What Time and Memory have to do with Personal Finance

The Passage of Time

When I first started my debt free journey, I remember saying to myself, Time is going to pass no matter what I do. That was a profound statement to me. I wanted to have a baby soon. It meant to me, that right now I could choose to be debt free, or chose to bury my head in the sand, but no matter what I chose my baby would be born. Either he would be born into a debt free family, or a family swimming in debt.

So if I do what is necessary to be debt free, in a little over a year I could be free. If I don’t, then I’ll still be here stuck in debt. What option would I rather pick?

Well, of course, the choice is easy. I would rather be debt free.

Will you remember?

Imagine yourself on your target date, with your goal accomplished. Do you remember every instance of hardship? Do you remember every instance where you slacked off? Do you remember every instance where you did the right thing and and were proud of yourself? It tends to becomes a jumble of experiences, whether they are good or bad.

Now imagine yourself on that date, with your goal not accomplished. Do you remember every instance of hardship? Do you remember every instance where you slacked off? It still becomes a jumble of experiences, but in the end, you aren’t where you want to be.

It is just the way our brain works. Wikipedia says, a long-term memory is subject to fading in the natural forgetting process. Whether we are old or young, we can’t remember every choice we have made. Each of those choices are so small in the scope of our lives, and only when you add them all up they can make huge changes.

If you go through your closets, basement, and garage I bet you can find a TON of things that you purchased or were given that you don’t even remember you had. Some of that might even be why you have the debt. Each one seems small and insignificant, but when you add them all up, you have a HEAP of stuff! Or you have made a lot of small purchases on your credit card, a cool new gadget, or dinner out, and it starts to roll into a big ball of credit card debt.

So why is this important to you?

This is important to you because the choices you make today are only as hard as you make them. In a few weeks, that hard decision you made to not to go out to eat when you were tired after work, will be forgotten. The decision to make a dinner of whatever you can find in the pantry (and how bad it tastes!) will most likely be forgotten too.

All of those small choices are forgotten but it is the SUM of all of those choices that matter.

What you will remember is your achievement or failure of a goal that was important to you.

What choice are you going to make today?

 

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Hi I’m Jaime. Each and every week I bring you the top business advice from the people who know best.

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