacy. He coaches people to help them get from where they are to where they want to be with their money. His specialty is rapid debt elimination. After learning how to quickly get out of debt himself, he founded Debt Shepherd with his wife Lynn to help others do the same. Greg hosts an online radio show, podcasts regularly, and is a 9 yr. a veteran of the mortgage lending industry. Money: The Magnifying Glass:

Debt Shepherd 11/2012 Article Submission

Celeste Duckworth

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