Interest works night and day in fair weather and in foul. It gnaws at a man’s substance with invisible teeth. — Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887) American politician.
Have you dared to count the words ‘double dip recession’, ‘bailout’ and ‘stimulus’ while watching the mainstream media just now? Have you sensed that these carefully crafted words are nothing but an effort by the pundits to make us believe that our economy is a complicated subject mastered only by elite few?
The US Federal Reserve chairman is proposing another round of stimulus to revive a lifeless economy.
In reality, our government keeps printing money to promote a culture of consumption.
At the root of the collapse of our economy lies this fact — we have been fascinated with the pervasive notion as a society that “more” will make us “happier”. Our society has become a swamp of the fake standard of success to acquire “more” — wealth, fame and power.
If you feel a sense of insecurity at this time of economic crisis, you are not alone. We are the creatures of our own thoughts. Our thoughts shape our destiny. You can champion your life if you try to reject this culture of consumption and determine to live debt free.
1 . Don’t fear money, fear debt
Let’s face it, the word economy is intertwined with money or lack of it. The culture of consumption has fostered a deadly item — the credit card. We don’t visualize money when we fearlessly pull a credit card out of our wallet to purchase another unwanted possession that we can scarcely afford. Spending with a credit card is a convenience to subdue our fear of money. We fear money but we don’t fear paying the outrageous charges for using the plastic that brings a few moments of fleeting joy now… and far greater pain in the future. It makes us feel good to acquire and enjoy something that we have dreamed of without too much hard work to earn it. It’s wise to get used to dealing with money by keeping it in your wallet and using it for your true needs, rather than using plastic to create more debt.
2. Cash is king
Our desire to blend ourselves into the culture of consumption squanders our most precious resource to live life to its fullest — our cash. Our possessions are lifeless but the debt it creates has a lasting impact on our lives —our health and happiness.
Our debt creates a fake reality- it creates uncertainty when we should feel confident, and it gives a false sense of security when we should feel caution.
Imagine you have enough money when the recession rearsits ugly head. You can invest in some of the most attractive companies in the world at a far better price than their book value. Shouldn’t we feel confident when we can purchase a share of a business at a far better value?
3. Don’t fear insecurity, fear complacency
It’s natural to dive into the ocean of despair in these tumultuous times — fear that we won’t have enough money to live well and maintain our lifestyle. It’s that sense of insecurity that breeds fear. The culture of consumption plays a pivotal role in instilling fear in our lives. True freedom comes with the faith that we can shape our own life the way we desire. That faith is buried under the pile of worries that holds our life hostage. In my life, I have learned that fear of insecurity has often propelled my intentions to new heights by letting me dream and helping me achieve financial freedom. Our government tries to stimulate the economy by giving us money to spend. It’s another form of complacency — and one that promotes the culture of consumption. This stimulus is another way of promoting the idea that it is okay to spend what we don’t have; it is fine to enjoy life right now. We postpone the worry of the inevitable consequences until later.
Even in this dire economic conditions, it is not as hard to achieve financial freedom as you might think. Make a pledge today to embrace simplicity — to live simple, to think simple. I have found that a few simple changes in your life can make an incredible difference.
- Learn to live debt free – Our ultimate desire is to live free and happy. Everything we do in our lives rests on this human yearning to enjoy life without restrictions and to pursue passions that inspire us the most. Unfortunately, a vast amount of talent never shines to its fullest potential becausefinancial restrictions influence our actions.. When you learn to live debt free, all barriers to happiness go away.
- Be a contrarian – Those who achieve incredible success have a common trait — being a contrarian. A contrarian finds an opportunity in every adversity. A contrarian views life through his or her own lens. In the midst of this financial crisis lies some of the greatest opportunities of our lifetime.
Instead of spending, pay down your debt. Believe me, the joy of freedom will outlast the fake pride of possessions. Turn your back on the culture of consumption, and face the peace of mind it brings. Do you agree?
Debt is the worst poverty. — Thomas Fuller (1608-1661) British clergyman and author