One of the mistakes some people make when they’re talking about debt is that they focus on moving away from something. But among those that know what really motivates us is the theory that it is easier to move towards a goal.
Imagine you’re a circle sitting in the middle of a page. If you’re moving away, you could be going off in any direction. So imagine there are arrows pointed all over the place.
Now imagine that you’re a circle sitting in the middle of a page and that you want to move towards the bottom left-hand corner of that page. You have a pretty clear sense of direction, right? One arrow. Direct.
That’s the thing about knowing where you want to be, which is what I put such a large emphasis on getting to Debt-Free Forever, as opposed to just getting out of debt. Can you see the diff?
Set a Path to Debt Freedom, and More
Most often when you ask people what they want from their lives, they give you a vague answer. They’re not really moving towards anything specific. But you can’t wait for life to move you to a place that feels good. You have to decide what you want, what you really, really want, and head off in that direction.
If you want your life to change you have to make a clear decision about where you want to go next. Bitching about how much your life sucks won’t get you there. And moaning about how hard it is won’t make the journey any easier. Instead, celebrate the honor and privilege of having the freedom to make a choice, and be grateful that you get to decide where your life goes next.
When you’re deciding what you really, really want, make sure it is, in fact, what you really, really want.
Sometimes people say they want something, but they don’t accept the consequences of having made that choice. Loads of people say they want to own their own homes. They can even paint a pretty clear picture of what that home will be like, where it will be, and what it will feel like to live in that home.
What they can’t come to grips with is the fact that owning a home means not spending money in restaurants, or on new clothes, or vacations. You cut all of this so you can build up a down payment. It also means not going out three nights a week to party with friends because now you have a mortgage and a whole bunch of around-the-house things to get done.
Deciding what you really, really want means that you not only paint a clear picture of the home, but you also do your best to predict and understand the consequences of owning a home.
Make Sure Your Plan is Realistic
Everything in life comes with upsides and downsides. If you’re only looking at the upsides when you’re making your decisions, you’ll be unhappily surprised when the downsides come along. Having children has huge upsides. In my life, nothing has been better. But having children also has enormous responsibilities, and if you’re not prepared for the, they can take your breath away. ditto deciding to go back to school, changing your career, moving to a new country, or part of the country, and becoming Debt-Free Forever.
People often tell me that they know what they want. Often however, they’re not clear on what they really, really want. And that manifest in the fact that their behaviour does not match their words.
It’s important to understand and accept the consequences of your choice and integrate both the upsides and the downsides into your plan. Sure, you may not be able to go out three nights a week with friends, but you can hold a game night, or have a Dessert for Dinner evening where everyone brings something to the table. And you may be stuck home with baby, but that won’t stop you inviting all the other stuck-home-with-baby people over for poker night or to watch the latest DVD release.
Deciding what you want is only the first step in getting what you really, really want. You must also accept both the upsides and the downsides, planning for how you’ll enjoy and deal with your life when you do make your dream come true.