I thought this was a great quote to expand upon in a blog.
This is so true, in many cases the source of your problems is your thinking. Stop putting Band-Aids on your problems and dig into the source of the issues in the first place. For example, if you struggle to manage your personal finances, which is a nicer way of saying “You’re broke all the time”, you need to look at the behaviors and thought processes around money that you currently have. Do your own root cause analysis.
If you are barely making ends meet each month, but you smoke, eat out all the time, go drinking with your friends every weekend, these are end results, not the cause of your problem(s).
You don’t have a money problem…you have a behavior problem.
Think about it…as an adult, you need to get your sh*t together sooner rather than later. When you continue to do the things that make you feel good first, you are behaving like a child. Children do what they want and what makes them feel good in the moment. Adults learn (hopefully) to reign in their desires and do what is best for them and others overall, not just in the moment. This means showing some discipline and sticking to a budget each month. It means saying “no” to your friends once in a while when you do not have the money needed to participate in something. If you are a smoker, or frequent consumer of fast food, you better add up the weekly costs of these detrimental habits and see just how much impact they are having on your life. Not only are they terrible for your health, but they are keeping you from securing your financial future as well.
This mentality applies to all facets of your life, not just the financial side. That is just an easy area to show:
As simple to understand as that equation may be, it is crazy how many people struggle with something as basic as this. You HAVE TO look at things critically and from a third person point of view. If you struggle with this, ask a friend or family member to show you the error of your ways. In most cases, it is easy to run someone else’s life, and many will be eager to spout their opinion. However, be careful who’s advice you follow; it should really come from someone who is doing a better job of this than you are.
In another example, I have a close friend that is struggling with a disorder that I would rather not disclose. It has come close to taking her life several different times now, and once again she finds herself in an out-of-state rehab center paying out-of-pocket costs because her insurance will not cover more treatments. Because she is willing to share with me many details of what she is struggling with, and also the rehab and treatment process, I am fairly up to speed on how things are progressing. While she has some health concerns that absolutely must be addressed right away, I also keep encouraging her to use some of the therapy sessions to get to the root cause of her issues. It seems to me that too much emphasis is put on the here and now, and not digging into why this started in the first place.
What she does as a coping mechanism is a bad pattern of behavior. It wreaks havoc in her life. She knows this on an intellectual level, but still struggles to exercise control over this set of behaviors. It is so obvious to everyone else in her life, but she has yet to break through the patterns. She is much closer this time around, and I am encouraged by her behavior changes thus far. Only time will tell if she has really conquered this.
While this is an extreme example, it is not too far off as a comparison to self-destructive behaviors that we all engage in. My ex brother-in-law once spent the last $25 in the checking account on fishing gear (that he didn’t need, just wanted) three days before the next payday. Hence the word “ex” in the previous sentence. This is a behavior issue that my sister ignored before getting married to him, and couldn’t beat, er I mean, persuade out of him during their marriage. Regardless of your particular brand of flaw, the end result is bad, and the cause is the behavior and the thought patterns that facilitate those actions.
When you learn to solve the underlying causes of your issue, in other words, fixing the mentality, THEN and only then can you get to the root of the problem and change your life’s path. Some people are born into a poor family, learn those behaviors by osmosis, and repeat the pattern. It is the same with alcoholism, abuse, and many other learned behaviors. Others see the error of those ways and make changes to be different. It is never too late to make changes and improve aspects of your life. Once you start to see the benefits, it is likely you will do this in other areas too. You can literally change the operating software you run on, and things will be (can be) different from that point forward. I know, I have done it myself, out of necessity at times.
These sweeping changes are not easy to make. You first must recognize the error of your ways. Next you must have a desire to change and live differently. THEN you can start to make some changes, little by little, and then build on those successes. I loved Jordan B. Peterson’s book 12 Rules for Life, because he talks about these very same things. Cleaning up your room as a precursor to cleaning up your life, for example. It clearly is resonating with people, as the book has sold 4 million copies and counting. Obviously there is a desire for this type of action, but there is a lack of understanding on how to make those changes. As with most things, start small and work your way up. We all want to start at the top, but it just doesn’t work that way. I didn’t start playing on the Pro Tour for Racquetball as soon as I picked up a racquet. I had to put in the hard miles to get to that level.
Step by step, walk the thousand mile road.
I wish you luck in your endeavors.