Wednesday, July 2, 2014

By Personal Experience

I'm quite sure everyone can relate when I say there have been some great pieces of advice I have been given that I wish I had taken. From saving money starting young, to fighting for something that may have been worth it, life is riddled with coulda, woulda, shouldas..

It strikes me as a phenomena that even though we can recognize at face value that the advice we receive is timely and appropriate, and sufficient conclusive evidence exists to support it, we may very well decide to do the wrong thing anyway. Then we suffer through it, build up our own awesome advice book, and try to convince a younger generation.

So what's the root cause of this situation? I can only speak from personal experience of course. When my parents first told me not to open up credit cards and max them out, I nearly laughed. Of course I wouldn't do that. Wouldn't that be foolish of me? Yet here we are two years later and I'm throwing money every which way at those sharks to zero them out.

I can't say I didn't know this could happen. I can't say I wasn't warned. So why did I let it happen? Because I thought it wouldn't happen to me, despite making irresponsible purchases and forgetting that life can change at the flip of a switch.

So that brings me to the main idea. Instead of just offering advice (which has historically been proven to be as effective as diet pills) maybe we should just explain choices and consequences. The little choices we make today affect us in big ways tomorrow. That goes for everything from health and lifestyle, to relationships and of course, financially. Not all is lost, of course. While your lungs still work and your walnut still ticks, recognizing where you went off course will always help you the next time you see a flashing sale sign, or a bad boy with an incredible flashing smile, or a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Just stop thinking you have everything under control, you know what's best for you, and it won't/can't/shouldn't happen to you. That kind of thinking takes you all sorts of places that are everything but fun. ( See Darwin Awards: http://www.darwinawards.com/stupid/ )