How many times have we said, “oh, I wish I was X”, “I’m just not Y” or “I wish I was better with Z”? And how often after saying that we went right back to doing the same things that we always do only to get the same results? So why don’t we make a change that will allow us to achieve or be those things? Having said this many times it is easy to feel like you have such a tough road ahead to get there that it isn’t worth it. I have learned though that things may not be so out of reach. I know that you can be the person you want to be.
Wishing you can be something will hold you back. It is good to have dreams or goals but the time you spend wishing for something you are not working towards making it a reality. It is an innocent phrase that too often I still say myself but I know how restrictive it is.
I used to wish that I was better with money or that I was one of those people that could save for retirement or pay off debt early. That got me nowhere. It was as if by saying I wished for something that I admitted defeat and it meant I couldn’t be that. Truthfully, that is how I felt. It took a lot of work to realize that I could be or do those things.
I’ve realized that it can be limiting focusing on what others have or have done rather than spend that time working on myself. For everyone that is successful and have everything you could imagine there are many more that would be envious of your life. Just something to keep in perspective.
Find Your Motivation
Due to the way information is shared now we have new opportunities to learn and receive access to information. If you can Google, you can find what you need to know.
It used to be that you would have to read physical copies of books, magazines or newspapers to find new information. The internet though gives us the ability to share information in real time.
The reason I am here with a blog is because of the stories of debt freedom I heard on the Dave Ramsey show. Do not underestimate hearing those stories. Now, I find my motivation through podcasts but there are many other ways to get motivated and learn.
These same motivational resources can also give you the information to achieve what you want to achieve. Be proactive, find out more information, don’t just sit back and wait for it to happen. This is the first step towards being who you want to be.
The Jealousy Trap
Learning from others is a great way to see what is possible. Seeing someone’s success can be a glimpse of your future. Use them as motivation and a resource for what you want to be.
The key though is to avoid the trap of jealousy. When we become jealous of others it impedes on our ability to make progress. We need to be happy with the success of others. Do we want people to be jealous of our successes? No, we want them to be inspired.
Earlier, I mentioned the stories I heard on Dave Ramsey as a source of motivation. It wasn’t always that way. For the first year of hearing them I heard what I wanted to hear. I was jealous. I didn’t want to hear about their focus and hard work. Instead, I always found excuses for why I couldn’t do what they did.
Guess what, I held myself back because of it. They continued their progress while I always found excuses as to why they were different.
Eventually, I wore down. I became hopeful that I could be someone else. Just after a few days of having a budget and having the mind frame of getting rid of debt I realized that it wasn’t such a big deal. I had built up this idea in my head that I couldn’t do what others had. I was wrong.
The mental hurdle of change held me back. It left me stuck in a world of wishing I could be something else rather than receiving the fulfillment of transformation. It was easier to continue doing the same thing and managing the results rather than making a change. This left me in a cycle of being static.
For record, I am not perfect nor do I have everything figured out so this isn’t a “look at how amazing I am” thing. This is about YOU learning that if you want to be better with money or fill in the blank that you can be.
Also, if you have cancer or have been struck by tragedy I am not talking about you if you wish for a change. There are surely ways to find hope in those situations and I encourage you to seek them if that is the case but I am not suggesting that all ‘wishing’ is the same when put is a very difficult situation.
Find Your Why
I’ve written about finding your why before in my 6 Simple Steps to Get Out of Debt post. That is more focused on debt specifically but it can apply to other situations.
With regards to ‘wishing’ for something it is important to understand why we are wishing for something. This will help you understand what you really want. Let’s break this down.
A common wish is to be a millionaire. That is typically because while money can’t buy happiness, it can buy lots of things that make our lives easier. But what is the behind the wish? Is it freedom from your job, is it a desire to travel or have a big house?
Now, why do you want freedom from your job? Why do you want to travel? Why do you want a big house? Your answer is really the issue at hand. So, while we are getting jealous of someone who is a millionaire we are missing out on the real issue and aren’t finding ways to address them.
Instead, we play the lottery, borrow money to strike it rich or just flat out complain. If we put that energy into addressing the issue we would find more fulfillment.
If your problem is that you hate your job because it keeps you away from your family then focus on ways to either stay at home more or put a plan in place to not need that job. That is a big reason we got out of debt. We wanted to be able to live off one salary so the other spouse could stay home with the kids.
It took work and while we wished for a bunch of money to solve the problem we realized that we could make it happen ourselves. That is when it happened.
A big part of change is being honest with yourself about your habits. Your current habits have lead you to where you are today. If you don’t change them then you will get the same results.
Look at the habits of those that have achieved what you want to achieve. Put those in place understanding what works and doesn’t work for you. Don’t kid yourself, be honest with yourself. If you need to drive a different route home from work to avoid a common pitfall on your way home then do it.
Willpower only gets you so far. If you stop and get coffee every day on your way to work then find a way to remove the temptation and address the need behind it. Put measures in place to give you success.
An example of this is that I usually have a frozen meal in the fridge at work so I don’t have an excuse to go out. By planning ahead, I have made it easier for me to get what I really want rather (financial independence) than give in to short term hunger or cravings.
Find what habits you have that hold you back. Work on changing them one at a time. The results from each change will build up. The habits will become natural and you will transform to be who you want to be.
Be the Person You Want to be Now
In many ways though you can be the person you want to be now. If you want to be nicer, more generous, or better with money you can do that right now. There is nothing holding you back. Don’t wait. You just need to be mindful of it.
Typically, there is no magic moment where all the sudden change happens. It happens when you are intentional about how you want to live.
We didn’t all the sudden get out of debt. It happened one decision at a time and one day at a time. We were living a debt free lifestyle long before we got out of debt.
Figure out the behavior that gets you to where you want to be and implement it. You may not get the results right away but you will have the benefit of knowing you are making progress.
That is what separates the idea of ‘wishing’ for something and getting something. You are laying the groundwork to get you there rather than sowing seeds of jealousy or contempt.
Those small behaviors will have a drastic impact on your life. So, for your sake, recognize them now and act. It is never too late to turn around.
This was quite a motivating read. Gotta love those Dave Ramsey Debt Free Screams.:-) Currently I’m working on eliminating not only money wasting habits, but also time wasting habits, so I can get down to more fulfilling, effective, helpful, purposeful projects . . . and yet trying not to be uptight about the whole process. It’s a balancing act I reckon. Thanks for posting.
Thanks! I appreciate that! Time wasting habits have been a big focus for us as well for the exact reasons you mentioned. Yeah, don’t want to be too over scheduled either to allow yourself some freedom at some point of your day. Keep up the good work!
The 76K Project
Great post! I’m trying to do exactly this. I want to run more, write more, create more, be the best parent I can be… Those are things that I can do right away. I also want to be debt free (sooooo badly). That’s going to take more time, but it will happen!
Thanks! Yeah, it is so fulfilling looking back and seeing that you have actually started doing the things you want to do. It adds up and becomes second nature. Those are all great areas to want to improve in. Good luck!