Eliminate Financial Problems Through Self Discipline
The primary reason for financial problems in life is lack of self discipline, self mastery, and self control. It is the inability to delay gratification in the short term. It is the tendency for people to spend everything they earn and a little more besides, usually supplemented by loans and credit card debt.
Today, the savings rate in America is too low to achieve financial independence. After a lifetime of work, the average American family has a 200 net worth of only about $8,000. People continue to spend and borrow as if there is no tomorrow.
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The good news is that we are living in the most affluent time in all of human history. There are more opportunities to achieve wealth and prosperity today, for more people, in more different ways, than have ever existed in the history of man. It has never been more possible for you to achieve financial independence than right now. But you must make a resolution to do it, and then follow through on your resolution.
The Reasons for Financial Problems
The primary reason that most adults have financial problems is not because of low earnings. The reason is lack of self-discipline and the inability to delay gratification. Why is this weakness of character so prevalent among the majority of adults in society today? It goes back to early childhood.
When you were a child and you received money (whether it was your allowance or a gift from a friend or relative), the first thing you thought of doing was to spend that money on candy. Candy is sweet. Candy is delicious. Candy fills your mouth with a wonderful, sugary flavor. You liked candy when you were a child, and you probably could seldom get enough of it. Many children will eat candy until they become physically ill because it tastes so good.
As you grew older, you developed what psychologists call a “conditioned response” to receiving money from any source. Like Pavlov’s dog, when you receive money, you mentally salivate at the thought of spending this money on something that makes you happy, at least temporarily.
Spending Makes You Happy
When you become an adult and you earn or receive money, this automatic reaction continues. Your first thought is, “How can I spend this money to achieve immediate pleasure?”
When you go on vacation to a resort of any kind, you find that the hotels and streets are lined with shops selling useless trinkets, bobbles and trash, plus clothes, artwork, and other items that you would never think of buying at home. Why is this? Simple. When you are on vacation, you feel happy. You have a conditioned response to associate happiness with spending money. The happier you are, the more unconsciously compelled you are to go out and spend money on something, or on anything.
It is quite common for many people, when they are unhappy or frustrated for any reason, to go shopping. They unconsciously associate buying something with being happy. When it doesn’t work as they expected, they buy something else. Sometimes, unhappy people go on shopping sprees. They buy lots of things that they don’t particularly need because they unconsciously associate spending with happiness.
Use Self Discipline To Rewire Your Responses about Money
The starting point of achieving financial independence is to for you use self discipline to rewire your attitude towards money. You reach into your subconscious mind and disconnect the wire linking “spending” and “happiness.” You then reconnect that “happiness” wire to the “saving and investing” wire.
To reinforce this shift in thinking, and eliminate financial problems open up a “financial freedom account” at your local bank. This is the account in which you deposit money for the long term. Once your money goes into this account, you resolve that you will never spend it on anything except to achieve financial freedom.
Associate Happiness with Financial Independence
When you begin saving in this way, something miraculous happens within you. You start to feel happy about the idea of having money in the bank. Even if you only open your account with $10, this action gives you a feeling of greater self-control and personal power. You feel happier about yourself.
Because the money in your account is emotionalized by your own thoughts and feelings, it sets up a force field of energy that begins to attract more money into it. If you save $10 a month for a year, you will be astonished to find that with the extra bits of money that you have put into that account, you will probably have more than $200, rather than just $120. If you save $100 per month, you will probably have more than $2,000.
The more money you have in your bank account, the more energy it generates and the more money is attracted into your life. You have heard it said that, “It takes money to make money.” This is true. As you begin to save and accumulate money, the universe begins to direct more and more money towards you, to save and accumulate.
Everyone who has ever practiced this principle of regular saving is absolutely astonished at how quickly their financial problems change for the better.
The rule for financial independence, once you have rewired your attitude toward money, is to “Pay yourself first.” Most people save whatever is left over after their monthly expenses, if there is anything left over. The key however is to pay yourself first, off the top, of every amount of money you receive.
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About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.