No TV Update: One episode of Boardwalk Empire watched last week, but otherwise, I am sticking to the plan. Aside from an internal tug-o-war last night trying to decide if I should watch the Weeds premiere (watch it / no, wait two weeks / no, just watch it / oh shut up already you’re driving me crazy! / In the end I didn’t watch it), I’m getting along without TV. Since my goal is not to cut out TV completely, but only the junk and filler (all Bravo, MTV, VH1 and E! reality shows fall in here), I want to have (almost) 28 days of not watching so that it becomes a habit. If I can mindfully choose something to watch without the end result being watching 6 episodes straight of whatever without ever getting up from the couch, completely slack-jawed, eyes aglaze and empty Cheetos bag dangling from my hand, then I have succeeded.
Do You Feel Bigger than Your Problems?
An interesting thing about doing something long enough is that you start to receive the same information over and over again. This doesn’t have to be a negative. Getting the same idea or advice from different avenues helps keep that information fresh in your mind, or reinforce an idea you may have forgotten about. That’s how I felt when I skimmed a bit of Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker. Oh sure, there’s nothing particularly new about what he writes, and most of his ideas come from the Personal Finance Classics. But they are well-organized and important ideas for changing your attitude, mindset and understanding of money. The most exciting idea for me was #9 of the 17 “Millionaire Secrets”:
Rich people “are bigger than their problems.”
Poor people “are smaller than their problems.”
This couldn’t have come at a better time. I have been feeling a mindset shift in the last 2 or 3 months. My bills don’t own me like they used to. I don’t feel discouraged every time I remember an upcoming expense. I feel confident that I can do this. But then I worry and think to myself, “Don’t get too excited, you’re still broke as a joke with a long path ahead of you” and try to remind myself not to start thinking about stuff I want to buy and going over all my old bad habits. But those bad habits just aren’t as big an issue anymore, and I am turning my mind to other things I want to improve, like becoming more productive and action-oriented by watching less TV, taking a little more time to plan and organize, and getting better at communicating my ideas to others. So looking at that “secret” I realized: I am bigger than my debt problem. Shoot, as Nicki Minaj would say, I own dat!
I am moving on from my debt even as I continue to pay it down and stay the course. I still want to throw all extra money at debt, but I just don’t need to get heart palpitations every time I think about it. In this case, I have a debt problem but I can finally see myself and my abilities as bigger than my debt problem. I didn’t feel that way in 2010 or even 2011. I still had the same ambition but I also had a big weight hanging over me that seemed to be a constant obstacle, one that I might not ever get rid of. Now it feels like “OK, we got this, let’s work on XYZ and just keep doing what you’re doing on the debt.”
Everybody has problems they deal with, whether they talk about them or not, but some people are much better at handling their problems: addressing them and moving on. Are you feeling bigger than your problems right now? Or are you feeling just a little overwhelmed? Believe me, I have spent most of my adult life in the latter so I won’t be judging!