In How to change your life: Your friends we learned that picking the right people for your inner-circle is incredibly important. They provide the foundation for who you are, and what you'll become. The next step to changing your life is to determine how you'll let strangers, things, and beliefs direct you.
Let's talk about beliefs first. I met with a person today that laid out an elaborate tree of excuses as to why they couldn't pare down their lifestyle and live on less (lots less!). I couldn't help but think about how they believe that these “things” are required in their life. They've become accustomed to a certain lifestyle, and there was no flexibility.
Tip: when you're in a tough spot and/or need to make major changes in your life, you need to think unlike you ever have before. No, it's not comfortable. No, it's not easy. But thinking like you always have brought right here.
Back to beliefs – how many of these things do you believe? You'll always have a car payment. You'll always have a mortgage, or pay rent. Credit cards are great for the miles and they help build credit. A good credit score is really really important. Financing “stuff” makes it more affordable (cars, TVs, etc.). Financing *anything* is a good idea. There are certain things and hobbies you just can't do without because it's “who you are.”
If you've read me before, I hope you know where I stand on all of these items. They're all beliefs though, ingrained into our brains from childhood by often well-meaning people. Coincidentally, they're all beliefs that are holding you back – back from being able to breathe, from being able to achieve your dream of a better, easier life.
Here's the reality of the matter, and I hope you'll internalize this as deeply as possible. What we need and what we want are two completely different things. Here are the basic “things” you need: food, water, electricity, shelter from the elements, basic transportation, and work. Everything else is a want/luxury and serves to increases your “quality of life.”
In order to make real changes, start with the basics and re-evaluate literally everything you believe about “you.” Your home, the city you live in, the work you do, the stuff you own, and most importantly where you're headed. I can tell you with certainty that if you're willing to blow it up and cut back to the bare essentials, you're well on your way to better life.
The problem with most Americans is that they've become complacent and they're unwilling to sacrifice “things” that make them feel good. New cars, a home they can no longer afford, eating out, buying new furniture, etc. These things smothering our ability to flourish.
Are you having a difficult time making ends meet, or you're simply not accomplishing everything you had hoped? It's time to look around at your “stuff” and see what's happened. Here's a place to start: sell your stuff, possibly look at a second job, and pay off your debts. You'll be able to breathe again. Get back to the basics.
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