Last week I was kind, gentle and uplifting, encouraging you to make sure you “put your money where your mouth is” when it comes to what you say you value. I meant every word I wrote and have given that encouragement to hundreds of people before. Your comments tell me it was a message many of you needed, and I’m glad it helped. This week, I have to go a bit in the opposite direction. Just like when you are trying to cure a disease, you have to choose whether to work on the symptoms or the root cause. Today, I’m working on the root cause. I do not want you to stay broke!
As I’ve written many times before, the normal American is broke and has been taught that’s just the way it is. The normal American has been sold the idea that to own nice things (of which we are all “entitled,” right?!), he/she has to make payments. You’ve been told you cannot live life without debt or that debt is a tool. Pish Posh. That’s a bunch of garbage. Believing those lies is roughly the same as believing the “food” you pick up through the McDonald’s drive-thru is top-quality, organic health food. Mmmmmm, delicious!
Last week was about love. This week is about reality. In our subconscious brains, there is something going on and, because it is subconscious, we don’t even recognize what’s happening up there. That is, unless someone points it out. What is going on in our heads when we make financial choices? For example, what is happening in our subconscious when we buy a new car when the one we have now is just fine , even though it might be wiser to browse the best used car inventory instead? And when the car payments will keep us from saving from retirement? What makes us decide that an expensive vacation to “get away from it all” is exactly what the doctor ordered when stress gets the best of us? What drives our spending habits?
Today I’m going to “think out loud.” I’m going to verbalize the internal thoughts of the normal American and you’ll quickly see (and hear) some truths about your subconscious. For some of you, it’ll be funny. For some of you, it’ll be sad. For some of you, it’ll be offensive. For many of you, it’ll be a catalyst for change. My goal is the last one – I want to change your thinking, which can change your behavior, which can change your life, which can change others’ lives.
Here’s the thing. This video is dangerous. Why? As one of my mentors pointed out to me long ago, we have to be careful when we speak as an authority because oftentimes we find out we were wrong. We thought we had it all figured out and we thought everybody else was wrong. Reality is sometimes a cruel teacher. If I turn out to be wrong and spending more money than you make is the source of a great joy, I’ll recant. Otherwise, please take a few minutes and consider the implication if I’m right on this. It would mean millions of modern Americans are wrong, but it would mean your Great Grandma was right. It would mean your Economics professor is wrong, but the family working its collective tail off to be able to scream, “WE’RE DEBT FREE!!!” live on the Dave Ramsey Show is right. I’ll let you decide.
Okay, your turn. Did you learn anything? Did the video make you laugh, cry, or get angry? I’d love to read your reaction – I’m sure you had one!